“To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one, it’s society who’s ugly.”
~ Marilyn Monroe.
In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I have put together the following quotes, which help me whenever I am having one of my frequent bad body image moments.
Shaming of our own bodies often begins with irritating and repetitive thoughts within our own minds that can appear very innocent at first.
We look in the mirror and focus in on parts that we dislike. Imperfections, flaws and curves that are in all the wrong places—especially when we compare with others and their seemingly “perfect” figures.
These perfect images are only perfect when we choose to drop all of our judgements and accept that we are all beautiful and desirable in our own unique way.
Comparisons are made to glossy magazines with airbrushed images that we know aren’t true reflections of bodies, and yet we still compare.
An odd remark that a friend, partner or family member said once long ago sticks sorely in the back of the mind until we look at our image and the reminder comes jolting back to haunt us.
All of these things begin with a very simple thought, a thought that lingers and evolves: we attach emotion to it and then we begin to feel affected by what started out as one very small and very meaningless thought.
We keep on thinking this same thought over and over, until we begin to believe it. Then, we hear someone out there, on television or in society, who appears to confirm this thought. We aren’t the only ones to think it—so it must be true.
Wrong, wrong, so very wrong.
Our bodies are unique. Every single one. There can never be comparisons. There is no right, there is no wrong. They are sacred vehicles which transport us and carry each and every thing within us that keeps us alive.
They are not for anyone else to own, to criticize or to shame. Our bodies are none of anyone else’s business.
Therefore, it is up to us to love, to adore and to cherish what we have been given—regardless of shape, size, weight, lumps, bumps, curves, straight-bits, skinny-bits, fat-bits—whatever. Each and every bit is ours, and ours alone.
It’s high time we worshipped our bodies as nature intended for us.
Repeating mantras can be a powerful tool to help us find self-love.
So whenever a less-than-loving thought creeps into our minds to distort our thinking, we should very quickly replace that thought with one of the following:
Comparing myself to others will only serve to destroy and reject my opinion of myself.
My body does not identify me, what is in the inside identifies me.
Without my permission, no one has the right to comment on or judge my body.
My imperfections make me unique to all others.
Happiness can only be found inside and that is what really counts.
Body, I apologize, from this moment onwards I’m going to try to love you more. Far more.
As soon as I free my mind from obsessing about weight, I will discover a whole world out there just waiting to be discovered.
I am the only person who can fully take responsibility for my health, I choose to honor and cherish the life I’ve been given and look after myself as best I can.
My body deserves to be treated with love and respect at all times, not just by me, by anyone I choose to share it with.
I control my thoughts, not the other way around – therefore, I choose only to think positive and loving thoughts about myself.
Today, I chose to love my body, each and every part.
Perfection is a figment of the imagination.
My body is an instrument, not an ornament.
I am my own type of perfect.
I will fuel my body only with nourishment of food or with love.
Confidence in my own skin is far more beautiful than any imperfect body part.
From this moment on, I will fill my body with love, in all forms.
I am strong, I am beautiful and I am already enough.
Perfection is overrated.
When I am overwhelmed, I will simply breathe and allow the moment to pass.
I am beautiful, I am me.
I don’t have to like every part of me in order to love myself completely. I fully accept my imperfections as part of me.
Healthiness is not about size, it begins with acceptance, a healthy mind will equate to a healthy body.
Food is neither an enemy nor is it a friend – it is a means of keeping me alive, full of energy, healthy, nourished and brimming with vitality.
My body is not the sexiest part of me, my brain is.
“I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.”
~ Dele Olanubi
Write these mantras on notes, pop them in purses, or on the fridge or scribble them on mirrors. More importantly, etch them into your mind so that as soon as a negative thought enters, it is immediately replaced by a far more loving and accepting one—one that will immediately feel good on the inside, so the outside stands a fighting chance of feeling good too.
I, along with millions of other people, have suffered terribly with eating disorders. I’m also aware that not all eating disorders are due to body image and they can’t all be fixed purely by thinking differently.
However, positive mantras worked for me incredibly. I don’t wait until I’m feeling bad about myself. I tell myself these messages continuously every single day.
It’s high time we fought back against the demons within our minds that drag us down, they are only strong if we feed them.
Author: Alexandra Myles
Editor: Emma Ruffin