Do you compare yourself to others? Do you avoid looking in the mirror? Do you feel like your body is punishing you?
If you stop to think about it, the way we talk to ourselves is sad. So, so sad.
I do it too.
I’ve still got a lot of work to do, but here are five ways I manage negative self-talk. Improving your relationship with your body is vital for your health, confidence and happiness so I hope you find at least one way to feel better about your body in this article.
Number 5 is my favourite – be sure you check it out!
1. Stop looking at social media.
Your news feed is one of the most powerful influences on how you feel about yourself and your life. Whether you realize it or not, that photos stream of “perfect” bodies is making you feel worse about yourself. You may think they are inspiring but stop to consider how you really feel. Deep down – are you inspired or are you frustrated?
If you find yourself looking at those photos and wishing you could have a body like that, you’ll feel disappointed with your own body. One of the best things I’ve done is “unfollow” anyone who puts up these “inspiring” selfies. Now I only follow the hard out strength coaches and websites with quality information about training and nutrition. Hint – the best in the field rarely put out selfies. They usually put out a lot of short training videos and links to blog posts though.
Follow a few coaches who put out good quality information and unfollow the rest. Make your news stream a place for real motivation and inspiration.
Related Article: 4 Ways The Fitness Industry Fools You About Abs
2. Find a bigger, more compelling reason.
Why do you want to lose weight? Many women want to lose weight because of an upcoming milestone – a wedding, a birthday, or a holiday. These milestones can be highly motivating but usually these women will gain the weight back after the milestone passes. In fact, most people regain weight they’ve lost and many end up even heavier than before.
To prevent the seesaw of weight gain and loss, you need to find other things to focus on. Lose weight because you want to be healthier (have more energy, be more confident, age better, etc). The older I get, the more my motivation comes from wanting to age well. I train regularly and eat well because I still want to feel amazing 20 years from now.
It’s ok if you want to lose weight but you need some other reasons for what you are doing. When you have a bigger purpose, it’s more likely you’ll stick to the changes you’ve made. It’s not just about weight loss – it’s about becoming an all around better version of yourself.
3. Stop defeating yourself.
Eliminate self-defeating talk from your vocabulary. If it’s too hard to stop cold turkey, start by eliminating it when you are training. When you are in they gym, notice how often you say things like:
“I’ve never been able to (do pushups, etc)”
What the heck are you sorry about? There’s nothing sorry in trying to get stronger.
It will take a bit of effort to start noticing when you say these things and self-correct. Instead, you should try to think about how strong you are getting and how you are going to rock the exercise you are about to do.
Related Article: Stop Defeating Yourself With Negative Self Talk
4. Practice feeling beautiful.
When you look in the mirror, what kind of things to do you say to yourself? For many women, looking in the mirror is painful. There’s a lot of self-criticism. I see it everyday with the women I train. They try not to look in the mirror. Some actually tell me how much they dislike the mirror and it breaks my heart every time.
Women desperately need to change their mirror-talk.
You wouldn’t speak to a friend like that would you? Why do you allow yourself to talk to your body so negatively?
Instead of criticizing what you see there, focus on at least one thing you like about your body. Start noticing the changes you made from training rather than how far you have to go.
Every now and then tell your body it’s beautiful. Seriously. Just do it. Even if you aren’t happy about some aspect of your physique, I’m sure you can find something good to focus on. It’s also important to accept compliments from others. Often when you start training other people will notice muscles you’ve gained or weight you’ve lost and give you a compliment. Instead of deflecting it, thank them and savour it. Give yourself a pat on the back. That’s how you practice feeling beautiful.
5. Be gentle and patient. (My fave)
Remember, at any given time, your body is doing the best it can.
Your body isn’t punishing you or working against you. Your body is the result of your past actions and it’s taken years to get to this point.
Don’t be mad at your body when it doesn’t change overnight. Stop beating yourself up for not getting immediate results. Your body is doing the best it can with what you’ve given it in the past and what you are now giving it.
So many women are disconnected from their bodies. Some are even hateful about their bodies. If this sounds familiar, you need some quiet time with yourself. Sit or lay still and just experience your breath, your heart beat, how your skin feels. Your body does so many amazing things for you everyday that you don’t even think about.
If your body hurts, it doesn’t need anger, to be pushed harder or a pill. It needs care, rest and patience.
You only have one beautiful body. Love it, listen to it and be patient with it. It may take time to turn things around but if you treat your body like a partner rather than an enemy, it will happen.