A good friend of mine tells me every day I am fat. She said that I wasn’t worth anything and that I would never amount to anything. She told me to stop trying because I was never going to achieve my weight loss goals. She criticized everything I did and everything I ate. She even went as far to tell me I was ugly. She points out my rolls and criticizes everything about me.
You’re probably sitting there thinking that this person is a horrible person and that I should cut this person from my life. You’re absolutely right. This person has no business being in my life with that negative talk.
What if I told you that person was me?
Every day we are careful about the things that come out of our mouths and what we say to each other. But what about what we say to ourselves? I thought of this recently as I heard a friend of mine equate herself to a baby (insert large animal’s name). It made me really sad. This friend of mine L is gorgeous (my boyfriend thinks she is too). She’s tall, beautiful, has amazing curves, has Goldilocks-like curls, and an amazing voice. When I first met her, I admired her confidence and her ability to be comfortable in her skin. The first time I heard her call herself a baby (insert large animal’s name) it made me incredibly sad. It was almost as if she were calling me that.
Same goes for my friend B. B is beautiful, has a kind heart, is generous, and strong. If it weren’t for her, I would never make it to the gym in the morning. She’s extremely committed to her health and working out. She’s so committed that she’s even inspired her boyfriend to lose 60 pounds. When B was training last summer, she inspired me to push myself…to the point where I signed up for boot camp because I wanted to change my life like she has. But according to B, she has fallen off the wagon. She not only feels uncomfortable and unattractive (which is so not true) but she tells people that she is. She makes jokes about her weight or her inability to stop eating.
Sometimes we make degrading comments about ourselves because we want affirmations saying the opposite. Other times, we think if we say it first no one else will say it (to us…at least). Sometimes it just may be true that you’ve put on a few pounds and the only way to deal/cope is to crack jokes. But after hearing my beautiful friends talk this way about themselves, I realized it’s not funny at all. If I heard them say these things about themselves once, then there is no doubt in my mind that a million people have heard me something negative about myself. (Gee, I wonder what they think of me now that I think of it) What if one of those people was my niece? Eight year old Jen looks up to me and copies everything I do: how I wear my hair, what jewelry I wear, nail polish, phrases I say… I do NOT want Jen to learn this bad habit from me! I want her to be confident in her body, play sports and have a healthy relationship with food. I want her to be confident and strong. I don’t want her to hear me being mean to myself and then allow herself, or even others, to be mean to her.
I don’t respond to meanness. Who does, right? I’m less likely to do something if someone is mean to me. I’ll do the complete opposite of what that person wants me to do…just to piss them off. I shut down.
Is that how our bodies respond too? Does my body refuse to change just to piss me off? I respond best to encouragement at work and other things, why wouldn’t my body be the same? What would happen if I started say kind things to my body? Would it start to work with me rather than against me in achieving my weight loss goals? Would it actually be kind back?
I’m going to test this theory. For every negative thought that I catch, I will thank my body by saying something kind. Starting with today to make up for everything negative I’ve said in my life…
Dear Body, thank you for getting up this morning to go to the gym. It sucked getting up early, but I felt strong afterwards and ready to take on the day. I feel alive! Forgive me for being so mean. I’m working on it. Thanks for being so patient with me all these years. I promise I’m changing for the better. I hope to make you proud. – g
Did you say something negative about yourself today? If so, leave a comment with a positive note to your body. It will thank you for it.