Stop Bullying your Body!
Everyone hates a bully right? A bully is someone who tries to exert control over one or more people by taunting, insulting, intimidating or verbally abusing them. We talk about bullies in school, on the playground, and even in politics. The overarching idea is that bullies basically “suck” and we should not tolerate any bullying, under any circumstance.
Yet, it’s those same people who despise and reprimand bullies that often bully themselves! Imagine Biff Tannen from “Back to the Future,” yelling and berating you non-stop. You wouldn’t tolerate that (hopefully) – and would take action! So, why don’t we take action against our own negative attacks?
The problem is – when it’s you attacking yourself, who can you tell on the bully? What tactics should you use?
I remember one time, a few years ago, I went to the gym and sought to simply notice the number of times I said something negative about myself when looking in the mirror. Things like “You should be stronger by now”. “ Ugh, you look pregnant in that lululemon top.” “I can’t compete with these women in this class.” These were all examples of little thought bubbles that appeared without warning. After an hour of a down-and-dirty workout, (which was supposed to make me feel strong and empowered), I had counted 18 times where I had thought something negative about my body or my abilities! 18 times!! Can you imagine if you insulted someone else you love 18 times in one hour? That person would never talk to you again! Yet, we do it to ourselves day in and day out relentlessly.
We bully by denying or judging our appetite. We bully by going on restrictive and unsustainable diets. We bully by refusing to listen to our bodies and use exercise as punishment for eating something fattening as opposed to moving for the joy of it. We bully by constantly berating our physical appearance, creating a chronic low level stress response in our bodies – which signals our bodies to create inflammation, decrease muscle mass, and increase fat storage. These are all things we do not want! In fact, I believe that much of the malaise, allergies, autoimmune disorders and GI distress that Americans have today are partly attributable to the stress of bullying our bodies in this way.
Can we agree to finally start a truce and befriend our bodies? If you were to write a letter to your body, what would you say? Could you say, “I’m sorry”, and raise the white flag? What would happen if, when you caught yourself attacking, you turned it around, and said something kind instead? What if you even “fake it till you make it”?
I know this has worked for me. I thought-stop, in the moment WHENEVER I catch myself talking trash about myself. I thought-stop, turn it around and even when it’s the last thing I am feeling or wanting to say, I find something kind to say and find one thing to be grateful for.
Let’s all agree to stop Mean Girling and Biff Tanening our bodies. Do it for your mental well being as well as for your overall path to physical and emotional wellness.
Let me know how it goes.
If you need support, please reach out to me and let’s schedule a FREE ½ hour consult today to see if we’re a good fit and how I can help you start feeling amazing in your skin.
Please fill out this brief survey and give me your feedback on body image that I will use in my upcoming book, “The Body Image Blueprint”