What if I told you that 80 percent of your thoughts on a daily basis were negative? Yep, that’s right. And what’s even more alarming is that we have the same exact negative thoughts the next day.
I used to absolutely hate my thighs. I would fixate on them in the mirror. I would squeeze my butt to make my legs look thinner. I would refer to them as thunder thighs. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I stopped the negative body talk.
When I give talks to high school women, I share my story about my thighs. I know they can relate to hating a body part. I explain how I learned to love my body slowly over time by choosing to focus on the things that I loved about my body. In the beginning I started with my eyes. I would stare into the mirror for a few minutes taking in the beauty of the color of my iris. The next week I focused on my ears. You get the idea, I started small and worked my way to the bigger body parts. It took time. I went slow. Instead of seeing the negative I started appreciating the things my body did for me. Over time, I stopped hating my thighs. I now secretly bless my thighs for helping me run half marathons.
At the end of my workshops I would ask the students to write a love letter to the body part that they don’t like. Within seconds pencils are racing writing, secretly admitting what they don’t like about themselves. The letters get folded up and put in an envelope for them to do with what they want. My suggestion is always rip it up or burn it, then show that body part some extra love. Smiles usually comes across their faces as they leave the room. I think once they realize that they aren’t alone with their negative feelings, they begin to feel more empowered. They see there’s always a choice to see more of the positive.
Challenge: So I challenge you too, to sit quietly for two minutes and write your body part a love letter.
You can redefine the things that make you feel good. You can even change the dialog with your body. It can be as simple as showing your body the love and respect “she” deserves. Why not start today? By tomorrow, you could have a whole new conversation.