Often our troubles with body image come from our desire to be attractive to others. We think that if we lose weight, we’ll look hot, get attention, feel loved and be happy.
While this type of attention gives you a short term boost of giddiness, it doesn’t last long because true self-love comes from having unconditional love for yourself (without being contingent on when you fit into your skinny jeans).
There are many moving parts that go in to cultivating self-love, but letting go of the need for approval and giving yourself permission to be who you are is paramount in this process.
I want to give you 2 words that helped me to achieve this.
Let me put this into perspective…
Over the past month I’ve treated myself to some new spring/summer clothes and I can’t believe how vastly different shopping is for me from a few years ago.
Shopping is fun now and I love it.
I buy what I want and what fits. I don’t panic about what size I fit into. I don’t earn my shopping occasions through 4 weeks of strict eating. Most importantly, I often (not always because this would be a lie!) think, “damn, I have a great body” when I look at myself in the mirror – it may have sounded more like “daaaaamn gurrl, I have a great body”.
But a few years ago, shopping looked like this:
- It was only done after I had been ‘good’ for at least 4 weeks straight.
- I bought clothes that fit a size, not what ‘actually’ fit me…this usually meant it barely fit because I was committed to continue losing weight… this also meant that I would wear it once and then cry every time I saw it afterward.
- When trying on clothes I would feel the same type of panic I can only imagine rivals that of the passengers on Sully’s flight.
Shopping was torture and generally resulted in me plunging into self-loathing and temper tantrums.
The way I felt about myself was a reflection of the way I believed other people perceived me.
This state of mind keeps us paralyzed trying to be someone that we’re not. We care SO MUCH about what other people think and want to fit in.
If we put that same amount of energy into loving ourselves and expressing who we really are, I’m fairly certain we’d have genetically modified unicorns and the Kardashians would disappear like the Marty McFly Polaroid in Back 2 The Future.
One of the most powerful statements that helped me to overcome my desire to gain approval was: Who cares?!?!?
Or the ‘sorry mom’ version that I prefer to use: Who the F cares?!?!
*use of exclamation point and question marks not optional.
Who cares what other people think of me!?!? Who cares if someone doesn’t like what I have to say or how I look!?!? Who cares if the café barista thinks I’m a chubbo when I ask for the largest salted chocolate chip cookie!?!? Who cares if the woman behind me on my bike is looking at my muffin top!?!?
Seriously, what is the worst that can happen!?!?! I have WAY more important things to be spending my time on (like eating that giant cookie) and will not let your imaginary opinion slow my roll thank you.
Who the F cares?!?!
This simple statement can help you stop and understand if you’re making a decision because you’ve got other people’s opinions of you pigeon-holing you in self-doubt.
Small caveat: I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about other people – I’m not going to shove past the woman in the walker delaying my entry to the bathroom because “who the F cares”. No.
It helps you to get comfortable with the idea that you’ll be fine if everyone doesn’t like you – because not everyone will and that is OK. That you deserve to be unapologetically you and this is your ticket to feeling free (and loving shopping).
This type of transformation doesn’t happen overnight or even over a few weeks. It takes a long time to really overcome deep-rooted body shame. Have patience with it and keep with it Rockstar!
If you’re ready to start that process and be unapologetically you, then remember that I’m going to be running a group cycle of my 21 Step Body Image Remix starting tomorrow, Wednesday May 27th. This is your last chance to hop on board this group cycle!
This program and community is available to you at any time, but when I run a group cycle it just means that you complete the missions with other women at the same time as you. I hope you’ll join my community of Rockstars who have taken the sledgehammer to their scales and are living proof that freedom is possible!
Oh my gosh! I needed this. “…true self-love comes from having unconditional love for yourself (without being contingent on when you fit into your skinny jeans).” That almost exactly happened to me this weekend. I was supposed to go to an event with my husband. I even had my dress and heels on. I got a glimpse of me in the mirror and then couldn’t go (I couldn’t fake that I was okay because I even cried while driving my husband to the event, still in my dress and heels, so I just dropped him off and went home). It hasn’t stopped me going out in so long I forgot it could still happen.
p.s. I want a genetically modified unicorn. ;)
Oh Mary I’m so sorry to hear that! I hope you can find the love for yourself that you deserve!! xo