I hope you’ll forgive me for the formatting and flow for this one – I was in a ferocious typing mood and didn’t feel like editing. Let me know your thoughts!
We spend so much time talking and thinking about what is wrong with our bodies or ourselves.
I wonder how much amazing stuff in this world doesn’t get done because some woman woke up and decided her jeans felt too tight, she was fat and now the day was ruined.
The internal dialogue might go something like this:
My stomach is so flabby.
My skin is too red and I have such huge pores.
I’m such an idiot!
I have so much back fat it looks like I’m smuggling two hams under my armpits.
When did my ass get so saggy?
Why am I so boring? I never have anything good to say.
The thoughts may come all at once in succession (maybe after trying on a bathing suit) or they may come one by one throughout a day (each time you catch yourself in the mirror).
It doesn’t matter if they’re assaulting you in a barrage all at once or if they’re dripping in slowly like a leak in an old roof.
They’re destructive either way.
We think it’s no big deal since they’re just passing thoughts most of the time.
But like a roof that leaks – you have to address it at some point or you’re going to have a big mess on your hands.
Repetitive negative thoughts become part of our regular thinking and with time they become beliefs. Beliefs are really hard to change.
Thinking negatively about yourself – physical or otherwise, contributes to your mood, it contributes to how you interact with others, it affects the actions you’ll take everywhere in your life.
How you think about yourself influences hugely the life you will ultimately have.
Why do we think that it’s a badge of honor or a sign of humility to put ourselves down?
Why is it often seen as being conceited or boastful to take pride in or even just acknowledge that you’re good at something or that there is something about your body that you like?
Why do we think the only way to be in this world is to be disgusted in some way by our own bodies? Somewhere along our journey we learn that a woman who dares to love her body is actually betraying the rest of us. She’s an alien from another planet. There has to be something wrong with her for daring to think so highly of herself.
There is so much contradictory bullshit in this. It’s divisive and creates pain for all involved. One feeling inadequate for not having what the other has and the other feeling ashamed for not having ingested the shitty memo the rest of us ate up.
I’m sure there’s at least a few of you reading this whose first thought was something critical about the photo I used at the beginning of this post. Who am I to post a photo of myself on a blog about being fabulous? I’ll admit I hesitated to use a photo of myself here because I had those exact thoughts myself. But then I said, fuck it, that’s the whole point of this post.
And when we all feel crappy about ourselves, we do less of the important stuff. We don’t put ourselves out there. And we’re not a good example for the young women and little girls in our lives.
What if we all did something different and spent time noticing what is right about our bodies?What if we declared out loud the qualities we have that we are proud of?
What if we boosted ourselves up and other women too, instead of tearing both of us down?
There’s no need to compare and knock someone down. Comparing and determining that one is less and one is more, gives one the idea that there is only a certain amount of good stuff out there and that if someone else has what you want (be it a shapely booty, a ferocious drive, thick hair, money or major charisma), that there isn’t enough of that thing out there for you. That’s not true.
Her having something doesn’t make it less likely that you can have it too.
Her having it actually means that it is possible you can have it.
If you’re going to compare, use it as proof of what you could have, what is available to ALL of us in this life we have.
When we can sincerely appreciate and love ourselves, without feeling like we’re wrong for doing that, we have more capacity for kindness, generosity and productivity. When we can sincerely look at other women and not want to tear them down to lift ourselves up, we will have more love for ourselves and love to give everything we do.
Can you start changing your own dialogue today? Next time you find yourself wanting to pick yourself or another lady apart, can you turn it around and find something you LOVE instead?
If you can’t, ask yourself, why. Why do you want to cause yourself more pain? Why would you choose to think negative thoughts about yourself? Or others? You can choose love.
It takes practice to be comfortable saying positive things about yourself. When you’re not used to doing it, at first it’s pretty hard. It might be painful and make you want to cringe. But after awhile, you’ll find it’s pretty easy and with that comes the ability to see the good stuff in other people too.
Here is some of the stuff I’ve been loving on me lately:
I love my eyes. I’m not really sure if they’re blue, grey or green but I love them.
I love my arms. They’re strong and they look strong too.
I love my curves. I’ve been big and small and those curves are always still there keeping me company.
I love that I have thick muscular thighs that can cycle 30 miles like it’s no big thing and they also look fab in a short skirt, at least I think so.
I love my skin – it’s soft and smooth and it’s usually a reflection of how well I am caring for myself.
I love my smile and the dimples that form in my cheeks when I’m really happy.
I love my laugh. I love my ability to empathize with other people. I love the little intricacies that make me, me, even if other people might think that they’re bizarre.
I love my brain. It doesn’t always go the conventional route, but it gets me there. The shit it remembers and the details it can conjure up are almost sick.
I love how dependable I am. If you ask me to do something or be somewhere and I say yes, you know I will do it, I will show up (albeit late!) and if I can’t, I will own up and let you know. No slinking away in a corner here.
I like me.
That’s probably enough for now.
Don’t think that just because I was able to rattle those off that there isn’t a part of me that was like “ah, don’t write that!” or “you’re writing too many!” or “you should mention that you love your smile despite your messed up jaw!”. I’m human and a work in progress. There are things I’ve gotten better at, but it doesn’t mean that I never have my “stuff” come up again. I’ve gotten so much better at being WITH myself instead of AGAINST myself. No need to aim for perfect but there’s always room for doing better.
If you’re reading this and you’re the one thinking “she wrote too many!” or “wow, she’s full of herself!” then sister, I ask YOU to please spend a little time coming up with a list of things you love about YOU. When we knock others, it’s a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. And you should feel no other way than fabulous about yourself, because lady you ARE fantastic and I hope you can say that about yourself some day. And if you love this and want to stay in touch, you can do so here.
Guess what time it is? Time for the 12 Day Detox! We start September 14! Join us! You’ll love how you feel as we move into fall!