God, if this isn’t a relevant topic for literally anyone on earth, I don’t know what is. I was inspired to write this because lately I have found myself and the people close to me believing negative body thoughts and struggling with perception and self worth . If you are going through it too, you are not alone and this post is for you.
Everyone I know- old, young, rich, poor- struggles with self image or insecurities of some kind. Even the 70+ year old women in my life still speak negatively about their weight or their face or their bodies. We truly will never stop caring, and how we view and talk to ourselves will not stop mattering.
I know that a lot of my readers come to me for weight loss advice, but this work- the work on your body image and relationship with yourself- is where the mental weight loss begins. These are the heaviest pounds to lose but also the most transformative.
First, let me reiterate that simply losing weight doesn’t. solve. anything.
Please save yourself so much disappointment and confusion and realize that happiness and validation do not come from a number on the scale. The world does not change because you are now in a smaller body. You are not suddenly more worthy because you are in a smaller jean size.
You are 100% worthy & lovable by design- not decision.Brooke Castillo
If you think about it, when we want to lose weight or change our body in some way, it isn’t necessarily for the specific result. We don’t want to lose weight just for the hell of it. We crave these changes because of the way we think we will feel– in the size 2 jeans, with the perfect glowing skin or long shiny hair.
We want to lose the weight because we believe we will feel happy, lovable and worthy when we do. We think there is something wrong with how we are right now.
We want to feel good and happy and acceptable- and we believe those thoughts and feelings will come naturally if we change ourselves.
I think this has a lot to do with social media. As we scroll, we see thin person after thin person, some on a yacht in Tahiti with their successful partner and immediately assume their life is perfect. According to their Instagram they are happy all the time, traveling for living, rich and hey, they are also thin and get millions of likes. We have subconsciously confused thinness for happiness. Thinness for success. Thinness for validation.
There is no shame in being that girl on a yacht living her best life, but there also is no shame in being you.
Comparison is the death of happiness.
If you are struggling with self love or are finding yourself crippled with self loathing or negative body thoughts- you are not alone.
For my entire life I have thought I was too fat, too tall, too this and not enough that. A lot of times I thought I was simply not enough, and I played so small in life because of it. And while that all feels so real and true, we as humans have the gift of questioning.
We get to question our thoughts and chose new ones if we want. We get to learn new ways of viewing the world and our place in it. We get to change and evolve as many times as we want to find the place that we are happiest.
So, what if sometimes your brain is just wrong?
What if all the negative thoughts you have been believing are actually just a massive thought error. Really consider, what if it’s all just wrong?
What if I am enough and you are enough, no matter what? What if you are lovable and worthy right now in this moment, despite your harshest critics or childhood traumas?
What if the happiness you think you can only experience after you lose the weight, meet the guy or get the job, is actually available to you right now?
Thoughts are just sentences in our head. Some we believe, some we don’t. It really is that boring and neutral. They are just words. We think things and we either accept them or we argue with them. We chose to give our body thoughts the power to derail and discourage us.
But if we want, we could also chose ones that empower us.
To start shifting your perception of your body and self worth, you must be open to releasing a lot of toxic, habitual thoughts that have allowed you to play small and hide from your life.
You may find yourself clinging to these old practiced thoughts because they are comfortable and easy. It is effortless for your brain to throw up these sentences and get you to stay home and not participate in life.
But I invite you to let these thoughts just be wrong. Please recognize that these thoughts are no more true than any other thought you could chose to think about yourself.
I’m not expecting anyone’s internal story to go straight from self hatred to self love overnight, but at least being willing to go to bat for the best version of yourself.
Stop, right now today, arguing for your negative story. Stop fighting against yourself and start going after what you really want. Stop insisting that negative and hurtful thoughts are true and start telling yourself there are other ways to look at things.
Perception really is reality.
Decide for yourself what is true and what is false. Stop blaming others for your own crappy self image and start taking full responsibility for yourself and your ability to change. Holding onto other peoples stories of us- real or made up in our own heads- is a complete waste of energy.
We will never know what others think of us, and really it is none of our business.
I have a close friend who endlessly worries that other people hate her or don’t want her around and I always ask her, “How much time in your day is spent thinking about other people and your thoughts about them?”
Usually less than 1%.
Really, we are not that concerned with other people. We are such a self involved species. Our days are completely consumed with our own thoughts about ourselves and our problems.
Even if we state an opinion about someone else, chances are we really don’t care too much. And the same goes for the way people think about you. Really and truly, no one cares or invests much time thinking about you.
No one cares if you are 15 pounds heavier or lighter, or if your make up looked like crap, or if your new haircut makes you look like a 12 year old boy. No one cares. And that is such liberating news.
If no one else opinion matters, or often even exists, you are free to define yourself on your own terms. Your self and your life can be determined entirely by you.
I know how hard it is to break free of negative self talk after years or even decades of thinking and believing the same things, but I promise you it is possible.
After losing weight, I realized my thoughts didn’t transform with my body. I still saw myself as an overweight and unattractive person. The old thoughts were still running even though I had achieved the thing that was supposed to fix everything.
Still to this day, I have thoughts that tell me I am too fat to wear that or be friends with those girls or take that photo- but I now realize it is just a thought error. My brain gets to be wrong, and I chose to believe a new thought.
I no longer fall victim to my own made up stories. I work my ass off to be my own cheerleader.
Some people may fear that if they become too confident they will be narcissistic or self absorbed, but I would argue just the opposite is true. REAL self love and confidence doesn’t say “I am better than everyone else,” it says “I am amazing, and so are they.”
When you are secure and filling up your own cup so to speak, you will have so much more love and acceptance to offer others. People who see beauty in themselves also have a greater capacity to see the beauty in those around them.
You will be able to drop jealousy and comparison and appreciate all humans for exactly what they are. All worthy and all lovable.
One of the simplest, and yet most challenging ways to begin believing new thoughts and transforming your own view of yourself, is to start taking care of you. And I don’t mean bubble bath and wine type self care, but really taking the time to meet yourself where you are at with compassion.
Real self care is feeling all of your emotions, correcting negative thoughts, getting enough sleep, eating whole foods, drinking water and investing time in the things that really matter to you.
The bottom line is that we see value in the things we take care of. Show yourself your true value in the way you show up for yourself and your goals.
The real secret to self love is not trying to become someone worth loving, but knowing you are already 100% lovable and 100% worthy. You already are enough.
All you have to do is start believing it.
An unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.Byron Katie
Because this is such an important topic, I wanted to provide a few more resources that have changed my life and body image. Below are just some of the amazing FREE resources out there that have really resonated with me & I know you will love them too!
The Work – Byron Katie
If you don’t know about Byron Katie, today is the freaking day! She is just amazing. If you really want to do a deeper dive into questioning your current thoughts, click here to visit her website and do The Work. You will not regret it.
Unf*ck Your Brain Podcast – Kara Loewentheil
Kara is all things body love and confidence at any size. She is great listen to get your mind right!