The reflection in the mirror looked good. I pivoted, stuck out a hip, and smiled. “Dang, woman, you’re doing alright,” I thought. My work was starting to pay off; some curves were less curvy and some definition was coming through. I was pleased.
But how easy could it have been to go the other way? The negative tape we all have in our heads of all our perceived faults. Things no one would ever notice that we can turn into a major event. A bad hair day has nothing on an “I feel so fat” day.
Compassion For Our Bodies
If you’re reading this, I know you’re trying to live a more healthful lifestyle. We get on the wagon, we do well for a while, we falter, we recommit and try again. It’s an ongoing cycle and it’s all around us too. Friends lose a dress size or two and then inch back up … it’s always there.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could rip that wiring out of our brains for good?
Some say it can be done, that you can do a lot of hard work to “find yourself” and “accept yourself as you are.” I’ve read a lot about it and I love the concept, but I’m not sure my hard-wired, over-educated, type-A personality brain could ever do that. I almost rely on that negative voice sometimes. I know it will eventually kick me in the rump hard enough to get me back on the wagon. What if it wasn’t there and I just turned into a potato chip-munching couch potato headed for a heart attack?
Or what if … what if … the positive reinforced the positive? What if I felt better about myself and I kept eating those veggies and only occasionally tasted a dessert? What if my run left me feeling so amazing that I couldn’t wait to get out there and run again … with no “million reasons” why I have better things to do than run? Wouldn’t that be pretty darned cool?
The Mini-List for Body Compassion
Blog posts are always great for lists. Here’s a list of five things to do that will make you feel better about your body:
All of these contribute to positive self-esteem and will improve how you feel about your body. But that’s just scratching the surface. Our relationship with our bodies is so personal. Those negative messages in our head were put there by the circumstances of our lives. A myriad of moments create our history: a negative parent, a bad moment with a boyfriend, family dinners where your plate better be clean, cooking as a way to share love. You have your own. I guess all I can really say is be kind to yourself.
Here’s what I find myself doing … the negative thoughts will start, almost subconscious. I barely realize they’re there. Then I notice them and have to shake it off. I’ve started taking the negative to the extreme so it becomes silly. A laugh always seems to shut out the stinkin’ thinkin’. Here’s what I mean:
Lisa, seriously, your butt. What are you doing? Nothing but veggies for you today.
This turns into … Yep, the biggest butt around. Bigger than JLo’s butt, waaaay bigger. Bigger than a Kardashian. Bigger than Momma’s butt on “The Carol Burnett Show,” bigger than the whole state of New Jersey … That butt’s so big you should be making money off of it on a reality show or something … At this point I start giggling and remind myself I’m doing all the right things and let it go.
How about you? What do you do when you’re having a bad body day? I think it happens to the best of us. I’d love to hear your stories.