Have you ever done any of the following:
- Looked at some fashion magazine and wished you had a body just like certain models do.
- Found yourself being envious of your skinny friend and wishing you could be the same.
- Looked in the mirror and truly hated how certain body parts look like on you.
If you answered yes to any of the above, do not worry you are not alone. Most of us looked in the mirror, saw and found something that we do not like. Even when we say to ourselves that we are happy and that we should not compare ourselves to others, negative thoughts are often more powerful than all that. Why? Because we have no concrete ways to resist this way of thinking.
1. Noticing – You can not change the things you do not notice, start paying attention to your thoughts. Be aware of everything what comes on your mind during the day. Notice only conversations and behaviors that restrict you and make you feel bad. Listen to the negative patterns in your head. Is it often the same things? Write them down. It is possible that you are unconsciously ‘feeding’ yourself with thoughts such as: I’m fat, ugly, nobody likes me because I look like this – Noticing these negative thoughts is the first step to change.
2. Stop these negative thoughts – your own and others – If you are surrounded by women who like to talk negatively about your or someone else’s appearance or weight, stop them and tell them something like: ‘It is not interesting how often, whenever we women get together, the conversation has to include the word ‘fat’ – we are a successful, smart, beautiful women, and this ‘fat’ thing is what we usually deal with?
3. Pay attention to the triggers – If the television, the Internet, social media, fashion industry, nutrition or magazines bring up your negative feelings or feelings of inferiority, avoid them, at least for a while.
4. Functionality and the positive sides of the body – Move the focus from the appearance of your body to its functionality and all the fantastic things you can do with it. Instead of saying – ‘I hate my thighs’, ask yourself – What are all the things that I can do with my feet/legs? They can walk, run, dance – When you start to think about yourself and speak positively in terms of what your body can actually do, you will start to change the mind and your body. Identify and focus more on the body parts you like about yourself – whatever it is – the chest, shoulders, buttocks, arms. Look yourself in the mirror and say aloud something like – ‘my butt looks great in those jeans’, then you will start to believe it and actually really feel that way.
5. Do not try to be perfect: instead practice to accept the way you are. Stop judge yourself based on your appearance. Each person is worth much more than how much we weight on the scale – rather focus on their strengths and positive qualities. Do not be stuck in the mentality of the victims. ‘Poor me’ syndrome is the one that keeps you stuck and unhappy in life.