“My legs are like overstuffed sausages.”
“I hate my wrinkles.”
“I’ll be much happier when I lose those 12 pounds.”
HERE’S THE DEAL….
With approximately 60,000 thoughts daily, and most of them cyclical and negative, it’s really no surprise that we beat ourselves up for the silliest of little things, negatively talk ourselves into a corner, and generally hold ourselves to perfect and impossible standards. Social media doesn’t help! At the end of the day, you’re left with an overwhelmingly negative self-image.
I know, because I do it too! I’m the first to admit, I’ve gone through many years of learning to love myself, and somedays, I still wake up – or go to bed – feeling self-loathe.
I’m pretty convinced negative self-image is woven into a female’s fabric. We are experts at negativity…Never good enough. High standards. And the mindset of self-loathe. It’s no way to live and it has exceptionally destructive consequences, especially with health and happiness.
NEGATIVE MINDSET STARTS EARLY
My journey started in third grade, when the scale hit 100. Damn that number. 100 held the power to control my happiness, worth, and self-image. And 40 years later, I see the same in many women. The scale has a hell of a lot of power on our health, happiness, and self-worth, and it’s all rooted in diet culture. We are slaves to the scale, dieting and fitness apps, restrictions, and starvation. They STEAL OUR HAPPINESS AND OUR POWER!
I’ll never forget that defining moment. 100 pounds was scary. My best friend, Kim, was petite, thin, and a gymnast. I was the tallest in the class, large-boned, and most definitely couldn’t move in the nimble ways Kim could manipulate her gymnastic, petite body. She wasn’t 100, ate whatever she wanted, didn’t think about food, and was happy.
We were only in 3rd grade, and I was already relating my size to worth!
From that moment on, food, happiness, size, and self-worth were eternally locked in my world…with dieting, the scale, and counting calories serving as the anchors to mobilize my every thought and action.
I recall asking Richard Simmons, the fitness guru of the 70’s, for help to be “that skinny girl.” And when my third grade class earned a popcorn party, I proclaimed that I didn’t like popcorn (I lied) and asked to bring “green bell pepper strips.” I was desperately trying to cast food aside and to stand in my power again. It didn’t work, and I went through years of trying everything to lose weight including Jenny Craig, starvation, willpower, and the self-created baby food diet (really!) were my best tools.
The defining moments continued to present themselves …
- A failed modeling career for being “too big”
- A boyfriend’s rejection for “needing to lose some weight”
- Quiting the college volleyball team for shorts that fit too snugly
The negative voice grew stronger. Negative self-image is still there, but I’ve learned to silence it and not to LOOK for ways to validate feelings of negative self-image that are tied to size, the scale and a diet.
YOU CAN SILENCE YOUR INNER VOICE!
It takes practice to incorporate and to become proficient at 8 daily actions to silence your inner voice. Your body is a complex and amazing machine that requires nourishing, quality foods AND THE ENVIRONMENT TO THRIVE..it starts with your inner voice.
8 STEPS TO DITCH NEGATIVE SELF TALK
- TUNE INTO YOUR FEELINGS. Your body listens to your thoughts. Negativity creeps in, changes who we are and creates a bad feedback loop that is hard to escape! What’s more it increases your stress and fat storage hormones, it decreases immunity, it increases inflammation in your body, and therefore increases your risk of disease/autoimmune disease! Negative chemistry grows negative actions and negative health. And so, when did you last think AMAZING THOUGHTS about yourself?
- Record three things you love about yourself that day. Every night for one week, ..something you did, are proud of, makes you amazing (these can be small or big)! Be sure to read each of the three items the next morning upon waking.
- GET SLEEP! When you lack sleep, self-control flies out the window, so does your energy, focus, good decision-making, and most of all, your emotional health is non-existent.
- Set a consistent time to go to bed and for waking, create a bedtime ritual, and hav ea sleeping nirvana, such as a cool dark room, comfy sheets, no work in the room (consider ditching the TV too!) all contribute to a better night’s sleep.
- Add natural melatonin to your evening. Tart cherries contain natural melatonin that promotes deeper, better quality sleep. An evening Cherry Spritzer is just right for quality sleep: Mix 4 ounces mineral water, organic pineapple juice, or organic apple juice with 2 ounces Purium Apothe Cherry
- PRACTICE SELF-FORGIVENESS to begin loving yourself
- Create mantras of self-worth and self-forgiveness, such as “today is a new day; I can do anything,” OR “I’m grateful for today; I’m doing the best I can” to create positive mindset and to remind yourself of your own self-worth, even with being less than perfect. A simple shift in your mindset can help improve your self-awareness and your feelings toward yourself. REPLACE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WITH POSITIVE ONES
- DETOX YOUR ENVIRONMENT. Think of all the apps on your phone that track calories. Consider the clothes in your closet that haven’t fit you for years. The items in your environment send subtle messages of negative self-worth. They steal your power and lock you into a formula for happiness, “When I lose 10 pounds I can wear those jeans, and then I’ll be happy!”
- Get rid of negative influences in your home that create negative thought patterns and that keep you “stuck” from realizing true health, weight loss, and dreams.
- Review your calendar and cancel events and obligations that don’t grow your health, happiness, and life priorities. Saying “no” is a powerful thing!
- Declutter your closet, kitchen, and critical living spaces. We eat how we live. Too much “junk” creates a plate loaded with too much junk!
- Decrease technology by taking a daily break and/or eliminating apps and social media exposures that are not uplifting.
- ADD GROUNDING ACTIVITIES. Yoga and breathing can increase the calming, happy hormone, GABA, by 27% by allowing you to focus and to calm your body and mind. Meditation too has been proven to decrease illness and to create positive feelings of purpose.
- Try yoga. Start small with short, easier sessions of yoga, such as with Sitting Pose, or meditation until your “mindful muscles” are strong and established for longer, more beneficial sessions.
- Practice deep belly breathing 2xs daily to improve relaxation/rest and digest system and to keep your health goals intact.
- Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
- Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
- Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
- Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
- PRACTICE MASSIVE AND ROUTINE SELF CARE . So you get the occasional pedicure and meet a friend for coffee. That’s not massive! Moms take only an average of 17 minutes daily for her own self-care and happiness. That’s not nearly sufficient to maintain a positive mindset of self-worth! Examples include:
- Prepare healthy foods and snacks for the week…I’m not talking about kids’ snacks!
- Make time to stretch, exercise, or do yoga
- Take a nap
- Write down your goals for the week, month, and years to come.
- Read a book
- Go for a walk
- Drink a glass of wine in the middle of the day..just because!
…Notice that NONE of these acts of self love cost money!!!
- EAT HEALING FOODS THAT BOOST YOUR HAPPY HORMONE. There is a clear connection between mood and food, particularly dopamine and serotonin, the happy hormones. Certainly sleep deprivation disrupts production of dopamine and seratonin, and you can “tip the scales” to increase happy hormones, which originate in your gut.
- Hydrate by drinking 50-70% of your body weight in fluid ounces of water daily.
- Add healthy fats/omega 3 fatty acids with salmon and flax seed.
- Increase Vitamin D with sun exposure and foods, such as mushrooms that contain the sun-driven vitamin D
- Eat healing greens, seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans, berries, and fermented foods that improve gut health and that provide nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, antioxidants, probiotics, choline, l-theanine, and amino acids..all of which boost happy hormones.
- EXERCISE! According to a Gallup study, people who exercise at least two days a week reported being happier and having significantly less stress than those who did not exercise. We were made to move, and working up a sweat helps you to sleep better, helps burn fat, improves your overall sense of wellness, and boosts happy hormones too.
- Choose an exercise you enjoy, and with time increase the duration of your exercise while also throwing in a few bouts of higher intensity for greater overall benefits.
- Use opportunities throughout the day to move rather than being confined to dressing out and heading to the gym. Take the stairs, walk the dog, do wall push-ups or chair dips in at your office desk. Small movements add up to big progress and greater, positive self-concept.
Imagine waking up and feeling empowered with positive thoughts about yourself and other. Realize your value is not on the scale, understand that daily progress is powerful, and that food is not a drug but a tool to realize health, empowerment, energy, and confidence.
Are you ready to radically love yourself and be empowered with health?
MINDSET IS EVERYTHING!
“MUSCLE is not the limiting factor…it seems to be the MIND!”
UNLEASH YOUR POWER!
Seeking more positive self-image in your life and not sure how to get there alone? Work with me in a private health coaching program, and watch your life improve!