This week’s topic in WW Workshops is on Body Image. A hard topic for many of us. And it does not matter if you are old or young. It does not matter if you are male or female. It does not matter if you are overweight or thin. Many of us struggle with those negative body images. Some of those thoughts have been ingrained in our minds for years, said by others to us, or just said to us by us. And it doesn’t help that we are bombarded, daily, by images on social media and on TV that show us the “perfect” bodies. The struggle is real for so many of us.
Do you struggle with finding positive things to say or think about your body? I do.
Do you find yourself speaking negatively about your body? I do.
Maybe it is your arms, or your neck, or your legs or your stomach or ???
This week, WW helps us to identify the negative things we think and/or say about our bodies and then gives us tools to help us change the way we think. Techniques that help us turn the negative to a positive. A shift in mindset. And one that is HARD. It requires awareness and honesty with ourselves. And it requires INTENTIONALLY focusing on something positive rather than ALLOWING the negative to define us.
As I sat in a workshop yesterday morning, I heard the negative things I have said and what I still say about my body. I do not like my arms, those who attended my workshops knew that. I have shared it in workshops when we had body image discussions. And I have been working on changing that mindset. I am finding it a little easier and sometimes even automatic to say a positive about my arms now, but it took me time to get to this place. I look for the good my arms can do now, rather than focusing on the jiggling loose skin on my arms. The more I have practiced saying the positives and focusing on the positives, the more it has become automatic. I am starting to like my arms. I am wearing sleeveless shirts at home now, but not yet ready to venture out into the world….. almost there.
But yesterday morning in that workshop I heard other negative things about my body. Ugh! Too many. When did this happen? Have I always been so negative? I never noticed before because it was ingrained in me and automatic…. Said and thought without noticing what was happening. Like being on autopilot….it just happens.
Hearing those thoughts hit me. Hard! I wasn’t aware before, but I am now aware. And awareness is the first step in making a shift in my thoughts, the first step in changing.
So, this week, thanks to the workshop, I am working on shifting how I see just one body part. Just one. That I CAN do. I am focusing on how I see my stomach/abs. I do not like my stomach/abs. Period! NEVER have! Loose skin sucks— a negative thought. Stretch marks are incredibly ugly—another negative thought. Look at those rolls…. Ugh— another negative. I look pregnant from the side in this shirt—negative! And even more negatives run through my head, especially when I look in the mirror—with or without clothes, it really doesn’t matter.
The leader asked us to come up with something positive, something that part of our body can do for us. Hmmm….. I struggled with this. My first thought was- “Really? What can this do? Nothing.” But then I really started to think. And I came up with something—
–-My stomach is strong enough to help hold my spine steady, keeping me from throwing my back out and landing in the hospital. Okay—positive.
And…. Well….. nothing else comes to mind, just yet. So, one positive right now. And that one positive is better than none.
Now, to do an old activity from a WW Workshop in the past—this week, every day I will stand in front of my mirror and look at my stomach (THAT is going to be hard, but CHANGE is HARD!) and I am going to think about the positive, the one positive I have come up with (and I will try to come up with another). By practicing saying and thinking about the positive, then it will become easier and eventually will replace the negative. Eventually…..
What ONE body part are you negative about? What ONE body part can you focus on this week? What positive thing can your body part do for you, right now? Once you pick the body part and find the positive(s), then practice saying them while looking in the mirror….or, if you cannot look in the mirror, then practice saying the positive while visualizing your body part. The more you say it, the more you will believe it. And that is how we shift our negative thoughts to positive!
Can you do this one thing this week?
Will you do this one thing this week?
I can and I will! I am traveling this imperfect journey and changing my body image along the way!