Let’s talk about the things that can help you feel more comfortable in your body.
I had a recent conversation with a kind and brilliant woman on how she felt about her body, pre and post-pandemic. I couldn’t help but noticing the harsh body narrative that was going on there. And which, according to her, only worsened during the past year.
“I feel fat, uncomfortable in my own body. I have little confidence and try not to wear anything that exposes my body too much. Also, I fear being judged about my body”.
The desire is to be slimmer as a gateway to feel better. The goal is to lose weight to stop feeling miserable, uncomfortable and insecure. The faith in achieving body confidence very little.
This conversation happened shortly after I went browsing online to look for a swimsuit for my soon-to-come holidays. The swimsuits from the past few years don’t fit anymore. None of them.
It’s after that conversation that I realised that something very important has changed for me.
My swimsuits might not fit me anymore, but my mind fits in my current body size much better than in the past.
It doesn’t resist it or wants to change my body quickly , to get it ready for the holidays.
This time, instead of getting into self-loathing mode, the first response was:
Let me find something nice to wear under the sun, something that fits me comfortably, in my current shape, and that I like. And believe me I found it and it’s ready to go in the suitcase.
Follow me here because this is a key mindset shift in any work you are going to do on your body image:
My perspective slowly shifted
FROM ‘How people will see me in my swimsuit‘
TO ‘How I want to feel in my swimsuit‘
From external to internal.
I wonder what would happen if you made that shift. If you accepted your body as it is now and worked to make it be and feel comfortable, instead of planning to change it and attach the umpteenth deadline to that change.
BUT WHY AM I TELLING YOU THIS?
Believe me, it’s not because I want to highlight how good I am compared to any women on earth feeling miserable about her body. Quite the opposite!
As someone who for two decades mistreated her body and made her n. 1 priority to hide it from the world, my reason for sharing this is to give you a message of hope if you find yourself at war with your body.
A message that says:
Accepting your body, independently from its looks is not only for a few.
And I’m here to share with you a few things that helped me and some of my clients shift their mindset.
WHAT CAN YOU TRY?
I invite you to consider the points below and see if you can make it yours too:
- Connect with more women in a variety of body sizes, and experience their confidence, their life achievements and goals. Do it when it comes to people in your life and also those showing up on your social feeds.
- Observe how women in many different shapes and sizes have similar thoughts when it comes to their shape and size. The body critic most times doesn’t change if you lose weight. It’s something women in all sizes should work on.
- Reflect and write down what you believe about ‘being slim’, and the things you can only achieve by being thin, Most of the times the path to achieve those is not ‘getting slim’. Even if we might not see this immediately, being thin can carry a burden of its own, and that is mainly because of the values and the transformational changes we attach to it.
ONE EXAMPLE, based on my personal experience, is this:
“If I feel that when I’m slim I will be open to meet and interact easily in social situations, and I’m an introvert by nature, it’ll be hard when I realise that being slim doesn’t do the magic trick I hoped for. My confidence in interacting with new people and be social doesn’t depend from my size.”
In the same way that we respond to loving, caring words, our body also responds to kindness.
It’s important to notice your body narratives, the stories you tell yourself about your body, and the words you use to describe it. These narratives often originate in the childhood/teenage and are internalised as you grow and develop (your body critic).
A WORKBOOK FOR YOU
I’ve created a workbook with some journal prompts and a great body image exercise called “Mirror work”. It will help you explore your narratives and gently reframe your judgment about the parts of your body you don’t like.
Click here to download and print it.
Thank you for being here reading this article. You are special!