Awareness is Key
There are many aspects that go into establishing a positive body image. Aspects like: how you talk to yourself, how you look at yourself in the mirror, how you dress yourself, how you touch yourself, how you talk to others about you, the list goes on and on. If we want to establish a healthier relationship with our bodies, we need to be aware of what we are telling ourselves. Remember when I wrote about the habit loop? Part of what determines our current state of self worth are the actions and thoughts we had yesterday or moments before. Over an extended period of time if you keep deciding to tell yourself you are fat and ugly in the mirror you will start to believe it. Like each pack of cigarettes it gets harder and harder to stop telling ourselves this story and over time it helps form the present belief “I am fat”. That is why we must make the choice to always be proactive in our own lives by being aware of the present moment and our actions with-in it.
So, today invite yourself to step into the world of awareness.
I invite you to change your lifestyle.
1. Practicing Acceptance through Mirror Work
I first started mirror work through the works of Louise Hay. This exercise changed my life. It woke up that awareness in me. This exercise allowed me to change the habit that lead to my belief that I was not worthy of ________.
“ It is so important to love yourself.
Mirror work can
help you build the most important
relationship of your life:
your relationship with yourself “
1. I want you to sit or stand in front of a full length mirror naked.
2. Look into your eyes and just become aware of the thoughts that enter your mind.
3. Begin to scan your body being aware of thoughts that pop up.
Never try to shun thoughts away or say “I’m bad for thinking that, I must really hate myself.” Instead just know they are there and move on to the next thought.
4. Compliment yourself on anything from appearance, action, belief, or thought.
My makeup is on point. I love how clean I’ve been keeping my room lately. I picked out a killer outfit for today. I love my eyes.
If you want an example on my experience with this challenge you can read my blog post HERE.
2. Set Aside Time To Gain Awareness
Setting aside time to gain awareness is vital in the beginning of learning to love yourself. Most of us are so busy that from the minute we wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed our daily “to- do” list consumes our thoughts. We have gotten in the habit of running on autopilot or pulling out our phones as a way of distraction. In the beginning of learning and adopting these self-love tools, I recommend setting aside specific times to be present.
Eat A Meal
Setting time aside to eat can be challenging. I know you work all day and the only time you can be on your phone socializing is the same time as lunch. What if I told you that by picking your meal you could spend less time doing cardio? Here is the thing when we work through our lunch break, or stalk your latest tinder crush you are limiting your body from reaching and optimal digestion environment… Simply put, you are robbing yourself of joy.
If your find yourself checking emails you are likely a little stressed out. Stress makes it harder for us to lose weight. It shunts blood to our limbs and brain to make fast decisions which robs it from your digestive tract. This in turn shunts digestion. The hormone cortisol increases which tells our body to hold onto fat storages. Not to mention… When you focus on your phone or emails you reach the end of the meal with out even realizing it. This joy sucking experience leaves you craving more food because, whoops, our brain didn’t get to visually focus on the volume of food you ate. The response time is a little delayed, so now you find yourself diving into your candy jar or work office holiday treats.
Pick a meal to practice awareness. Every time you eat is an opportunity to add more details to your food inventory database. Below are some things you can begin to become present with during the eating process.
7. Hunger level during meal
8. Toxic dietary beliefs that may enter your mind
9. Eating Speed
3. Clean Up Your Space
I am a firm believer that a messy life leads to a messy mind. It was not until I started to live on my own that I became aware of how messy I was. With roommates I always either considered it a lost cause to be clean or would find myself angry over who’s turn is was to empty the dishwasher. Once I lived on my own, I realized I needed a clean space for me. I laugh when I think back to all the times I would wash a glass because it was not my turn to empty the dishwasher. Truth is my life would have been so much more joyful if I would have just emptied the dishwasher.
For the last couple months I have had the luxury of meeting some very successful people and I realized something. They always prep for tomorrow, today. They make their space clean and ready for the next day. This is my routine. I make sure I have some meals prepared and ready to go, dishes put away, cat bowls cleaned and on counter, Keurig with clean mug and new coffee ready, counters wiped, living room throw blankets folded, cat box cleaned, and trash taken out. Some things get added when needed but mostly this all stays the same.
When we wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes and no clean mug for our desperately needed caffeine morning fix…. it pisses us off. I ask you to look at your life and try to find an example of this. If you want to be less stressed and create more positivity in your day make the promise to never go to bed until you complete the list.
4. Talk To Your Little Me
Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? I’ll be honest it didn’t matter if I was 100 lbs or 120 lbs… I was in a bad habit of looking at myself and repeating “You look good but, you have fucking thunder thighs”…. “Gross that zit makes you so ugly and it looks worse when you try to cover it up…you are ugly”. I am here to tell you that there is no diet that will make these words go away, they are insecurities with no easy fix.
I want you to practice talking to yourself like you would a friend or your child. You would not tell them as they get done sweating from a 60 minute workout that they are fat… you would say, “I’m so proud of you for getting through that workout and busting your butt.” You would not tell your child that her acne makes her ugly and unlovable. Stop treating yourself disrespectfully. You deserve a level of respect and it is time you start taking responsibly of that worth.
5. Establish a Self-Love Routine
All of these exercises are a way of inviting you back into yourself. My hope is for you is to not just to read this article and nod your head in agreement. It is my hope you take a stand for yourself into reclaiming your birth right. You have a right to feel good in your skin. Use these exercises to create your own self-love routine. I will be launching a Self-Love Challenge on January 1st, 2017. All you need to do to join the tribe is to click HERE.