Archives for Body Image - Page 2
Often we want to banish our inner critic. We want it to vanish. To eliminate it once and for all. This is totally understandable, because it's a cruel voice, which is painful to hear. Sometimes, incredibly painful. It just sounds so angry. Your inner critic might be akin to a person screaming in your face. Really loud. All the time. It might hurl insults. It might be a constant stream of negativity, and you can't do this and you can't do that, you idiot!
Maybe years ago you let everyone walk all over you. Like you weren't even there. Like you were a rug fit for stomping on. Maybe you weighed yourself all the time. Maybe you said yes to everything---except to acknowledging and appreciating yourself.
Be careful you don't blow up with all that dessert you've been eating lately. Make sure you work out. You don't want to gain the freshman 15. You're so small and slim. You'll make an adorable pregnant lady.
The foundation of compassionate self-care is paying attention to ourselves. It is noticing what's happening inside our bodies, since this gives us valuable information into our needs. Because once we know that, we can choose how to respond. And those responses might be as simple as eating when we notice that we're hungry and stopping when we notice that we're full. Or they might be learning that we're feeling upset when our heads hit the pillow because we haven't focused enough on our priorities---so you identify how to make those things first and foremost. And you do.
Many of us think we have to repay anyone who says something nice or complimentary to us, to anyone who takes us to dinner, to anyone who pays attention or is kind in some other way (whether the kindness is genuine or ill-intentioned). We think we owe something beyond a heartfelt thank-you.
Self-care is not a to-do list. I was recently reminded of this in this newsletter from Nicole Antoinette. In other words, self-care isn't a list of tasks you need to check off every day or every week. Get a manicure and pedicure Monday. Take a bubble bath on Tuesday. Work out on Wednesday. Make a home-cooked dinner on Friday.
I'm not sure that I've ever felt good reading a fitness or "health" magazine geared toward women. Instead, I've felt self-conscious, inadequate and way too big. At some point I realized the words in their glossy pages weren't gospel. I realized that I didn't have to believe or act on their tips---which focused on watching my weight and what I was eating (like a hawk), feeling guilty any time I wavered and preparing for (i.e., panicking over) bikini season and holiday parties.
I've been thinking more about self-love and what it means and looks like for me. Yesterday, I shared some thoughts in this piece. Today, I'm sharing more examples. I hope these inspire you to think through your own definitions and how you can start embracing and loving yourself. Because you can. No matter where you've been and no matter what others have said to you, you can. Start small. Start now.
There are many misconceptions about self-love. Some people assume that loving yourself is a cop-out or an excuse to do whatever you want---as in miss work just because, or spend money on some big purchase that's going to set you back (i.e., spending money you don't have). Some people assume it means not taking responsibility for your actions, or slipping into excess, or obsessive behaviors. Some people assume self-love is a synonym for hedonism.
Dear Girl Who Hates Her Body, You look at your body in the mirror and grimace. Ugh. It still looks like crap. You touch your body in disgust. You spend hours in your closet trying on every piece of clothing you own. And still nothing fits. Nothing looks good. Everything is wrong. You feel wrong. You wake up at 5 a.m. when the world is still dark and drag yourself to the gym. You don't want to be there. But what other choice do you have?