You may or may not have listened to our podcast episode the other week but we got into it deep about our body image issues. We’re talking 15 years of body image issues. That’s 5475 days.
There was a lot to cover in the podcast episode (totally recommend you tune in here), from how it all started, to what it was like and exactly how we started to get through our negative body image.
It’s such a huge freaking topic and it makes us sad and mad that so many of us go through it (slash… are going through it).
Why? We can look externally and start to blame everyone else: friends, family, the media, Instagram, Snapchat filters, magazines, photoshop but there’s no real purpose to start pointing the finger. Let’s all agree that it sucks.
And let’s all agree to do something about it.
This starts with YOU as an individual… because then we welcome the ripple effect. If you start loving yourself and quietening that little biatch inside your head (you know the one that says you’re not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not whatever enough, that voice is seriously annoying), then you’ll inspire and give permission to everyone else around you to do the same.
And FAR FREAKING OUT how good would life be if we all loved ourselves more? So good is the correct answer.
If you’re struggling with negative body image... or you know someone who is…
Here are our 8 steps to get through your body image issues
ONE: Use positive affirmations/mantras
You might think they’re wanky… we think they’re magical. Give them a try and you might get a nice surprise. In fact, there’s science that says positive self-affirmations can actually re-wire your brain to perform better and reduce stress. So it ain’t just woo-woo.
Even if you don’t believe your affirmation/mantra saying them out loud and even writing them down still works. We’ve found that eventually… we start to believe them and they become our reality. So weird. So good.
Some to try: I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am freaking amazing. I look banging (c’mon have some fun!). I love myself. I deserve the best.
TWO: Eat foods that actually make you feel good
Sounds so simple and like ‘duh’ but there have been MANY times when we eat food that might be super yum and enjoyable at the time of eating yet we know it doesn’t make us feel good about ourselves afterwards. Huh? Talk about self-sabotage. We’d be doing awesome with our self-body image, feeling really good… and then we’d go and make the decision to eat/binge on this food that we knew was about to make us feel crap again, in our brains and in our bodies. Woh, it was/is a vicious cycle.
We talk more about our binge eating issues on this week’s podcast. Tune in! It’s good.
We made the decision to become super aware of how our minds and bodies were being impacted by the foods we were eating.
We started to ask ourselves how will we feel after we eat this? And how do we WANT to feel?
The answer is we want to keep feeling good and we want to keep believing that we love ourselves.
So our food decisions became easier… and we started to only eat foods that made us feel AMAZING.
THREE: Exercise… just move in a way you love
You might have heard from others that you don’t need to exercise… yep, we heard that and believed that too (for a while). Then we realised exercise actually makes us feel so HAPPY (hello endorphins!) and really really good about ourselves.
On the days we’d exercise, our body image would be way better than the days we couldn’t be bothered.
We found an exercise we LOVE and now it’s even easier to exercise… because it’s fun annnnnd we feel good about ourselves. Hellllloooo pilates and yoga. If you haven’t found an exercise you love yet, keep trying new things or simply go for a walk.
FOUR: Unfollow, unlike, chuck out the magazines
Oh the comparison game can get NASTY! Comparison is the thief of joy... it is the thief of everything! The only way to beat it, is it to stop it. The only way to stop it is to remove the things you’re comparing yourself to.
Unfollow and unlike any accounts (or friends!) you compare yourself to. If you have magazines lying around your home/workspace… chuck them in the recycling bin.
FIVE: Stop shopping (for a while anyway)
This one is weird but we did it and it helped. We found when we’d shop, we’d be looking in mirrors for hours on end and judging ourselves. Does this look good? How are my arms? My legs? My stomach? My face? My hair? My eyes? Oh… it wasn’t fun as it allowed the negative body image to really come alive. That sucked. So we stopped shopping, which meant we stopped judging so much.
SIX: Wear clothes that you feel good in
Don’t worry about the trends just choose to wear clothes that you feel good in. For us, we were both really self-conscious about our arms… so we’d wear tshirts rather than singlets on the days we were being mean to ourselves. Eventually, we’d trained our brains to shut up with that chitter chatter… because it was all made up anyway, and now we wear singlets again.
SIX: Get your gratitude on
Ok, do we ever not bang on about gratitude? IT IS THE GAME CHANGER! We even have a quote card that says so… so like, it’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth. As soon as you catch yourself saying something mean to yourself, switch it up for why you’re grateful for that body part. Here’s an example… maybe you hate your nose… switch it! I am grateful because I can breathe easily through my nose. Don’t like your legs? I am grateful because I can walk! Oh gosh… as soon as we do that, our insecurities seem silly and very unimportant and made up. If you are able… you are lucky… and sorry to get woo-woo but you are literally a walking miracle.
EIGHT: Come back faster
We ain’t saying this is magic (like life is magical but the issues don’t just go away). Sometimes you do the work and you train the brain, the thoughts, the patterns but you still fall back into old habits. THIS IS OK. YOU ARE NORMAL. EVERYONE DOES THIS. Hehe, yes, caps required. If this happens, accept those thoughts happened and move on… like as fast as you can. Move on to gratitude. Move on to love. Move on to the light. It’s your choice to flip it, and you can.
You cannot change those thoughts that already happened but you can create your present moment and make it delicious and lovely. So choose to move on, and add more joy. Because life is short and time is fast so let’s not prioritise self-judgement. Let’s NOT make time for it.
Are you struggling with body image issues? If you are, tune into our podcast episodes where we talk more or seek professional/medical support. You don’t have to do this alone. You can also join our 14 Day Challenge where we’ll be talking ALOT about this and sharing techniques to overcome binge eating, body image as well as eating super delish food! Grab your spot here – can’t wait to welcome you in!
Emma + Carla