“If you talked to your friends the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left” – Marcia Hutchinson.
As women, I think we are programmed to play the comparison game whenever we see a model in a magazine that has the “perfect” body. We see their body, judge it, and then compare it to ours. It might not seem harmful at first, but that simple act of judging and comparing can happen in a split second and has the power to translate into all sorts of negative self talk that gets stuck in our psyche.
There’s so much focus these days on eating healthy, being fit, and losing weight. And that’s great! I fully support this new movement on living healthier lives. But while we transform the body we must transform the way we see the body. A fat person who becomes skinny will always see themselves as fat if they never developed a healthy body image to begin with (I am speaking from experience here).
We have a responsibility to ourselves to learn that a healthy body image isn’t just about what we eat and how often we exercise, it’s about how we choose to see ourselves. And more importantly, we have a responsibility to teach this to our children.
There are simple acts you can do to change your body image from the inside-out (instead of the traditional outside-in model). Write a note on your mirror that says “You are beautiful” to remind yourself not to fall back into the habit of scrutinizing your body everytime you see it in the mirror. Write it on EVERY mirror if you need to. Or you may find this website helpful. Search through thousands of images of women who are the same age, height, and weight as you. See what real women look like instead of photoshopped images in a magazine.
With commitment and positive self talk, you will begin to shift the perception of yourself into one of love and acceptance, from the inside out.
10 Mantras for a healthy body image:
1. Thank you body, for being so strong when I need you to be.
2. Thank you body, for every fully functioning organ, muscle, bone, and cell.
3. I take care of my body, inside and out.
4. I pay attention to my food and think about how it makes me feel. I eat mindfully.
5. My body is unique and perfect for ME.
6. I only have one body and one chance to love my body.
7. Life doesn’t start at 10 pounds from now, it starts NOW.
8. I love my body for taking care of me when I’m sick.
9. I exercise and eat healthy so I can feel healthy, not so I can look healthy.
10. Today I choose to love my body no matter what the scale says.