Tell me three things that you love about your body right now. No, really. What are they?
Do you have strong thighs that push you uphill on your hikes? Do your calves look perfect when you’re in your favorite yoga pose? Maybe you have beautifully toned arms from toting your toddler around all day. Whatever it is that makes your body beautiful and unique, own it.
As a health coach for women, I work with many clients who come to me complaining about their bodies. They laugh nervously as they tell me about their “hips that never went away after childbirth” or “the belly that even Spanx can’t contain.” During our work together, my goal is to help women begin to see their bodies in a new light. Although I do help women lose weight, often times the real problem isn’t our bodies; it’s our thought patterns.
The issue is that our mind and our thoughts control what we see and what we do. If we dislike the woman we see in the mirror, we won’t want to take care of her by providing her rest, enjoyment, and foods that nourish her. Instead, we tend to punish that woman by making her work harder and harder; slaving away on the treadmill, denying her true nourishment by trying the newest fad diet, and denying her any form of pleasure. This is no way to live, but unfortunately, many women do live in this cycle of self-neglect and body punishment.
The truth is that we are our harshest critics and it’s time we freed ourselves from body jail. The silver lining here is that we can transform our minds from our harshest critic into our biggest advocate – and it all starts with our thoughts. For most people, their thoughts tend to be a ticker-tape of negativity. You’re too fat. That’s not good enough. You didn’t get enough done today.
How would your life be different if you replaced each of those negative thoughts with something self-affirming and positive? My body is beautiful and strong. I am just as deserving of pleasure as anyone else. I got the perfect amount done today. Changing our thoughts might seem like a small shift, but it makes a transformative difference in the way we see ourselves, the way we treat our bodies, and way we live our lives.
What thoughts of yours need to be kicked to the curb? What beautiful and self-affirming thoughts are you going to replace them with?