I'm here to tell you that every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!
Lately, pop singer Megan Trainer has been very vocal about the extreme amount of "Photoshopping" that goes on after photo shoots, and has made a stand that she won’t have her “imperfections” blended away with the magic of digital imagery. And some of us might be thinking, “Well, so what if they touch up a picture or two? Who cares?”
But the debate around photo shopping has deeper meanings. For example:
- Smoothing away all of our “imperfections” means that we start to think of our blemishes, cellulite, sun spots, or love handles as “bad” or “wrong”.
- Reducing women (and men) to a standard mold, one in which our bodies are always firm and our skin is always clear, means that we look at ourselves too critically, always trying to attain that perfect figure and perfect skin.
But in reality, that ideal is not only unobtainable for “normal” people, but also not even actually real for stars and models, either.
Is your mental chatter about your body negative, or positive?
If you want to feel better about yourself, the only way to do it is to change the thoughts in your mind. Because even if you lost those five pounds, or had that cosmetic surgery, or changed your hair color, without changing the thoughts in your mind, you will always find something more that you can “improve” or change about yourself.
So what are the thoughts running around in your head about your body?
Raj Raghunathan Ph.D., ran a study at the University of Texas at Austin’s business school and determined that “somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of the average students’ spontaneously occurring thoughts are negative.” And it’s highly likely that the thoughts around our bodies are even higher than that.
If you’d like to see what your thoughts are, try writing down the mental chatter that you have (the actual thought itself, not the feeling or emotion) for a day or two and see what comes up.
Following that, take the time to notice the thoughts about yourself that are occurring and what feelings those thoughts trigger. For example a negative thought like “I hate my body” might trigger emotions such as sadness, frustration or anger.
How to stop damaging thoughts:
- Once you’ve identified those negative thoughts, then you can work to either stop them with a sentence like “this thought is hurting me, not helping me”.
- Then you can dispute the thought directly with a thought that is more pleasing to you and one that is evidence based. For instance, “My thighs are so fat” could be replaced with, “My thighs are beautiful and help me to walk, to run, to jump, and to enjoy time with my children.” Or, “I have love handles,” could be replaced with, “I have a beautiful figure that was given to me to enjoy.”
- Each time you notice and hear the critical thought in your mind, then replace it with something that resonates.
My wish for you today is to start to send love to your body in your words and thoughts.