Positive Self Talk

by Angie on February 11, 2010

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Photo from www.operationbeautiful.com

Thanks again for your wonderfully articulate and well-written comments on my Body Image in Women post

Your comments have me thinking more and more about what we can all do to decrease “fat talk” and negative self-talk and increase positive self-talk, especially among women.

Recently, on this running website, I came across an interesting quote, “It’s not what you think you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.”

I think, too often, we spend time and energy focusing on what we think we are not. What we have done wrong. What we have done that’s not good enough.

We need to bring the focus back to what we think we are and what we know we can be.

When I was younger, I was never satisfied with my body. I hated wearing swimsuits – I loved swimming, but I was not happy with how I looked. As I’ve grown older and perhaps a bit wiser, I’ve come to appreciate my body for the strength, muscles, and yes, even the curves. I love feeling healthy and strong and I choose to focus on the good rather than the bad.

If I eat a little too much, or something a little less healthy, I’ve learned to enjoy every bite and not spend precious hours stressing and beating myself up. Instead of saying to myself, “You are so stupid, I can’t believe you ate a whole serving of french fries”, I choose to say, “I savored the french fries slowly and enjoyed them so much, and I know I’ll be back to my normal healthy eating at my next meal.” Words can be powerful.

What thoughts and ideas about yourself and your behaviors do you need to give up? What positive thoughts about yourself can you replace them with?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kabocha February 11, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I need to stop feeling guilty for eating and not exercising!!

Andrea@WellnessNotes February 12, 2010 at 3:34 am

Great posts!

I have also come to appreciate my body much more for what it can do over the years. I learned to not want to look like/be an “idea” of who I was and what I should look like but who I am.

Angie February 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

Great point, Kabocha! Pat yourself on the back when you do work out, but give yourself a pass when you don’t. Get back on track the next day you can. It really is what we do more over time that makes the difference!

Amen, Andrea! Absolutely. One of my co-workers, who does a weekly exercise show on local TV (and happens to be fabulous in her 50s), told me that when she first started seeing herself on TV, she was thinking, oh my gosh, is that what I really look like? She said, after time, she came to appreciate- yes- that is what I look like – that is who I am- and I’m happy with that. Thanks for your great comment!

Jenny February 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I sometimes feel self-conscious in front of others, and I think I need to let that go. I shouldn’t be ashamed or worry about what they think – I should be proud of who I am!

Taylor@Joy of Food February 12, 2010 at 5:07 pm

It’s scary to remember how much I hated my body. I agonised over every little part of it, studied and measured. I can honestly say it’s such a relief and such a feeling of freedom to not think like that anymore. Of course there’s days when I still hate my body, but not to the extremes of my ED days. I have learnt to love my body and to appreciate my body and everything it does for me. I sometimes wonder if you have to go through and recover from an eating disorder to fully feel this.

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