Body Positive: Changing the Dialogue Between You and Your Body
You and Your Body. What a rocky relationship that can be. Although, the world wants us to be 'body positive', it's not always an easy feat. I didn't plan to write about this, but after two sweet young girls messaged me asking for advice about the same topic, I really felt it was important to discuss. Because they are NOT alone in their battle.
One girl told me about her guilt after eating cake and ice cream at a birthday party and worried she was borderline obsessing over it. The other girl spoke about her struggle with losing weight and how she was being bullied because of it. It hurts my heart to read messages like this, because I empathize with them. I recognize it in myself, and I really hope my response was enough to make even the slightest difference.
Messages like these are hands down always the hardest for me to answer. I want you all to know you are so cared for, and I feel for you. I've come a long way in my self-love & body positive journey, and I can honestly say I'm mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healed from the nasty, negative, and hurtful thoughts I once had for myself.
I want to share with you a few things I've learned from my experience to hopefully help you change the dialogue between you and your body. It's a journey and process, I know. But, here's a starting point:
Speak to yourself like you would to a dear friend
We all have dark thoughts. I wrote the most terrible things in my diary as an insecure, My Chemical Romance-obsessed high schooler (man, I still love them)... Words I would never, ever say to any human being no matter how much I disliked them, yet here I was... 17 years old, tearing myself apart piece by piece.
For one, this self-sabotage HAS to stop. Before you decide to spiral down the deep, dark self-hate hole, think for a sec... is this going to help? No. Am I going to just sit here and cry even more? Uh, yeah probably. If you express yourself through writing like me, please don't use your energy to write down all the reasons you hate your body. Instead....
Turn the negative thoughts into positive actions
Instead of trashing your body, make two columns - on the left, write down what it is that makes you insecure. On the right, express three things that might make it better.
For me, I use to hate my thighs. I have stretch marks and some cellulite (pretty sure I'm not the only one, am I right??). But, the three things that miiiight make it better:
Focused exercises on toning my legs.
Less time spent staring at it in the mirror under horrible lighting.
Not giving a f*ck.
So, that is what I've chosen to do about it! If a good friend came to me and told me they hated their thighs, I'd most likely not see what they see. My perception of their outer beauty is tied to how I feel about them as a person - their inner beauty outshines everything, so in turn, I see them as an all around beautiful person and my mind skips over their so-called 'flaws'. My point is....
Realize your inner beauty will (and should) outshine your outer beauty
As the saying goes, I'd rather be pretty smart, pretty kind, pretty funny, and pretty frickin' strong. When I see confident girls who are happy and kind to others, they are radiant human beings. They are so comfortable in their own skin that they don't feel the need to compete or compare. They love themselves and they love others... and it's infectious. That is what I will always strive for. Just to be happy, content, and confident in ourselves and our abilities... That's all we can hope for in this life, right?
There are over 7 billion humans alive on this Earth. 7 billion beautiful, unique beings with 7 billion worries just like you and me. I want to live out the rest of my days feeling damngood in my skin. I refuse to waste my energy hating on myself. While I still have old-patterned thoughts from my E.D. days, I feel so much stronger today. If what I've learned through my battles with self-love could help just a few of you, I'd say it was well worth going through it.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of this... let's talk. Always an ear to listen.