There are days when I feel like I am being dragged through a field backwards and then there are days I wake up and wonder why Victoria Secret hasn't asked me to walk in her show yet.
Whether or not you call it a fat or a bad body day, from time to time we all experience days when we are not happy with our bodies.
Self acceptance is the art of embracing the good with the bad. It has never been about eliminating all the negative aspects of our life or our body. It is totally OK to have and experience bad body days! Feeling comfortable in your skin doesn't mean that you have to feel comfortable ALL of the time! But it does mean that you treat yourself with compasion on the icky days.
It’s impossible to feel fabulous every single day… especially if body hate is your go-to coping mechanism. However, here are five things you CAN do to help you deal with your body day a little better than before.
1. Stop Generalising
Seperate these bad body feelings with how you feel about your day or life. A fat day does not equal a bad day and it most definitely doesn’t make you worthless or hopeless. All too often we allow one small part of our day or one small negative thought to ruin our entire day. Do not write the day off because of one feeling!
Action: Write down three things that you are grateful for (look at your whole life) and reflect on and add to these through out the entire day.
2. Fat is NOT a feeling!
Feeling fat doesn’t make you fat. Your thoughts do no define who you are!
You are the creator of your thoughts, your thoughts do not create you. A fat day starts with a thought you have about your body, usually after you have engaged in some sort of behaviour e.g looking in the mirror or trying on a top that no longer fits you.
This thought almost inevitably results in an emotion such as shame, guilt, disgust, anger or sadness. More often than not, it elicits a whole bunch of these together. In order to pull yourself out of this negative "fat day" spiral you need to train yourself to respond in a more balanced, self-caring and desirable way!
You need to start to THINK DIFFERENTLY about your body and beauty and not react when something happens that your don’t like, but rather RESPOND to it.
Events that take place in our life are neutral, until we place a value on them.
You are not your thoughts and as the creator of your thoughts you can chose to create ones that will support you! We do this because, instead of describing the situation objectively, we give it a negative label, which we react to, making ourselves feel worse.
Action: The next time you are having a fat day and you notice yourself being dragged under by these negative thoughts and emotions the first thing you have to do is to acknowledge your reaction, pause and respond.
3. Show your body appreciation and gratitude
For so many of us it feels completely normal to treat our body as a prop to express beauty - a mannequin to be manipulated, changed and put on diet after diet. We eat to manage our weight loss and we exercise to burn off extra calories. And when we look in the mirror we feel consumed by our flaws and obsesses over ways to 'fix' them. It is time change the record and shift your energy towards connecting with what your body can do.
When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and said “Thank you body! Thank you for being the vehicle to help me connect with and express movement, strength, vitality, mobility. Thank you for being the suit that allows me to feel touch, cuddles, hugs and kisses. Thank you for being my body, my armour, my home”. Your body is utterly is incredible and I think you need to spend some time getting to grips with all the awesome things it CAN do!
Action: Show your body appreciation by writing down three things that you body can do to make you feel proud and happy.
4. The Big Ass Picture
Life is a big picture but our feelings about our bodies, food and exercise often outweigh other things in our life. We live our life in one very small part this big picture. However, there is more to life than our appearance and one of the best thing that can happen to us is realising that there is more to us than how we look!
Thoughts about our weight, appearance and body are normal but when these thoughts begin to outweigh other parts of our life we begin to feel out of balance and out of touch with what is really important.
If you want to remembered - and this makes you happy - as the person who was always on a diet or who could recite her top 10 tips for fat loss at the drop of a hat or spent all of her free time in the gym then by means, continue on the path that you are. The legacy you will leave behind will reflect the live that you lived.
BUT if you want to be remembered for more than this, it is time to take action and focus your energy on things in your life that you want to grow. So put on your positive pants and lets get grow the good in your life because maybe, just maybe, the really important things have nothing to do with the size of your tummy, the length of your legs or the definition in your arms.
Action: Have you ever head of the saying "you energy flows where your attention goes"? Pick an area on your life - that has nothing to do with your weight or appearance - and spend time and energy losing yourself in this instead.
5. Don’t beat yourself up
How you talk to yourself and how you see yourself is crucial if you want to develop a better relationship with your body. If I was to put a recorder in your head during one of your bad body days and play it back to you, would you be happy with what you hear? Our internal chatter plays a crucial role in developing and strengthening our self esteem! Instead of beating yourself after looking in the mirror and deciding you looks like a turd, practice self compassion and kindness instead. What would you say to a three year old?
Affirmations have helped me to create empowering beliefs around my body! Instead of listening to the destructive and negative internal chatter (on replay) in your head you CAN start to change this conversation. By creating positive affirmations that will change your thoughts and rewire your brain you can release your inner fabulous. You don't need to change your body, you just need to change how you think about your body. I promise :)
Action: Repeat the following affirmation as many times as needed. Write it on 20 post-its and scatter them around the house. Save it as a screen saver on your phone. Talk to yourself in front of the mirror. Do whatever it takes. "I am fabulous, beautiful and worthy of my own love."
During bad body days one small thing is all you need to do to help yourself. Remember, what you resist persists so change the record and treat yourself with love, kindness and compassion (treat yourself the same way you would treat your best friend, daughter or sister going through a bad body day too). What will your one small thing to beat your bad body day be?
Even though I know you can, you don’t don't have to beat your bad body days all on your own. There is so much more I can teach you!