Today's post on changing negative body image is by Darla Breckenridge, our psychologist-masters at Green Mountain.
I feel so honored to work individually with the women who choose to see me at Green Mountain at Fox Run! The power of the transformation gained by moving through pain amazes me each time I have the privilege of working individually with a participant. This week I was aware of how the pain can twist and turn and become a negative body image. The ways in which women think and talk about their bodies is in language that they would NEVER use with any other human being.
The force of this language is toxic to our self esteem. Is there any way to use this pattern to our advantage and soften the critical voice? I have been thinking that the negative self talk could be used as a cue to prompt a healthy, neutral or (egads!) positive self statement. Many repetitions of healthy self talk can begin to influence your core beliefs about your body and dramatically improve body image.
Awareness is the first step in changing self talk. When you hear yourself say “I hate my body,” PERK UP, notice and be ready to frequently and diligently say something like “I appreciate that my body made it up the hill” or “My arms worked well for me today when I was gardening” or "Wow! Even with my ankle hurting, I was able to do all that power shopping" or "Thank you for helping me get out of bed, body.”
Preparing your healthy self statements in advance will make it easier for you to use them when you need them. Write them down, say them in the car and repeat them often and with the intention of encouraging yourself.
What is a healthy statement that you could use when your thoughts are hurtful or self loathing? I think that we can support each other so much by sharing healthy self talk and learning from each other. Post a healthy self statement that someone else might be able to use if they can’t come up with one on their own.
May you notice what amazing feats your body accomplished for you today and share your success with us.