People with body confidence feel comfortable in their skin. This is a tall task today; to do this you actually have to believe your body is not flawed. How can we feel believe we are not flawed if 75% of us women in Kardashian Culture believe that there is something wrong with our bodies? Most of us believe deep down that we are only lovable or acceptable at a certain weight that we either maintain by living in food prison or that we hope to get to someday when that diet actually works?
To feel good in your skin, you need to unconditionally accept yourself wherever you are. For those of us obsessed with the number on the scale, this is acceptance and kindness towards oursevles if we gain a couple of pounds. And for those of us women forever dieting, this is acceptance at the weight we are today – not acceptance-in-theory for someday when the diet works.
Loving yourself at any size doesn’t mean being okay with living in an out-of-control eating state. It is about thinking enough of yourself to take good care of you. This includes nourishing your body well and getting exercise because it is good for you. You take good care of things you love.
In my workshops, we figure out where you are not accepting your body. What is in the way of acceptance? When we look at our thoughts, we all notice re-occurring patterns. I have you confront each re-occuring negative body thought with logical responses that resonate with you.
I’d like to show you what this healthy dialogue could look like, so you have an example of how you could to confront your own body demons. My own personal pattern is that I think my chest is too large. My cup size has gone up as my hormone levels have gone down. I may never get to the place where I think my chest is attractive as I age. But, this exercise isn’t about adopting a delusion that I am 25 years old with small, perky breasts. This is an exercise in acceptance of where I am today. I do this in the name of the higher purpose of feeling comfortable in my body.
Here I respond logically to my negative internal thoughts about my chest:
- My breasts look just like my mom's breasts, what did I expect would happen?
- Just because I think this letter on my bra size is large, doesn’t mean there's something wrong with me. It is just the size some women in my family wear.
I mentioned you have to find logic that actually resonates with you or this approach doesn’t work. Here’s what resonates with me:
- First and foremost, I don’t have breast cancer. My grandmother and my aunt had both had breast cancer. My Aunt Jenny died of breast cancer. Some of my friends and relatives have had to undergo mastectomies. I understand my complaint is about a cup size, and not a health issue.
- Since I am unwilling to subject myself to a breast reduction, for so many reasons, my choice is, either I can accept my self with this chest or be unhappy each and every time I look in the mirror for the rest of my natural life.
When our objective is to take good care of ourselves -- which includes our emotional wellbeing -- we'll chose the option that is a better way to spend our time.
So that is what my internal discussion looks like. You see it took quite a bit of intentional conversation. But that was how much discussion was needed. I have needed to repeat this many time when I have negative thoughts about my chest. And, it actually works. I am able to walk around the locker room a bit more free and easy most days, not because I think I look fabulous and perky, but because this is me, and this will do fine.
"To love yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, Body Respect, 2014.
- Paul Campos, The Diet Myth, 2005.
- Carolyn Costin, Your Dieting Daughter, 2013 (2nd edition).
- Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb, 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder Workbook, 2017.
- Renee Engeln, Beauty Sick, 2017.
- Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel, Beyond a Shadow of a Diet, 2014 (2nd edition).
- Susie Orbach, Fat is a Feminist Issue, 2006 (2nd edition).
- Rachel Simmons, Enough As She Is, 2018.
- Julia V. Taylor, The Body Image Workbook for Teens, 2014.
- Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works, 2012 (2nd edition). I boil down some of the essence of this book to 8 steps in MyBodyMySelf Post-its.
- Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch,Intuitive Eating Workbook: 10 Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food, 2017.
Favorite Podcast: Cristy Harrison's FoodPscyhe.
Favorite Blogger: Isabel Foxen Duke, Stop Fighting Food. If you are interested, google Isabel on YouTube; she does lots of interviews with host of different podcasts.
TEDx Adeliade: Taryn Brumfitt: Stop hating your body; Start living your life. Click here.