Body image is such an interesting subject to me.
Everywhere we look nowadays there seems to be some form of 'Body Bashing'. We can pick up a newspaper with one article on Jennifer Aniston being fat shamed and the very next page Cheryl Cole is being skinny shamed.
We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded with unrealistic images, images that are photo shopped or contorted into looking 'perfect' and 'pristine' which only fuels the unspoken, silent (and utterly false) rule that one must 'fit into' society's stringent ideals of being a perfect size or else you are not considered 'worthy'.
No wonder so many people struggle with insecurity around their body image if their self worth is wrapped up in the size of their body.
No wonder we are all in such a flux.
Now if you have worked with me as a client or a student of my school, you will know that when it comes to body image issues I am stringent in pushing you to question your belief systems and I ask you 'why' a lot. Questions like:
Why do you think your body deserves so much hate?
Why do you think it's ok to be so mean to yourself, daily?
Why would you not talk to your daughter the way you talk to yourself?
You see, developing a positive body image and a healthy mental attitude towards your body is, in my humble opinion, the start of something very beautiful. Ultimately if we have a healthy body image, we start to be kinder to ourselves, we start to eat normally, feel good and we start taking care of ourselves simply because we want to.
If we don’t have a healthy body image we are likely to be eating emotionally, in some form of diet roller coaster, comparing ourselves to others and in constant judgement always placing ourselves as 'less than'. it's exhausting.
Because struggling with body image is not uncommon I thought that this week I could share with you a few of my top tips on how to banish the crazy...I really hope this helps...here goes:-
- Calm down. Stressing out about your body is not helping you. Take a breath and relax.
- Remove your judgments. If you are constantly judging yourself and being mean to yourself it is going to make everything worse. When you judge yourself for your size you are being really mean. Taking away the judgement means you LEARN so much more. Exploring why you think what you think about yourself and asking yourself kind questions speeds up the process of understanding yourself and therefore changing your perspective and your behavior. Judging yourself means you remain stuck and closed. Quit the judgement and be kind.
- If you are eating emotionally i.e. when you are not physically hunger, talk to yourself. I know this sounds weird but the next time you are standing at the fridge with the door open using a teaspoon to get to that last bit of Nutella at the bottom of the jar ask yourself this question ‘ If I didn’t care about this Nutella right now, what else would be going on for me?’ The answers will amaze you……..I hate my job, my boyfriend doesn’t understand me, I’m scared about this upcoming exam etc., etc., Once you have some real answers you can start to look at the real stuff going on. Because, it is never about the Nutella……
- You are more than the size or shape of your body. Today’s society tells women that to be ‘worthy’ you have to be tiny. It’s not true. Quit conforming and start questioning. Question everything – who is telling you to be worth something you have to be a certain size? Who is telling you that to be beautiful you have to be thin? Likely to be something you have seen, read or heard. These people might not be right! Remember you are living in a society which body bashes all day long. We live in a culture where people feel its ok to comment on your size and shape. It isn’t. Everyone is different and everyone has something about them that is truly unique and beautiful
- Healthy is more beautiful than any size. It is not true that one size is more beautiful than another. It is only the media that is brainwashing you into believing this. The truth is in fact that ‘healthy is beautiful’! Start thinking about ‘health’ rather than ‘size’. Remember that reading magazines and looking at six packs on Instagram all day just contributes to the brain washing of your society and culture. Remember that a lot of pictures are photoshopped and doctored. Most ‘real’ people look real that includes scars, stretch marks and spots! If you are going to obsess over social media and pictures in magazines do it with the right head on! Get cool with being imperfect. I’m not sure about you but the last thing I want to be is perfect. Why? because I know that perfect does not exist so I am not going to aim for something that isn’t real. Instead, focus on getting cool with your perfect imperfections. We are all perfectly imperfect and trust me, in the years of coaching I have done, the thousands of clients I have seen, I am yet to meet a ‘perfect’ one. So if you think you know someone who is perfect, I would suggest stepping out of your imaginary world and looking at the facts.
- You can always do a Social Media Detox. I love social media, it’s a huge part of my business but at the same time I know that all the pictures of people on there having a great time and looking like they have fabulous lives doesn’t mean I choose to think my life is any less. Remember that people will only post pictures on social media of them looking great. Think about the terribly sad life of L’wren Scott. Her pictures were all private jets and couture clothes. Behind it she was terribly unhappy. Don’t believe the hype. People have real lives no matter what they post on Facebook. Everyone is dealing with something.
- Stop placing yourself as ‘less than’. You are not. You are equal to. There will be some things that you can do and some things that others can do. There will be some things you cannot do that others can. This is called life. If we could all do and look and be exactly the same as each other, what kind of boring world would that be? Step into your uniqueness and own it.
- And lastly, if you still feel the need to compare, take a look at where those thoughts stem from. Did you learn somewhere that you were not enough? If so, question the hell out of that thought and teach yourself to turn it around. It isn’t true. We are all given a set of beliefs and we all, as adults, have a choice as to whether we choose to hold onto those beliefs or challenge and change them. My suggestion is any belief you think is keeping you small or holding you back needs to be worked on. Challenge it, look for evidence to prove the opposite is true and then go out into the big wide world with a thought that feels amazing. Because the truth is, YOU ARE.
Happy Friday gorgeous.
Sent with love