How to Love Your Body
Your thoughts are the most powerful tool you have to create the life you want.
Unfortunately, most of us aren't tapping into this power, and worse are using it against ourselves! Last week I wrote a post about how your thoughts can make you fat...or thin.
What we believe about ourselves translates into feelings, which powerfully influence our actions and our end result. No one feels like eating healthy and going to gym on a "fat day"! The key is feeling good about yourself in the here and now. Easier said than done, I know!
Here are a few tips that I use for myself and with my clients to help foster a more positive body image and help you feel happier about where you are now so that you can free yourself to become the person you want to be.
For the love of God…go buy yourself some new underwear!
I know what's going on in that closet of yours, girlfriend. You refuse to buy new or larger clothes because you’re afraid that you’ll never be “motivated” to lose weight…plus, you’re about to start this new diet where you eat only air, so you’ll soon be two sizes smaller, right?
Let me ask you: does wearing tight clothing that digs into your flesh help to motivate you? Do you feel like going to the gym and exercising when you have to shoehorn yourself into yoga pants that are a size too small? I don’t know about you, but when I put on clothes that are restrictive and tight, I feel so much worse about myself. I definitely don’t feel motivated, and in a cruel twist of irony, I’m actually more likely to overeat!
You are deserving of clothing that fits and flatters you right now. You deserve to be comfortable right now. You may very well lose weight some day, but you have to live in your current body every day until then. Why torture yourself? Wearing clothing that fits and flatters your current shape is freeing – both physically and emotionally. So go buy yourself some new underwear – and if you can afford it, a whole closet of flowy, colorful, silky, luscious new clothes – that make you feel comfortable and beautiful.
Get dressed and put on your makeup.
I’m all for being comfortable and rocking the sweat-pant-and-make-up-free life. Just ask my husband. When the day is done or we get back from a social event, I’m free-balling in my baggy sweats before he can even get the wine bottle corked. (He’s a really lucky guy.)
But every morning I get up, get dressed, and put on my makeup. I do it for me. I view it as “self-care”. I’m taking 10 minutes out of my busy morning schedule to take care of myself and make myself look nice. It helps me feel pretty and confident. I deserve that much, and so do you.
You’re probably really going to hate this, but it really does help! Commit to doing it every day for at least a month. Stand in front of a full length mirror for 5 minutes, preferably naked or wearing only underwear and a bra. Follow the instructions below:
For the first two or three days, simply observe the thoughts and emotions that arise when you look at yourself in the mirror. What kinds of thoughts or emotions pop up for you? Whose voice is it that speaks? Give "the voice" a name. The voice is a part of you, but it is not you.
After the first few days of simply observing your thoughts and "the voice", stand in front of the mirror and focus on the parts of yourself that you really dislike. Maybe it’s your stomach, or thighs, or arms, or wrinkles. Whatever, just focus on those parts, one at a time. Touch them softly, gently. Realize that these are just parts of you. Your abdomen where you grew another life, your arms that hug and hold your children, your thighs that are strong and feminine and take you from place to place, the wrinkles on your face that show a lifetime of laughter and love and tears. Be gentle with these parts of yourself.
After the first week of doing this daily “mirror time”, begin to challenge "the voice". When it says “Gosh, look how fat your thighs are”, call it out by name and say “Hey, my thighs may be large, but they are fine and strong and will kick your ass!” Now find at least two things that you like about yourself.
Guided Imagery (i.e. Fake It Till You Make It)
Oprah does it. Michael Jordan does it. Tiger Woods does it. Arnold Schwarzenegger does it. What am I talking about? Visualization. Every one of these incredibly successful people utilized visualization to reach peak performance. If they can tap into the power of the mind, so can you!
Visualization is defined as "the formation of a mental image". The most successful visualization techniques involve all five senses to make the "mental picture" very real. You can taste, smell, hear, and feel what it's like to have what you want. You can conjure the feeling of being who you want to be or having what you want to have.
Jon Gabriel, author of several books and creator of The Gabriel Method, has been extremely successful in using visualization to help people lose weight. I absolutely love his short and FREE visualization on YouTube that will help you tap into the power of changing thoughts, behaviors, and habits through visualization.
I was supposed to have this post written last week. Not only was I exceptionally busy with client consults and workouts, but I was also in the menstrual phase of my cycle (that’s a less TMI way to say I was on my period), AND I decided it was a good time to do a caffeine detox. Between the irritability, headaches, and fatigue, I was a hot mess. Rather than criticize myself for being a lazy unorganized slob, I decided to give myself grace. I was having a bad week. I knew the upcoming week would be better. I decided no one would die waiting to read my blog post.
Whether you want to expand a business or lose weight, being critical or unkind to yourself won’t get you any closer to those goals. Remember that you’re only human. Tell yourself that’s it’s gonna be okay…because it is. Relax, tap into the power of a positive mindset, and bloom where you're planted!
Thank you for reading!
I’d love to hear from you! How do you tap into the power of a positive mindset?