What do you think when you look in the mirror?
“I’m fat.” “I’m ugly.” “I have too many wrinkles.” “My nose is too big.”
I’m sure the list could go in forever. So let’s talk about self image.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Because society is hard on us! For years now there has been a movement about empowering women (and men) to feel better about ourselves, but does it really work? Does our internal monologue change because the media tells us to change it? No. Will your internal monologue change because I’m asking you to change it? I would love for it to, but I have to be realistic!
I used to spend hours looking in the mirror and picking at my face and my skin. I would find all my imperfections and focus on them because others were telling me I wasn’t worthy of being considered beautiful. If I couldn’t sleep I was in the mirror. At one point when I was self harming I even cut fat into my stomach and ugly into my calf. That’s how I viewed myself, a fat, disgusting human being.
I imagine this is the story of millions of young women (and not so young) and it devastates me to know others are struggling the way I used to.
I don’t remember when I stopped judging myself so harshly, but I know it was after my daughter came to me when she was around four and told me she was fat! FOUR! I knew then and there that somewhere along the way she had probably heard me say I myself was fat. I knew I had to change my perspective.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am human and I still have days where I don’t feel good about myself. I could lose some more weight, I could work harder to drink more water, but more days than not I have to remind myself that I am worthy and I am beautiful.
So what can you do to help yourself with your self image?
1. Change your inner monologue. Start small. Take it a day at a time.
2. Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people.
4. Surround yourself with words of affirmation. Hang a sticky note, create a piece of art, do whatever is best for you! (I am beautiful, Today is the day, I am worthy etc.)
5. Stop expecting perfection. You aren’t perfect and that’s ok!
6. Change what you can.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others.
8. Take a hot bath or shower and relax.
9. Don’t live in the mirror.
10. Give back. Help others. Do something that makes you and others feel good!
Ugly: The Exies