We live in a society where judgment of others’ physique comes quickly + easily. So much so we don’t even realize we are doing it half the time. It often hinders many of us from truly feeling comfortable in our own skin.
How often do you find yourself judging your body when you are in the shower? “Where the heck did this FUPA belly come from?” Or how about when you are putting on clothes in the morning. “Why do I have such scrawny legs and little bee stings for breasts?” Or what about when you are out for a walk? “How the hell does she have such a perfect body?!” How about when you are brushing your teeth? “Why can’t I have perfectly white Chiclet teeth like that girl I saw on my Instagram feed today?” And maybe it’s not bashing yourself but you are putting down others to build yourself up…“That girl should NOT be wearing a midriff top! I would never do that if I weight what she weighed!”
You probably don’t even realize how much negative self-talk and comparison you are having with yourself because it just seems normal and “that’s just life!” But let me tell you…life can be so much better when you take time to learn to love and feel comfortable in the skin you are in! It’s not about finding the perfect diet or workout or outfit. It’s about retraining your thoughts about yourself! Keep reading below for six ways to feel more comfortable in your own skin.
1. Create Ladder Thoughts.
What are ladder thoughts? Well, it’s about progressing from the negative thought into a more positive thought about yourself in a gradual progression that is more realistic. You aren’t going to be able to go from “My thighs are huge + create all this chub rub!” to “I have beautiful thighs!” and actually believe it. Try switching to “I have human thighs.” You can believe that, right? It takes away the negative connotation while also keeping it realistic + believable for yourself. Practice saying that to yourself every time you go to be cruel to your body and how it looks, and it will start to become your default thinking about your thighs. And as you progress, you might find it eventually believable that you “have strong thighs that carry and support my body.” and maybe ultimately, “My thighs f*ckin’ rock!” Take those baby steps to create those lasting new thoughts.
2. Practice Healthy Mantras.
When you find yourself starting to default to those negative feelings throughout the day, it can be very helpful to practice saying healthy mantras to refrain your thoughts which will produce more pleasant feelings. I know personally when I go out for runs or walks I find my thoughts drifting to wishing I looked as good as she does in that workout gear or I wish I wasn’t so heavy so I could run as fast and far as she does. Why am I being so mean to myself?! But then one day on a walk I was listening to a podcast with Kara Loewentheil and she mentioned about how she started saying, “All Humans Suffer” and it really clicked for me! Yeah, that girl may look amazing in her yoga pants, six-pack abs, and sports bra, but I don’t know what kind of suffering she is dealing with outside of her run. Maybe she’s got a terrible job she hates or an abusive partner. I don’t know and I can’t assume that just because she has a “better body” that she has a better life. Her looks did not determine her worth and your looks don’t determine yours.
3. Practice Body Gratitude
I have always been one that wanted to work out so I could “lose weight” “have smaller thighs” “have a flatter stomach” “look good in a bikini” and so on and so on. I basically was bashing my body every time I worked out or went on a diet. But then I had a therapist ask me to put a positive spin on it. “I workout so I can lift heavy things”. Or “I eat healthily so I can live longer and have more energy”. By practicing gratitude and not focusing on “punishing” your body but rewarding it and having it reward you, you will find your workouts more enjoyable + and your meals more delicious!
4. View your thoughts about yourself from an outside viewpoint
Would your friend ever talk to you the way you talk about yourself? Would your bestie come up to you and say, “No man is ever going to like you with your flat chest!”? Most definitely not! And if she did, I’d reconsider her as a friend! So with that being said, stop being so cruel to yourself! Think about the way your closest friends and family think about you and how much they love you just the way you are. Give yourself some of that same love and compassion. Also, realize from this exercise that your thoughts about yourself are NOT facts as much as they really, really feel like they are. Facts are neutral. Your chest measuring 34 inches is a fact that you can measure. You being “flat-chested” is your thought about yourself. Someone else can look at you and think you have beautiful perky boobs! You may not agree. You have varying thoughts on the same subject and both are just each of your chosen thoughts. That means you have the ability to change your thinking and see yourself in a more positive perspective and make that your new “truth”!
5. Avoid trying to seek validation from others or live up to their expectations.
You don’t need to lose 20 lbs for a guy to prove yourself lovable. You don’t need to strength train twice a day to prove yourself as being athletic and worthy of being a member of your gym. Nor do you need to have your lover tell you you are hot every day. You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone or be reaffirmed that you are worthy. Their thoughts about you do not create your feelings about yourself. It’s YOUR thoughts about THEIR thoughts that create your feelings. You can’t jump into their mind and feel their feelings, the only feelings you feel are the ones produced by your own thoughts. So the only way to find validation to your worthiness is to find it within yourself! Then you can tell that guy asking you to lose weight to fuck off because you are the bomb. dot com!
6. Evaluate your environment.
I will fully admit I used to be super guilty of putting myself in environments that condone self-pity. When I wanted to lose weight, I’d follow fitness accounts on Instagram or pull up photos of beautiful women whose physique I envied as motivators. But honestly? It just made me feel slighted and miserable because I never felt like I was able to achieve their greatness. So I changed things. I unfollowed the people that caused me to create unrealistic goals for myself and started following people that had similar physiques and mindsets as me. I wanted to create the new norm in my own mind of what I saw as the socially acceptable majority. (So that meant less Kardashian, more Renaissance Era woman for me!) I also made sure that I let go of the “negative Nancy types” and surrounded myself with women that supported me and cheered me on no matter what.
This means for you, that you are spending more energy on those that get your struggles and are relatable, and less energy on getting mad at the people that you feel are fat-phobic if you are a curvy gal. It means finding your allies. We all want to feel loved and accepted and when you surround yourself with those positive people and influences you will feel like the most fly Beesh around! And I hope you come a-knockin’ on my door to get your sexy boudoir shoot on the calendar because you will be ready for that much needed empowering experience to remind yourself you are worthy and beautiful just the way you are! #BeBoldHer
Have any tips or ways that you personally have grown to feel more comfortable in your own skin?
Drop a comment below so we can share + continue to support each other. Or if you have any questions for me, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org