1. Respect your body, even if you do not like it. You have people in your life that you don’t like but you still treat with respect. Give your body the same respect even if you are not a fan of it at the moment. Everyone has a bad body image day (week, month…); it is normal. Your body can serve you better when you treat it with respect instead of constantly trash talking it.
2. Shift to saying “I feel…” vs “I am…” The difference between saying “I am…” vs “I feel…” has a ginormous impact on how our brain fires. Saying “I feel” is respectful honesty so you can assess how to care for yourself. Saying “I am…” is a judgement, shaming and disrespectful.
3. Stop the compare game. Nobody wins. This is tricky as our brains like to assess threats, and these days the threat is not just looking for life + death dangers but also assessing who is prettier, stronger, thinner, smarter, funnier, etc. Doing your work to bench negative emotion helps you manage vulnerability and keep the compare game from wreaking havoc on your self-worth while staying connected.
4. Take a break from the scale. If your mood + self worth are negatively impacted after you weigh yourself, take a break from the scale. I dare you.
5. Stop the negative body talk. Similar to #1 but a slightly different take.. Talking negatively about your own body and the bodies of others can add to the toxic noise in between your ears and in your community. Negative body talk increases anxiety, depression, and disconnection. Let words that are life-giving and that build up be a priority in your discourse. This is a quick way to turn down the volume on your inner drill sergeant. You have a powerful voice, whether you believe it or not, so use it with caution+respect.
6. (re) define how you give compliments. Instead of telling someone she looks amazing after she lost weight or how good she looks in her jeans, talk about her smile, the color of her shirt, her generous spirit, her faithfulness. Do not underestimate the negative effect a well-intentioned compliment about looks, food, etc. can have on those around you. You just do not know how it will be taken, so why risk hurting someone? Start a compliment revolution and notice the awesome ripple effect.
7. Wear clothes that fit YOUR body and that you love wearing. Feeling comfortable in your skin requires wearing clothes that fit you well and you enjoy wearing. Note: You have just been encouraged to shop. Go! (But stay within your budget+do not let this be an excuse to spend money you do not have in your account.)
8. Move. Mild to moderate activity five days a week can have a marked impact on your mood, wellness, and sense of worth. Be safe. Check with your MD before starting anything new. Stretch. Walk. Skip. Sweat. Just move.
9. Re-evaluate your social support. Spend your time with safe people who build you up, support you, and bring out the best in you. Connection with safe people is medicine for the soul. The act of being seen and understood is a love bomb that quickly shifts your focus from your perceived body flaws to positive engagement.
10. Take a media fast. See #3. Try it for a week. I double dare you.
11. Start a gratitude practice. I have to confess, I was very cynical about this whole gratitude practice thing and thought it was trendy, surface, and not effective. Then I read the research, felt the call on my heart, and started my own gratitude practice. I was completely convicted + convinced. My faith + my mentors challenged me in my practice and now I am challenging you. When you are intentional about what you are grateful for, your brain fires differently, your mood lifts, your priorities + purpose stay clear, and you are able to bench joy without waiting for the other shoe to drop. A gratitude practice is a flu shot for shame storms.
12. Fill your awake time with play + creativity. Your soul is dulled by monotony, fear, shoulds, and have tos. Push back at unhealthy perfectionism which is a buzz-kill on your desire to play and create. Start without worrying about finishing or how you look. Get silly. Paint. Draw. Craft. Write. Play catch. Swing. Your soul craves it and your well-being needs it.
13. Rest. We are one tired nation with pretty crappy sleep hygiene. When your brain is robbed of rest, you compromise all aspects of your well-being. Set a regular bed time + wind down ritual and stop drinking caffeine after noon. Activity, nourishment, and social support all play a role in your quality of sleep, so take an inventory of these areas if you are struggling with getting the quality sleep you need. If you have sleep issues, get a physical and assess how your body is functioning. Yoga, massage, acupuncture, and prayer are important calming skills to help your nervous system recalibrate.
What action step are you going to take to help you feel more comfortable in your skin?
What would you add to this list?
Cheering you on –