Last year I wrote a blog about body image and self esteem. Most of us are our own worst critics, and that’s fine. But we should be very careful about how we talk about ourselves in front of our children! I have a beautiful 5-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. They are the light of my life, and I love them more than anything. Recently, my son has reminded me of how negatively I talk about myself…frequently. It’s a horrible habit I have, and it is so ingrained that I don’t even notice I’m doing it!
Body shaming in the media
Personal ideas about body image are already distorted by the unattainable body types we’re bombarded with in advertisements, magazines, and television. Even though we know that many of these photos have been doctored and airbrushed, they still affect us. We feel like we are not attractive unless we are thin with no blemishes, no cellulite, or whatever else we beat ourselves up about.
I know I’m not the only one who worries about body image. I’ve spoken to several women (and men) on my massage table who are unhappy about their physique and shame themselves for the condition they are in.
I recently got back from vacation in Florida. I purchased two full coverage tankinis because I thought I should not be showing myself in a bikini (even though there were plenty of women in bikinis who weighed at least 50 pounds more than me). I wanted to feel less self-conscious, and it worked.
The challenge lies in passing by a mirror and refusing to let my inner critic tell me how “gross” I am. I made every effort to not complain about my body while on vacation, and I didn’t even exercise during the trip, aside from walking around theme parks all day.
How to stop personal body shaming
Now that I’m back home, I think I’ll implement an idea that my aunt gave me…whenever I’m about to complain about my body, I’ll just smack myself in the mouth! Alright, I’m joking. But I am going to try to think of something positive instead of letting my inner critic shame me. I don’t want to have any part in my children suffering from body image issues. I want to break the cycle!
I invite you to practice stopping your inner body shamer right at the moment of attack. Think of something beautiful about yourself instead! If you’ve had success in stopping personal body shaming, be courageous and share in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.
As always, feel free to contact me with your questions or to schedule an appointment.