Ever have a bad body day? Me too. Yep, even body-positive nutritionists have bad body days from time to time – we’re only human.
The trouble with bad body days is that they can lead to self-deprecating thoughts that can spiral downhill and affect our thoughts about everything we do. The trick is learning how to handle a bad body day and what you can do to shake them off. And if you put these tips into action over and over again, you’ll find that the bad body days become far and few between.
If you’re standing in front of the mirror grumbling about your thighs / belly / arms, ask yourself, what does that part of your body DO?
Those legs are for walking / running / biking and they work hard carrying you places. That belly is for digesting food / keeping you energized / maybe you’ve grown a human in there. Those arms are for hugging / carrying things / painting / chopping / whatever.
The point is that your body works hard for you, and it deserves your love and respect.
(Please note, I’m aware that not every person’s body parts are able to perform the above, but they do support a mind able to perform tasks and express love in other ways.)
If you’re looking critically at the shapes, lines, and textures of your body, step back and think for a moment. Where would you see those same shapes, lines, and textures and think they were beautiful?
Picture body creases or rolls as a comfy, soft pile of blankets. Picture cellulite as the bumpy surface of orange peel. The rounded curve of a thigh as a rolling hill.
Why is it that those things are beautiful but your body is not? Spoiler: your body is beautiful.
If you close your eyes and put your hands on your body, does it feel good to be touched there? Can you shift judgement away and just sense what’s under your fingertips and be intrigued by the texture?
One of my favourite things to do is knead soft, warm, bread dough, so why would the same sensation on my body be unpleasant? Right? It isn't.
Ask yourself where you learned that looking the way you do isn’t okay. Who taught you that?
As a society, we’ve been programmed towards a particular beauty standard, and one that’s also unrealistic, unsustainable, and harmful. We need to push back against this, and reset the standard to include all bodies.
If it was an individual, what were their motives? How do they benefit from you thinking your body isn’t okay? And do you benefit from having this individual in your life?
When talking to or about your body, shift to using a deliberate and loving label. My awesome belly. My strong arms. My mighty thighs. Positive and loving self-talk goes a long way.
And please, don’t beat yourself up for having a bad body day now and then. We all have them – that crap is hard to unlearn. The point is that we recognize that’s what it is and have a toolbox we can use when we realize that it’s happening.
Here’s to radical self-love! Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.