If you want to start feeling better about yourself and your body, then you must start speaking better about yourself and your body.
The words you use to describe yourself are having an effect on how you look, how you perceive how you look, and how others perceive you.
Your words have huge power, and most people do not have an awareness of this. You may not have an awareness of this power.
I used to talk smack about my body all.the.time.
"Ugg, I hate my thighs."
"My stupid body, I hate how my stomach jets out."
"Why am I alllwwaaayyysss sick, my body sucks."
Round and round it went.
And honestly? There was nothing wrong with the way that I looked.
I was cute. I was curvy. I had nice hair and big blue eyes. But I could not see any of that, nor could I talk about any of that. All I could see were my perceived flaws, and I just kept picking myself apart day after day. This way of thinking essentially stole my entire High School experience from me, because I was pretty much always obsessing over something negative about my body. This stayed with me all the way through my early adult hood.
I reached the absolute bottom of my body hate barrel by the time I was 22. Here is what I looked like:
At this point, my stomach literally flipped over every time I saw myself in the mirror. I weighed myself every day and was constantly trying to figure out how to eat differently to help me lose weight. I was exercising like a maniac because I wanted to be skinny and toned. What I saw in the mirror was fat - and what I said about myself was that I was fat. Over and over and over again.
I was also that girl that everyone knew hated her body.
People expected that when they talked to me we would at some point discuss how horrific my body was. They knew that this would be an inevitable portion of any and all interactions they would have with me. I honestly just could not stop talking about how much my body was not what I wanted it to be.
Then, one day I realized that this was not the person I wanted to be. I did not want to be the sad, negative, body image issue girl.
I wanted to help people get OVER their body image issues, and I knew I could not do that having not dealt with my own. I looked back and realized that I had been dealing with the same body image issues for my entire adolescence and into my adult hood, so it was clearly not going to be going away with time. In that moment I decided to stop speaking negatively about my body. I knew the thoughts would still be there, and the urge to corral others into a conversation about my body would still be there, but I knew that continuing on with these patterns was not going to serve me long term. I cut myself off from negative body talk cold turkey.
I then drew up an image in my mind of the person that I wanted to be. Someone comfortable in her own skin, who only spoke positively about herself and her body. Someone who encouraged others to love their bodies, because I loved mine so much.
At first it was hard and uncomfortable. There were days where all I wanted to do was whine to someone about my belly, my arms, my stupid thighs. But I didn't. I didn't feel like I had changed into that body confident person I wanted to be, but I was acting like I had. I continued acting as though I was the person I wanted to be, until eventually it started to feel natural.
Then low and behold, my body started changing. About a year after I stopped shaming myself, my body started to look the way I had always wanted it to.
Of course I did other work within myself to get here too. But it was the changing how I spoke about myself that was the catalyst, that I want you to take on for yourself.
Now, I know that most people are not as extreme as I used to be. That being said, body shaming - self body shaming - is now almost considered a social norm, something to be expected in every day conversation. I can ease drop on any group of women and hear someone saying something negative about how they look.
We basically have a society that not only sits around nit picking and outwardly and inwardly criticizing one another, we inwardly and outwardly pick ourselves apart.
Honestly? It is time to stop.
The truth is, your body is amazing. It is a miracle and there are a million things that you could pick that demonstrates how incredible your body is. But if you can't 'feel' that right now, that is OK.
Start with faking it till you make it. Paint your own picture of how you would like to be. How you would like to feel in your body, how you would like to speak about your body, how you would like others to speak about your body.
Then start walking it out.
It will be weird and uncomfortable and strange at first, and that is OK. Do it anyway. This is what will move you towards the person you want to be.
In the process, you will learn to love and respect your body - and yourself - more. That is what really matters at the end of the day. Whether your body physically changes or not is not important. The thing that matters is that your MIND will change. How you feel will change.
You will feel better.
Speak about yourself as you want to be.
No more smack talk about you. You are awesome, and no one has the right to talk about you that way, not even you.