As a female, I’ve done my share of loveless, self-criticism. With the help of a mirror, I’ve sent all of my negative thoughts inward, showing no mercy.
6 Things You Need to Know to Fall in Love with Your Body
By: Christine Reppa
When I look at the image above, my eyes immediately fixate on what I see as flaws. In my body, my face, my hair I see things I would change. Don’t even get me started on the yoga pose itself. My Warrior II needs some serious work to get it looking like the images I see on Instagram, and it’s not even considered an advanced pose!
This photo was taken almost a year ago. A year ago there was NO WAY I would have posted this online and dissected it publicly. That’s because a year ago when I looked at it, I was convinced that it was a bad picture. I was convinced that I looked fat, that my arms had no definition, and that my facial expression was goofy. Today, I can’t say I think it’s a flawless image (or more correctly, that I look flawless), but I can say that I don’t know what I was so concerned about.
When it comes to body image and self-criticism, I know that I am not the only one poking holes in my confidence.
It wasn’t until I understood these six things that I began to fall in love and heal my relationship with my body.
1. The Content of Your Thoughts is Your Reality
If you think to yourself that your arms are flabby, your mind believes it. And in turn, your mind believes that everyone else thinks your arms are flabby too. Likewise, if you think you can’t accomplish a goal, the universe conspires against you to make this belief true.
When you have an opinion about yourself, the universe again, agrees with you, making this belief true. But the universe doesn’t really conspire against you. Your mind does. Your thoughts do.
You create what you think.
If you want to fall in love with your body and your authentic self, you must begin with your beliefs. A good way to shape your beliefs for the better is by meditation. Find out what Kimberly Elise learned about meditation at the MindBodyGreen Retreat.
2. You are Your Own Worst Critic
I recently spoke with a friend who was doubting herself. She was saying things that she thought about herself out loud to me. These were things that I never thought about her because I genuinely don’t believe any of them to be true. The things she said about herself were downright mean. It was an eye-opening experience to be a guest to someone’s inner dialogue.
It made me think about the things I say to myself and how harsh they really are. Most of the negative things I say to myself I’ve never once heard someone else say to me. We can be so mean to ourselves.
We say we aren’t good enough, we don’t deserve things, we’re too this or not enough of that. But why?
We tend to notice other people’s shining characteristics while focusing on our own flaws. Instead of priding ourselves on the good things, we create tunnel vision around areas where we think we need improvement. To fall in love with your body, you must put your critic to rest. Find ways to become your own cheerleader, offering only positive comments to yourself.
3. Nobody Cares!
In a good way, nobody cares. That curve that shows when you wear the tighter dress? Nobody sees that except you. If they do see it, they don’t consider it a flaw like you do.
4. Self-criticism is Not Humility
It’s hurtful and debilitating. Enough said.
5. Complimenting Yourself is Good – even if you don’t believe it!
Think about how good you feel when someone gives you a compliment. Even if you don’t fully believe it to be true, you still feel good about it. The more you get the same compliment, the more your mind begins to accept that it’s indeed true. Good news, we can do the same thing for ourselves through our own complimentary self-talk!
6. The Power of Positivity Can’t be Underrated
Even a friendly stranger can lift your spirits with the flash of a smile. Positive energy breeds positivity and likewise, negative energy breeds negativity.
If your mind creates your reality, create a reality where you like what you see where you are beautiful in every sense of the word. The secret to how to fall in love with your body is that you control the dialogue. Tell yourself something good.
About the Writer:
Christine Reppa is founder and CEO at Noya, a positive-living, yoga apparel brand, Chief Experience Creator at Compete Every Day, a lifestyle apparel brand, agent for Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer, and blogger. She is an environmentalist and deep believer in the power of positivity. Her company, Noya, plants a tree for every product sold and advocates holistic health and positive body image. Learn more on her website at noyayoga.com.