Over the holidays I was looking through some women’s magazines and all those unavoidable photos of overly skinny women.
Before I knew it, the subliminal messages about how I “should” look entered my mind.
Now I obviously don’t have aspirations of looking like a model, but as I looked at those perfectly photo-shopped anorexic bodies, the little voice chimed in its 2 cents:
“You know, you really would look better if you just lost 10 pounds. If you could just get rid of that little bit of extra wiggle, then clothes would hang on you much better. And people would respect you more. And you’d be perceived as much more successful. So no more sugar, potato chips, or alcohol, or anything fun.”
It was at this point that I woke up and heard the voice. What, no wine?!?!
I have had to learn to pay attention to that voice, to shine a light on it and bring it into my awareness. Doing so has allowed me to transform it, mostly by counteracting it with positive thoughts. If I say the positive thoughts enough I start to believe them and feel them.
But saying positive things about my own body was very awkward at first. As women, we’re not supposed to do that. We’re trained from when we are very young that we are supposed to hate our bodies, and when a girlfriend says, “Oh I’ve gained weight!” we assume that’s a negative thing and try to make her feel better: “Well, I can’t see it.” Or we say something disparaging about our self: “Yeah, me too, I ate like a cow over the holidays”.
What would happen if instead you said, “Well I just love my tummy rolls and saddlebags!” I dare you to try it next time!
During these recent holidays, as I’ve filled my adorable tummy with all kinds of crazy things and watched it grow, I decided I needed to do something extra special to show it just how much I love it.
And in an effort to counteract all those magazine photos, here’s my 46 year old real woman tummy (with the henna still drying):
(I soooo see this becoming part of a SoulCollage® card!)
What part of your body do you need to love right now?