Last week I went to return something at Marshall’s and it was kind of a mad house. I waited a few days for the Christmas returns/people wanting Christmas clearance to do their thing and clear out before I went in. I’m not one for overly congested areas. So going a few days later I hoped to bypass that and I did. The store wasn’t crowded with shoppers but it was in disarray. They were shifting the store from Christmas to New Year’s and watching these employees move things around and take down items was kind of fascinating. It was it’s own little dance and organized chaos. But what was just at the front, the toys, doll houses, big games, ugly Christmas sweaters, CANDY, etc. was getting moved to the back, back, back of the store and huge racks of yoga pants, fitness balls, body shaping dvds, mats, rollers, and athletic shoes were now being pushed front and center.
I feel like it’s this across the board shift that everyone does. From Christmas goodies to “my pants no longer fit” to New Year’s Goal of getting to X amount of lbs by December of 2018. How many out there made a New Year’s Goal to be a bit fitter, skinnier, or an actual number on the scale? My guess is a lot and it used to be a standard goal of mine too but it’s not anymore. It hasn’t been for a few years now and I’ll tell you why.
For years and years and years I had an internal war with my body and I hated the scale. Even just the thought of it brought about ugly feelings. I had this ridiculous notion that I should look a certain way and it left me feeling defeated when I didn’t. So many women out there I know feel this way too. I bet if we took a tally to see how many people feel comfortable with their bodies as they are right now and how many are not – the results would be widely huge on the side that people are NOT comfortable where they’re at right now.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can learn to LOVE where you’re at right now while still working towards a healthier you.
A couple of years ago I came across this image of a bunch of fruit and each fruit is complaining about it’s appearance. The watermelon says, “Why am I big?” The apple says, “I wish I were skinny”. The pear says, “Why am I so wide?” Then the caption says: If they only knew they had such sweet bodies.
It’s ridiculous to compare a watermelon to an orange or a strawberry to a pear. They’re all perfect at being what they are, right? I don’t get mad at my banana for not looking as cute as my strawberry. Nor do I chastise my hairy kiwi for not being as smooth as my apple. They’re perfect exactly as they are….and SO ARE YOU.
Your body is AMAZING. Even if you’re overweight, even if you’re not a size 00, your body is perfect for where it’s at right now. It’s functioning exactly as it should with the circumstances it’s been given. It’s working as it should on a diet of Christmas goodies. It’s all it has to work with – of course it’s going to want to hang on to it as long as possible. Your body is functioning as it should – even with a chemical imbalance – it’s a circumstance. It’s not supposed to work as someone else’s – it has an imbalance. It needs regulating. It’s OKAY.
Remember, in life we’re given CIRCUMSTANCES – things beyond our control. Yes, excess weight is a circumstance because you can’t gauge how much lbs you’ll gain when you eat a cookie. The number on a scale is JUST a number. Simply put it’s your individual gravitational pull to the earth. Truly, that’s what it is.
“A body’s relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it, giving rise to a downward force; the heaviness of a person or thing.” -Thank you, Google
We need to STOP being so mean to ourselves and embrace the circumstances of what IS. I’m not telling you to ditch your goals of being healthier. I’m all for that! Rock on with your new work out regimen and healthier meal planning! I am saying that it’s time to STOP berating yourself or speaking down to yourself about your body because you’re not where you want to be…yet.
Make Peace with your body #1 – Awareness
I want to offer some advice that will help you make peace with your body once and for ALL. Since the weight itself is a circumstance. It’s neither good nor bad UNTIL you attach a thought to it. What thought are you giving it? I remember in art class eons ago that at different points in history it was beautiful to be large. If you were skinny it meant that you couldn’t afford to eat plentifully and that you were a laborer. But now the media has decided that the thinner you are the better – and WHY are we letting them decide what’s beautiful or not? Do you want to continue believing that thought? The media is soooo good at selling things. They make it look like you just need it but then you look at pictures from the 70’s and think, whoa…that’s crazy. But the media was really good at selling the “perfect” image then too. What do YOU want to think is beautiful? Not them – You – what do YOU want? You can change the way you see yourself if you want to.
So remember, awareness. The way you think about your body image is JUST A THOUGHT – it’s NOT A FACT.
Make Peace with your Body #2 – Thoughts
Second, you have to make peace with the negative voice inside your head. Easier said than done but it CAN be done. I promise. When that voice wants so bad to say something negative you have to replace those thoughts with something else. First say this, “stop it”. Stop the cycle of what you always do and how you always talk to yourself. Just stop.
Once you’ve gotten your own attention you need to fill it with another BELIEVABLE thought. This is crucial because if you throw out there that you’re perfect and you don’t feel perfect yet your brain is going to lash out with even more negativity because there’s no way it’s going to believe that thought…yet. So you have to go from the negative to the neutral. What neutral thought can you offer you? (I posted about thought stepping here if you want to go back and read it here– there’s also a worksheet to try out here)
Negative: I hate my legs. They’re so ugly.
Neutral: I have two legs that function. There they are*
Negative: I’m so fat. I hate it.
Neutral: There I am. I’m a person.
Seriously, that’s it to start with. Your brain won’t argue with a fact. It’ll quiet it down long enough for you to break the cycle of talking so negatively to yourself. You’ve been practicing this line of thinking for so long it’s going to take a little time and a lot of practice to create NEW neuropathways.
You’re going to receive pushback…a lot if you’ve been thinking negatively for a long, long time. Be prepared and know this going into it. Your brain is going to argue and say, nooooo…This is the habit- this is the way we do things. And you’re going to have to repeat: stop it. Followed by the neutral (not positive YET) thought.
When I was breaking my cycle I remember needing to tell myself to stop over and over and over again for days. My mind was so programmed to insert something at every turn. I wasn’t aware just how many times a day my mind would say something negative about the way my body wasn’t how I wanted it to be. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t because I was so tempted to go back to my old habits that it was an internal struggle – but YOU are more powerful than those thoughts. YOU get to decide what thoughts you keep.
“It’s never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels.
We don’t want to EAT hot fudge sundaes as much as we want our lives to BE hot fudge sundaes. We want to come home to ourselves. (p. 174-5)”
― Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
You are NOT a number. You are a person, a child of God. You came to earth WITH your worth in tact and nothing you do here can change that. Your value and worth are innate.
Make Peace with your Body #3 – Positive Thoughts
After you’ve practiced going to the neutral and you’re really good at breaking the cycle and inserting a neutral in there you’ll notice that you already feel so much better. You’re no longer adding negativity to your life. Remember, when you feel bad – NO ONE ELSE FEELS THAT – just you. Why do that yourself???
Now, it’s time to add in a positive thought after your neutral thought.
Neutral: I have two legs that function.
Positive: My legs are awesome. I can run. I can walk and get to wherever I want to go.
Neutral: There I am. I’m a person.
Positive: I am a child of God. My worth is INFINITE.
I read this quote on instagram this week that I really like. It says,
“And I said to my body. Softly.
‘I want to be your friend.’
It took a long breath. And replied,
‘I have been waiting my whole
life for this.”
You are amazing. You might not know it yet, but you are. You’re in a unique position too because the more you quiet the negative loud, shouting voice, the more you’ll get to know just how amazing you truly are more than anyone else on the planet. You’ll know how capable you can be. You’ll know how good and kind your heart is. You’ll see qualities in yourself that no one else on earth can – not even your spouse, not even your BFF. You’re with YOU always. Get to know yourself better and realize just how incredible you are. Make friends with yourself.
You’ll FEEL so much better. You’ll appreciate you all the more. You’ll WANT to take care of your body NOT because of a number on a scale or someone else’s opinion of how you should look but because you LOVE you and you want to take care of you. You’ll embrace your shape because you’ll come to know that you have such a sweet body.
Add this to your New Year’s Goals: Make friends with self.
It’ll be an incredible YEAR and forever after. You can do it because you’re amazing.
If you just can’t wrap your head around this concept and need a little personal help – NO problem! Set up a mini session with me! It’s easy. Sign up here. We’ll talk about anything you need and I’ll coach you. No strings attached just a chat.
Don’t forget about my GIVEAWAY! ENTRY IS EASY! At the top of the page – just UNDER the featured image on my home page there’s a box to subscribe to the weekly email, Think about it Thursday (Short email with something significant to think about and get your wheels turning – it’s good you guys – you’re going to want it). Subscribe to this list and that’s it! You’re in! The winner will be chosen January 11th.
Jody Moore – There you are