Do you feel disappointed or unhappy with your body? Do you hate how it looks (or parts of it)? Does your inner mean girl speak up on a regular basis, filling your mind with negative, body shaming thoughts?
I did too. I would look at my body in the mirror, and instantly feel deflated. I would eat all the ‘right’ things, exercise hours a day, took diet pills…I even got down to my “ideal weight”…but nothing changed how I felt about my body or myself.
Ultimately I realized it didn’t end up working because I wasn’t focused on the right thing: the root cause.
I tried to fix my unhappiness with my body the way most people do: by focusing on fixing the symptom = what my body looked like. But at the end of the day, it’s never really about our body.
By identifying and going after the root cause, you can start to make a shift. That shift will spark changes in your mind, body, and habits you might not have thought were possible!
External Influences & Standards
Disappointment or hate toward your body can stem from comparing yourself to something externally, or some standard you have set for yourself. If you don’t match up to whatever it is you think you should or wish you did look like, it breeds negative feelings which triggers unproductive actions.
It stems from a learned mindset, a learned ‘standard,’ and it’s likely having more of a negative impact on your health, body, happiness, and choices than you realize.
I mean if you grew up on a desert island and the only body you saw was yours, you had no influence by the media, society, or anyone/thing – you wouldn’t think twice about what your body looked like! Kids aren’t self-conscious about their chubby bellies or leg rolls, and we don’t love them any less because of it.
Remind yourself comparison and judgment of yourself and others is a recipe for unhappiness. You are your own person, own who you are, we are all perfectly imperfect. Practice releasing the standards, the ‘made-up’ rules, and start to just notice or love on other peoples’ bodies instead of comparing or judging them.
You Focus on the Negative
The fastest way to get what you don’t want is by focusing on what you don’t want. When reality does not match your thoughts or perceptions, your brain will do everything it can to resolve the inconsistency.
So instead of spending your time tearing apart what you don’t like or are unhappy with about your body, focus on anything (big and small) you are grateful for about your body, what you do like or don’t mind. It will attract more of that positive.
Have a goal of working toward acceptance, accepting that this is your body, the only one you’ll have, and there’s no way to magically change it right now. As humans, we naturally want to take care of what we care about, so this will help move you in that direction to make things easier.
Happiness is a package deal. If you’re unhappy with an area of your life, it can be second nature for your brain to project it on your body.
For example, when I find myself thinking negatively about my body, 9 times out of 10 I can trace it back to something else in my life I’m unhappy with…or stressed, anxious, or feel out of control with. By shining the light on this deeper cause, we’re able to separate it from our body and address the real issue.
Scale Let Down
By weighing ourselves each morning, it’s common to get SO caught up in the number on the scale and let it subconsciously fuel that shame voice in the back of our head, I call it your inner mean girl.
She takes that number and tells us things like we’re fat or not worthy. Ultimately it’s that number on the scale that dictates our thoughts and how we feel about ourselves. It is in no way a reflection of us as a person or our health.
The fix here is easy ladies – ditch the scale! Start your day with something positive and upliving like a gratitude practice.
After scrolling on social media, have you ever felt envious, fat, weak, unluckly, jealous, angry, frustrated, or sad?
Comparing your life to someone else’s likely staged and photoshopped highlight reel is another recipe for unhappiness.
Change your environment to match your goals. Destroy, get rid of, de-friend, unfollow anything or anyone that gives you the slightest pang of insecurity or makes you feel you need to change your body’s appearance to be as happy as they appear.
I’m not here to say those “I hate my body moments” will go away forever, BUT they can happen WAY less often, and have WAY less of an impact on your life when they do pop up here and there.
This is hard! It takes time, consistency, patience, self-compassion, but it’s so worth it. We take care of what we love and respect, and what’s important to us. Make your body one of those things. Love your body, and it’ll love you back!!
If you want to start silencing your inner mean girl and learn more about how this might be keeping you stuck (feeling the need for accountability, motivation, and to ‘just work harder!’) check out my free 5 Day Challenge!