Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and thought…
“OMG!” “That’s what I looked like!? I looked good! I can’t believe I was so hard on myself, what was I thinking?!?!”
It happens way more than you think…
I have worked with hundreds of women from around the world who look at old pictures of themselves and say: “I wish I could have appreciated my body when I looked like that.” “I can’t believe I thought I was fat.”
At the moment the picture is taken, most people have a plethora of insecurities running through their minds, mostly a dislike of some sort that they don’t look like what they wished. It’s only after they see the photo (sometimes decades later) that they wished they would have not judged it, shamed it, ridiculed it, or really had any other feeling towards their body other than gratitude.
I personally can’t count the number of times that I felt insecure about my body, compared it to others, wished it was different, wished I would have “had better control” with food, wished I would have been more consistent with my exercise … etc., etc. (But the insane part is that I really never needed to worry in the first place)
Like the time I was so anxious to see my extended family at a wedding that the night before the flight, I binged ate two pints of ice cream…
And then sat in complete judgment and scrutiny of myself all weekend instead of being in the moment…
I mean WTF!!!???
The point is… both women and men can be so hard on themselves, and women in particular can be ruthless judgmental critics of themselves, especially when it comes to their physical appearance.
The worst part about it is it is a recipe for a lifetime of insecurity that has so many more consequences than we realize.
(If you don’t agree with the above statement, then this is not for you)
The point is: THAT ruthlessness can be so damaging, not just on the body, but it can impact finances, parenting, intimate relationships, friendships, businesses, contracts, agreements, and probably even more than you can ever imagine.
The point is…
At what cost is obsessing about your physical appearance worth it?
Most people don’t realize it, but this insane obsession with our bodies and not feeling good enough literally can completely sabotage our abilities to live our lives.
It wasn’t until I made the commitment to myself and my body that my entire life changed.
It woke me up!
I realized I had spent 20 years of my life literally drowning in a sea of judgment. I wasn’t committed to healthy living. I was committed to judging myself, ridiculing it, ignoring it, and hating it…
I spent so much time worrying that people could see my cellulite (and here’s the F*@#! ‘ D Up part about this… I barely had any cellulite) It was all in my head!
But 20 years of worrying about it… I created it! (Cute not bright!)
The body is so brilliant that it will do exactly what you think and say about it. When you spend enough time in a certain state, your body begins to create that state as real. Spend your life in a negative state, it breaks down. Spend your life in a state of love, gratitude, and flow, it will certainly create something completely different.
What most people don’t realize is that they can literally change their bodies by changing their mental state. If you go on a diet in a negative state, the diet is not going to make a big difference, but the negativity underlying the actions will. I once went on a 30-day ice cream diet and lost 10 pounds, proof that most of the time it isn’t about the food. The one thing I did differently during those 30 days was that I started to practice gratitude for the one food that I judged the most. My relationship with food & my body changed.
When you hurl judgments at your body nonstop, your body eventually surrenders to the judgments and begins to make them real. It can handle a little ridicule, but a lifetime of ridicule breaks the body down.
So when your body is acting up, it’s not time to throw a bandaid on it with a diet. It’s about eliminating the one thing you can change: Judgment and then getting underneath the judgment to see what’s actually true for you because you can’t do judgment and do awareness at the same time. The quickest way to access your awareness is to stop judging you. Period.
Judgments are a choice.
Gratitude is a choice.
Committing to your body is a choice.
It all depends on your perspective.
And the best part about that is that YOU can DO something about it.
But it takes practice, it takes patience, and it requires you to change the one habit that will transform it all: stop judging yourself.
You don’t say “I do” with the intention of spending your life judging your spouse, but eventually, most marriages dissolve because of judgments.
So the trick is to commit to your body by not judging it.
Say I DO and be GRATEFUL for your body.
Once I committed to changing my relationship with my body, my life transformed!
I stopped searching for a diet and instead started creating a business and raising an infant. I spent more time being present with family and friends, ran when I wanted, rested when I needed, did yoga when I felt like it, danced, connected, engaged, and literally started LIVING!
And the best part is I was so busy living and creating my life, I forgot to obsess about food and my body. Not only did my body change, but my life changed.
Two months into this experiment of committing to my body and living a life of no judgment, my eyes were wide open to the lie I had been living!
I didn’t need a diet, I needed to focus on creating a life I loved living.
I literally spent 20 years of my life trying every diet, gadget, pill, tea, trick, or exercise gadget I could find, thinking that if I could just find the “answer”, then my life’s problems would be solved. I spent most of those 20 years depressed, insecure, and uncomfortable in my own skin.
I was so obsessed with finding the answer to changing my body that I really wasn’t living.
Changing your Body IS NOT CREATING your life.
(You might need to read that again)
Men: How many times have you been with a woman and you are in the moment with her… but in her head, she’s thinking about the donut she ate, or the meal she skipped, or the few extra pounds she wished she didn’t have, and all of the sudden you are present with a body who isn’t engaged with you at all. She’s too busy worrying about her physical appearance (especially naked), that she stopped being in the moment with you. You will rarely, if ever, see a man ruin a physically intimate moment with a woman because he’s worried about how his body looks naked.
But women will literally withhold sex because they feel insecure, obsess about a few extra pounds, and reject intimacy because they are ultimately rejecting themselves.
The LAST THING on a man’s mind in that moment is the judgment of her physical body, but she starts obsessing about it or says she doesn’t feel comfortable in the bedroom, and then all of a sudden the man starts questioning his performance, or worse, he stops trying to initiate sex because he constantly gets turned down because she doesn’t feel good in her own skin.
It’s a real thing and it ruins a thousand moments both in the bedroom and beyond it.
The school play, the boardroom, the Monday morning meeting, the contract that was supposed to go smoothly and doesn’t, the car ride with your kids, a birthday party, and so much more.
It’s a silent, yet deadly phenomenon that is killing our creativity and our ability to connect and engage with the world.
The solution is not a diet. It’s not an exercise program (although exercise can be extremely liberating and mentally stabilizing). Exercise can move stuck energy, invigorate the senses, and increase confidence, but if you are only exercising in order to see results, you will set yourself up for failure.
So what’s the cure?
Bare with me…
The real solution is not found by trying to change surface habits, but rather by going underneath the surface and getting in touch with your body. Yup… I said it.
Get in touch with your body.
And be willing to discover what is true for you!
When you get in touch with your body, then you can develop a healthy relationship that can last a lifetime.
This is about doing something that might feel extremely unfamiliar, but it’s a full-bodied YES commitment to YOUR BODY, to YOUR HEALTH, and to YOUR SANITY.
The thing is, it’s not an external fix. It’s an internal trust in you that you know.
After all, you are the captain of your own ship.
So it’s about discovering what it’s like to LIVE, to say yes to all the things that inspire you, to find things that make you happy, and to discover your inner creativity.
This is a commitment to you; A yes to living.
Imagine that the man of your dreams proposes and your response is MAYBE!
MAYBE!?!?… that right there is the end.
When you half commit to your body you are saying… MAYBE
* Maybe I’ll start paying attention to what I eat.
* Maybe I’ll stick to my exercise program.
* Maybe I’ll pick up better habits
* Maybe I’ll be nice to myself
* Maybe I’ll take better care of myself
* Maybe I’ll listen to my body
You literally ask your body to commit to you, but you half-ass it because you aren’t committed to it.
What do you think that creates?
It creates confusion, and when the body is confused, it literally doesn’t know what to do and neither do you, which sets you and your body up for survival, which means it’s operating in fight, flight, fawn, or freeze. All systems freeze and when in that state, you can’t think properly, let alone be aware of what’s true for you.
We all know that a survival state is not a state in which anyone thrives. So no wonder why so many people are desperately searching for a surface solution; They are desperate to get out of survival mode. The only challenge is, the solution is not on the surface, it’s underneath. It’s about digging deep and not being afraid of your own truth.
The truth is your body is brilliant and it was designed to THRIVE.
But you have to be aware, be quiet enough to listen. When you stop listening to it, the body begins to break down.
Are you with me so far?
The point is… committing to your body is a commitment to the most important relationship in your life.
Just like parenting, no one can tell you how to parent your kids, you discover how to be a good parent by trusting your gut, trying things, and seeing what works and what doesn’t. You learn by experiencing. Your body is the same. So try new things. Trust your gut. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to apologize, and pick up where you left off.
The body is way more resilient than you think. And truth be told, your body is your best ally. It wants you to succeed. It wants to take care of you, but you have to be grateful for it now. Not when you lose weight, not when you have everything figured out. Now.
Gratitude is the most powerful change agent you have.
So next time, you are about to judge the size of your thighs, the shape of your butt, the bulge of your stomach, take a moment, stop yourself, and be grateful that you have a body that is still alive. And if you truly desire to change it. Don’t go on a diet. Go on a quest to find all the ways you can be grateful for your body. And if you happen to remember, take a picture of yourself and cherish it, be grateful for all that you have done, for all the challenges you’ve survived, and all the beautiful life-changing moments you have been a part of and for just that moment in time, celebrate that beautiful thing called your body.
It won’t only set you free, it will give you permission to live.
And hey, it may just give you the insp8ration you need to be brave enough to create a life you LOVE!