It’s no small secret that women don’t like their bodies. In fact, I’ve been doing a little research and I am sad to report that recent statistics say that more than 80% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies. Even more troubling is that 65% of young girls think they are fat and are already dieting.
I can tell you from working with hundreds of women as a Life Coach that the latest diet or workout won’t be the key to having a body you love. Believing in who you are, and in how you look… is the foundation to achieving what you truly want out of life. I know what you’re thinking, those are beautiful words and easier said than done!
As a woman who is 46, and has had 3 kids, I can definitely admit a struggle with loving the body I have. No matter how much I work out or how healthy I eat I will never have the figure I had 20 years ago and there’s no magic cream that is going to take my cellulite away. Recently, however, when working with a coaching client I had an epiphany; that the negative thoughts I have about my body need to come to screeching halt.
My client has been diagnosed, again, with breast cancer, and this time the prognosis is not hopeful. With that in mind, when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t see the few extra pounds she has put on over the years or a couple meaningless dimples on her sides. Instead she wakes up every morning grateful to be alive that day, focusing on the beauty in her life, and wishing that she had appreciated her beauty more in the past.
I am sad for her but the lesson she shares with us all is an important one; don’t ever look back in regret. To truly live, focus on what is right with you rather than what is wrong. Live your beauty in your heart and mind.
It may not seem easy at first but freeing yourself of negative thoughts is a huge step towards living a truly beautiful life and achieving a healthy body. The first, and possibly the most crucial step on that path though, is to start loving the body you have right now.
Here are some suggestions to do just that:
Create an “I love myself because…” List
First, write down 20 things that you love about yourself. Your list may include your personality, kind heart, your sense of humor, compassion, smile, elbows, feet, etc. Include your talents and achievements, or various ways you’re proud of yourself. If you have trouble with this exercise think about what your best friend would say about you. It’s time to be your own best friend!
Take Notice of the Beauty Around You
Take a deeper look at nature surrounding you. It may be a tree, mountains, clouds, the moon, butterfly, a flower…is it perfect? Does it have imperfections, maybe a few blemishes on a leaf? Start to notice the beauty around you. Train your mind to let go of the “imperfections” and revel in what makes things uniquely beautiful.
Delete Negative Self-Talk
Every time you hear yourself talking negatively about how you look…STOP! Who needs another critic? Instead, turn that inner dialogue into positive self-talk. You have the power to focus on what is great about you right now by deleting the negative thoughts whenever they show up.
Appreciate Your Beautiful Body
Women are familiar with their face but not necessarily their body. Start to look at your body in the mirror. Study your shape and find the beauty. Notice how your body supports you and your daily life. Our bodies are beautiful vessels that transport our gorgeous souls.
Cut the Tags Out of Your Clothes!
Don’t buy a closet full of clothes that are too tight for you to fit into hoping that you’ll be in them soon – those are just guilt garments that don’t make you feel good when you open your closet. Buy and wear clothes that fit the body you have today. They call it a “fitting room” for a reason. Size doesn’t matter; it is all about how you feel in your clothes. Dressing the body you have today will help increase your self-esteem and in-turn unnecessary weight will begin to fall away. When you feel better about yourself, you take better care of yourself. It’s that simple!
Michelle Phillips is a self-esteem coach and the author of the bestselling beauty and self-esteem book, “The Beauty Blueprint- 8 Steps to Building the Life and Look of your Dreams” (Hay House, 2011) available where books are sold. For more info on Michelle and her coaching programs go to www.michellephillips.com