3 Things To Improve Your Body Image

Calling all women to talk about themselves differently

I don’t usually like to assume, however, I’m pretty sure I can assume that every woman reading this blog speaks about their looks and/or body negatively. Some more than others – but all of us privately or publicly tear ourselves down.

Every time I walked by the mirror, saw someone with a ‘better’ body than me, and – at one very dark season of life – I spoke such hurtful words to myself every time I ate.

I don’t do that anymore and my health – mentally and physically has been transformed. It all starts with realizing the impact of our words.

The Impact of Words

Our words hold in their power, life or death. We are either speaking life over ourselves and others or we are speaking harm (death) over ourselves and others.

The hurtful words we speak about and to ourselves impact more than just our own image, health, and confidence. It impacts our appearance to others, our energy, and even our young impressionable pre-teen daughters. Honestly, if I didn’t see the change in my daughter’s self-talk more to negativity – I probably wouldn’t have been stirred to change or be aware of how toxic my comments were to myself.

Prior to the awareness of my negative self-talk, I was tired, felt sick often, and spent many days wondering why my metabolism wasn’t doing its job. Then I learned that my negative self-talk was literally ‘killing’ me slowly. I had spoken so poorly to my body for so many years that it was just giving into the ‘shame’ I kept putting on it.

I was in a constant state of fight or flight.

This state of fight or flight is a good thing if it comes and goes like it’s supposed to. Like if we are being chased by a bear and the bear finds a fish instead – were safe we can relax. 🙂

But with constant pressure and shame from my words and expectations, (not to mention the world of wife/mom/work demands) I stayed in this constant state of stress. That’s too much for our bodies to handle!!!!!!

Therefore it shuts down.

It stops processing food as it should, extreme fatigue kicks in and with so many negative hormones coursing through our veins – sickness is the result. Like any poison running through our body, our poisonous words are just as harmful.

So, how do we stop this negative pattern? This is what I did, maybe it will help you too!

Begin Healing with these 3 Things Today

  1. Stop the negative words before they come out and replace them with positive ones: I used to walk past the mirror and think “you are so fat and gross” (as I write that, I shake my head at the sadness of these words). I started by stopping the words before they come out and instead told myself I was beautiful and strong (even if I didn’t believe it). In about a month, I started believe it and it’s been a good year or two and I don’t think negative about my body anymore – I love it just as is – a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.
  2. Thankfulness instead of frustration/fatigue: When I feel tired, annoyed, frustrated, sad… I thank God for energy, patience, gentleness… Even if I don’t feel at the start of the ‘thankfulness’ I do by the end. I started practicing this when I was getting back into exercise. As I was running and hating every step, I started thanking God for the legs that can run. For their strength. For my heart to beat faster, my breath to supply oxygen. It’s amazing what happens when we choose thankfulness in the midst of struggle – it gives us the tools we need to press on and overcome – to become stronger – to be a light!
  3. There is no failure – only feedback and growth – Life is a series of choices. Sometimes we make good choices, sometimes we make foolish ones. But, none of them are as life or death as I made them out to be. No one expects our perfection, except for us (and those judgmental people, but we don’t care what they think anyway). Every time I would start to shame myself for eating a huge piece of cake or eat till I was so stuffed and wished I would have stopped sooner. Every time I wanted to tell myself I was stupid for something. I stopped and accepted my choice and if I didn’t like it, I thought “I’ll choice different next time because I don’t like this feeling right now”. Removing the shame from myself and looking at life as a series of lessons freed me to grow and change and lead by example.

In applying these habits I don’t struggle with extreme fatigue much anymore. My metabolism is doing its job and with the positive words I speak over myself, my confidence, energy, and passions increase my success in all areas of life.

My prayer for all of you is that you start to initiate these three things into your life and see the freedom come and your health improve!

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