If you’ve decided to ditch dieting and move toward accepting your body without restriction, you will likely notice some changes. And because we live in a society that values thinness and smaller body types, it’s no wonder that when your stomach starts to grow or you notice a new patch of cellulite on your thighs, you might start to wonder if leaving diets behind is really the best move (spoiler alert: it can bring you so much peace if you let it!)
The mainstream body positivity movement (or at least what shows up on social media) often bypasses the fact that it takes time, effort, and a lot of patience to embrace your body. It’s not as simple as throwing on a crop-top, taking a selfie, and calling it a day (although I do recommend doing that when you feel ready because it’s super empowering…).
Embracing changes in your body is all about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s about bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings to see how they are impacting your life on a daily basis. And for the most part, at least in the beginning, it’s not about being positive at all. It’s about finding ways to see your changing body as NEUTRAL.
Chances are, you’ve spent a lot of time convincing yourself to just be more positive…⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And then instantly felt guilty that it somehow backfired and you still felt awful.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here’s an example:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Let’s say you’re picking out a bathing suit to wear. You put on a bikini. Immediately, those old familiar thoughts start pinging around in your brain.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
First thought: “Ugh, look at all these rolls, I can’t wear this.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Second thought: “Okay, I shouldn’t be thinking that! I’m trying to be body positive and accepting! I’m never gonna get this right. I’m just always gonna hate myself and the way I look in a bikini…”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
See how quickly that spiraled into such intense judgment?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Now you’re not only upset about the bathing suit, you’re mad at yourself for being upset about the bathing suit!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s a vicious, judgmental cycle!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
So… what’s the solution here?
Notice. Breathe. Get neutral.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Thoughts are not good or bad.
They’re just sentences happening in your brain.
We all have them.
And if you’re so busy judging the thought, you can’t possibly look at it with clarity and decide if it’s helping you or keeping you stuck AF.⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s ok to be self-conscious.
It’s ok to have all the thoughts.
It’s what you DO with the thought that matters most.
And if you are so busy judging yourself, you won’t make a decision that actually serves you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Remember: Neutrality brings clarity.
So next time you find yourself obsessing, here are three key questions to you can ask yourself to help you get neutral:
Start with these and see how it goes. These can bring up a lot of feels and that’s totally expected and okay. This is a process. Take your time. Journal. Listen to music. Take a walk. Take some deep breaths.
You didn’t learn to hate your body overnight, so unlearning it overnight just isn’t realistic, love.
And if you’re looking for more tools and techniques to help on your journey of unlearning, I’ll invite you to check out, The Body Image Bridge. It’s a self-paced program that helps you, slowly but surely, rewrite your outdated body story.
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