I’m interested – How do you speak to, or about, your body?
At the end of last year I noticed my relationship with my body had shifted in a way I wasn’t liking. I found myself trying to squeeze into jeans commenting the whole time on how ‘big’ I was getting, I’d poke the little ‘muffin top’ that was forming and compare myself to my 20-year old self, I’d even sometimes meanly squeeze the areas on my thighs that were starting to dimple. This carried on for a few months before I finally pulled myself up. Because the way I was speaking to my body, and how I was describing it to others, wasn’t nice.
I would never speak to someone else that way, and I’d never encourage my clients or loved ones to make changes in their lives through berating themselves.
So why would I accept anything else when it comes to me?
Going through this was a reminder that we can easily slip on supporting ourselves in the ways we would support others. Being harsh about your body, your work, your skillsets, your health, your life… isn’t a successful tactic. In fact, you’ll find the more critical you are, the more difficult it is to make a lasting change in your life, as criticism is always driven out of fear and unchecked limiting beliefs.
So my invitation for you my love, if you find yourself speaking or thinking harshly about yourself is to stop, take a breath, and ask:
- Would I speak like this to someone I love or respect?
- Would I ever try and support someone in making a healthy change in this way?
- What needs to shift here, in regards to how I speak to/about myself, moving forward?
I made a promise to never say a negative word about my body again, I only speak to it from a place of gratitude. If I catch myself doing it, I stop and change up my language right then and there.
Instead of focusing on what I can’t physically do, I focus on where I’m developing more strength and what I’ve improved on recently.
Rather than forcing my body to move a certain way, I focus on what feels good – choosing movement that brings me joy, that motivates me to keep showing up, and that empowers me as a woman.
Rather than forcing my body to ‘look’ a certain way, I checked in with my beliefs around what a grown woman’s body means to me. I stopped comparing my adult body to my pre-adolescent body, I got rid of old clothes that no longer fitted my new shape, and I consciously reviewed what fitness or health accounts I was letting influence my perspective of a ‘healthy’ body.
In doing so I can honestly say I haven’t said or thought a disrespectful thing towards my body since. I’ve found a new sense of appreciation and love for it, and as a result of listening to it and supporting it in a more loving way, I feel more in tune and at home within my skin.
AND I truly believe if we all reassessed the way we spoke about ourselves, particularly our bodies, we would encourage those around us to do the same. Shifting the way women’s bodies are seen and discussed within our social groups and wider media.