Are you convinced that you need to lose weight before you can find your true love? It is easy to believe, in our body beautiful culture, that if we just had thinner thighs then our life would change in amazing ways. Our perfect partner would appear and fall in love with us. But this is a harmful mirage. It is a dream of perfection that is keeping you trapped.
Imagine for a moment that you suddenly have the body of your dreams. Sit quietly for a moment, close your eyes and picture a vivid scene that plays out all your dreams about being thinner.
What does it feel like? What clothes are you wearing? What are you doing? Where are you going? Who are you with?
Want to know the fabulously good news? These delicious possibilities could be yours right now.
Really. The positive side of being trapped by negative body talk is that you can spring the trap and set yourself free. It isn’t easy but look at embracing the following 5 ways to move yourself forward. Because your life is waiting for you to jump in.
Become aware of when you criticise your body. You may be surprised at how often in the day it happens. When you do find yourself being negative, challenge yourself by saying: “my body is just a body.” The aim being to take the emotional sting out of your thoughts. It’s the first step towards starting to accept and then ultimately appreciate your body but this process doesn’t happen overnight.
2. Go get the dress that makes you feel pretty!
The hair cut you saw in that magazine. The shoes you’ve been eyeing on Insta. Go out shopping with the only aim of feeling great. No more shopping for clothes that ‘make you look thinner’ or worse, not buying anything nice until you’re a size [insert dream here]. You deserve to look gorgeous so go and seek it out and claim it. When we give ourselves permission to be pampered we reinforce our love for ourselves as we are now. It isn’t conditional upon achieving some future, somehow ‘better’ version of us.
3. Stop talking about women’s bodies
Stop judging other women’s looks and bodies. Right now. It just feeds self negative talk and the cultural pressures all around us.
4. Do something now on your ‘Things I’ll Do When I’m Thin’ list
Start small if you need to. Remember the feeling of confidence and adventure you felt during your visualisation? Draw on it and visit that yoga studio or bar now. Start a conversation with an attractive stranger (not hitting on them, just pleasantries for now) or go start that hobby that you’ve always wanted to. Have fun on your own terms, whatever that means to you.
5. Notice what else you don’t like (other than your body — remember point 1)
It might be that your negative body talk is actually keeping you busy so you don’t have to look at something else in your life you don’t like. For example, a toxic friend, a boring job or mean father. This can be tough but your body doesn’t deserve to have all your frustrations in life poured into it.
Remember, day-dreaming about your perfect tomorrow blinds you to your present — whether that be good, bad or plain boring. If you’re not present in your life you can’t fully appreciate its blessings or start to break down its challenges.
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Originally published at medium.com