Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!
Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
When we nit-pick at our bodies, we lose out on the beautiful moments that happen all the time, all around us — especially during the holidays when we tend to get together with family and friends we haven’t seen in a while.
When we focus on our supposed flaws, we leave little time and concentration for anything else.
With Thanksgiving this week here in America (holy crap, where does the time go!), you may have a tough time focusing away from your figure. Sometimes, the thoughts just keep swirling and swirling and swirling.
One tool to try is challenging these thoughts. Marsha Hudnall, director and owner at Green Mountain at Fox Run, shared a valuable exercise with Weightless readers last year.
She suggested identifying one negative thought that doesn’t seem to go away. Write it down and ask yourself these questions:
- How does this thought affect me?
- Where did I learn it?
- Is it logical?
- Is it true?
Next, “Write down another more encouraging, positive, kinder and true thought to replace the negative one.” Whenever the old thought pops up, practice using this positive one, instead.
Here are other ideas for enjoying yourself this week (and at any celebration).
1. Before eating, say aloud what you’re thankful for, whether it’s in front of your loved ones or by yourself. This can help you get centered and return to what the holidays are all about.
2. Wear an outfit that makes you happy.
3. Listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues. If you overeat, remind yourself that it’s totally OK. Remember that normal eating is flexible.
4. Savor your food bite by bite. Focus on its taste, texture and smell.
5. Have a plan for stress-reducing strategies. Being around loved ones can be stressful. Trying to find time to complete all your tasks can be stressful. And when we’re stressed out, we might bash our bodies and feel extra guilty and self-conscious. Instead, think of several healthy activities that really ease your tension and anxiety. Make it a priority to practice them this week.
6. When family and friends get together around food, there might be comments that sound like this: “Oh, I can’t eat that, I’m dieting,” “I just ate all those cookies, I’m such a pig,” “My thighs have gotten so huge, don’t you think?” “How many calories is in that pie?” and so on. Here are some ideas for enjoying a fat-talk-free holiday season.
7. Struggling with an eating disorder or recovering from one can be tough during the holidays. Here are some ideas for healthy coping.
8. Carry a security blanket with you. For instance, for me that’s my dad’s gold necklace, which I never take off my neck, and my first-ever gold ring from my parents. For you that might also be jewelry or a picture in your wallet, a piece of clothing, a charm or a keychain. Whatever it is, let it bring you comfort.
9. Get outside. Sometimes, we just need a breather and a reminder of all the true beauty that surrounds us. Sometimes, just feeling the cool, crisp breeze against our cheeks can give us what we need.
10. Start new and empowering traditions. This is a great tip from body image expert Robyn Silverman (from this post):
Some go around the table and say what they’re grateful for while others retell old family stories. In the spirit of Fat Talk Free Holidays, why not start a tradition of celebrating our strengths? Ask everyone to say 1-3 things that they feel are assets they possess. You can also go back around the table and flip it—what are 1-3 assets you admire about someone else at the table? This is not about competition or comparison but rather, about seeing people for their strengths rather than their deficits.
How will you enjoy yourself this Thanksgiving?