“I hate my thighs!”
“Ugh. My stomach is disgusting.”
“I’m so freaking fat!”
Have you ever said anything even remotely resembling one of these remarks? It’s okay if you have. In fact, most of us have. But if you have, I want to ask you (beg you!) to stop.
Negative self-talk like this burrows itself deep into your subconscious and not only colors the way you see yourself, but trashes the way you appear to the world. It’s so incredibly damaging.
I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, dude. Easier said than done.” And I hear you. Body image issues are deeply, deeply rooted. But if this something you’ve been grappling with, I’d like you to try this out for me: The next time you catch yourself talking smack about your body, I want you to catch yourself. Catch yourself mid-thought and STOP. Just acknowledge the thought. From here, count backwards from three. Then replace that negative thought with a positive one.
Here’s what that might look like…
You’re fresh out of the shower one morning and walk into your room to start getting dressed for the day when you quickly catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror. You notice some belly fat. Your mind immediately jumps to some negative, damaging inner dialogue. This is the crucial moment. You’re going to catch yourself right now and count backwards. Then, you’ll choose to say something loving and positive to yourself.
If you’re wondering what the heck to say in that moment, try this: “I am incredibly grateful for my beautiful, strong body and its ability to support me in the pursuit of my dreams.”
Then you move forward with your day.
At first this is going to feel forced and maybe even a little silly. Anything new is a bit awkward at first, right? This is no different. You have to take control of your thoughts and purposefully redirect them into positive, loving statements that support and nurture you, instead of tear you down.
Here’s something else that might help. If ever you catch yourself calling yourself “fat,” remember: You’re not fat. You’re not. YOU are not fat. You have fat.
You’d never call yourself “fingernail” or “kneecap,” would you? “Ugh! I’m so fingernail!” Sounds ridiculous, right? Of course it does! But fundamentally speaking, it’s no different than calling yourself fat.
You have fingernails, but that doesn’t dictate your identity, right? Nope—because you haven’t been conditioned to feel ashamed of them. Fat is something you have. Not something you are.
It’s time to release the shame and embrace your greatness. And that starts by taking control of your thoughts. From this day forward, you’re going to take a pledge to actively try to stop talking smack about yourself.
Let’s dial up the self-love! And remember, you’re working out because you love your body. Not because you hate it. You’re sweating and changing your diet to help your body be its healthiest and strongest to build yourself up, to be able to embrace every moment of life, and to feel GOOD.