Call them fat days, call them the body blues, the reality is that we all have days when we’re unhappy with our bodies, it’s called life. Sure, there are days when I feel like I’m being dragged through a field backwards and then there are days I wake up and wonder why Victoria Secret hasn’t asked me to walk in its show yet. Accepting both is the art of self acceptance, accepting the good with the bad.
Accept the good and bad
Self acceptance has never been about eliminating the negative aspects of our life, feeling comfortable in your skin doesn’t mean that you have to feel comfortable ALL of the time; but it does mean you have to treat yourself with love and kindness on the icky days. During bad body days doing one small thing is all you need to do to help yourself. Remember, what you resist persists so change the record and treat yourself with love, kindness and compassion, trying these five steps as you go.
Separate your feelings. A fat day does not equal a bad day and it most definitely doesn’t make you worthless or hopeless. All too often we allow one small occurance or one small negative thought to ruin our entire day. Do not write the day off because of one feeling.
Action: Write down three things that you are grateful for – remembering to look at your whole life
Remember Fat is Not a Feeling
Feeling fat doesn’t make you fat. You have fingernails, that doesn’t mean you are a fingernail, your thoughts do not define who you are. You are the creator of your thoughts, they didn’t create you, and so you can choose to create thoughts that support you. When the first negative thought starts creeping in you you need to train yourself to respond in a more balanced, self-caring and desirable way
Action: The next time you notice yourself being dragged under by negative thoughts and emotions try to acknowledge your reaction, pause, and then respond
Show Your Body Appreciation and Gratitude
For so many of us it feels completely normal to treat our body as a prop to express beauty – a mannequin to be manipulated, changed and put on diet after diet. We eat to manage our weight loss and we exercise to burn off extra calories. And when we look in the mirror we feel consumed by our flaws and obsesses over ways to ‘fix’ them. It is time change the record and shift your energy towards connecting with what your body can do. When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and said: “Thank you body.” Your body is utterly is incredible and you need to acknowledge all the awesome things it can do!
Action: Write down three things your body can do which makes you feel happy and proud
The Big Ass Picture
Life is a big picture but sometimes our feelings about our bodies, food and exercise outweigh other things in our life. We live our life in one very small part of this bigger picture. There’s more to life than our appearance and one of the best things we can do is realise there’s more to us than how we look. It’s time to take action and focus your energy on things in your life that you want to grow.
Action: Pick and area of your life that has nothing to do with weight or appearance and spend energy on it instead
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
How you talk to yourself and how you see yourself is crucial if you want to develop a better relationship with your body. If I was to put a recorder in your head during one of your bad body days and play it back to you, would you be happy with what you hear? Our internal chatter plays a crucial role in developing and strengthening our self esteem. Instead of beating yourself up, practice self compassion and kindness instead. What would you say to a three year old? Creating positive affirmations will change your thoughts and rewire your brain. You don’t need to change your body, you just need to change how you think about your body.
Action: Repeat the following affirmation as many times as needed – I am fabulous, beautiful and worthy of my own love
Sarah Doyle is a life coach, motivational speaker, body positive personal trainer and host of Better Life Project TV. For more information visit thebetterlifeproject.ie