For many women, climbing Mount Everest feels more likely than climbing the ladder of self-acceptance.
Can you relate?
As women, self-acceptance can be an ongoing battle.
We can be sooooo good at accepting others. Meanwhile, we struggle with food, eating, weight, and body image. Feeling good and accepting ourselves can feel impossible.
Our go-to language and feelings include:
-Being “at war” with our bodies
-Comparing to others and to our younger selves
-Judging – even hating – what we see in the mirror
-Avoidance of people, places, and activities because we don’t want to be seen
-And guess what makes it even harder to address our food, eating, weight, and body image challenges? We need to feel good about it.
How Do We Start?
As a fitness professional and now an Intuitive Eating Coach, many of the women I’ve met have felt JUST like this. For more than 35 years, I’ve met talented, engaging, smart, compassionate, funny, artistic, and passionate women who hate themselves, and their bodies. And they practice this daily.
It’s time for a change, don’t you agree?
In this quick read you will learn the exact 9 steps to ultimate self-acceptance my clients learn in my paid programs.
Having an awareness of your self-talk and “stinkin’ thinkin’” is step one.
Women who become aware and then acknowledge what their thoughts are and where they go are preparing to make a shift!
Old Ways Don’t Work
When women get stuck in the cycle of self-loathing, our thoughts focus on:
“Good” vs. “bad” foods
What we’ve eaten or not eaten
Body parts we hate
Excuses to stay home
Burning off calories
Exploring new diets
Thinking about when, what, and how we’ll eat next
Beating ourselves up for any or all of the following:All of the above!
Lack of willpower
Or even the size of our thighs!
These same thoughts ride around and around on well-worn mental train tracks. And as negative as they are…they’re familiar and comfortable.
Make the Space to Shift Thinking
After awareness and acknowledgment without judgment, create space in your mind for more productive thoughts and meaningful activities.
And, explore that place inside where creativity and playfulness live and bring them to the surface with:
Connecting with others
It is the start of the journey to feel more comfortable in your own skin … the journey to self-acceptance.
9 Steps to Ultimate Self-Acceptance
SELF-COMPASSION: Discover, develop, and strengthen a compassionate and kind, inner voice that validates pain, soothes suffering, wards off the mean inner voice so you can begin to befriend your whole self: body, mind, and spirit.
CHALLENGE: I gently challenge you to examine your current thoughts and beliefs with non-judgmental inquiry.
CURIOSITY: Get curious and answer these questions about your current mindset:
o Why do I think that way?
o What made me feel that?
o Why do I say that to myself?
CHOICES: Give yourself permission to make choices about food, not based on any diet or on any set of rules.
o What to eat
o When to eat
o How much to eat
COURAGE: Be brave about examining your current thoughts and behaviors and know you will be supported to do what’s required next.
CHANGE: With the proper support, guidance, and training you create the possibility for change.
Remember: our behaviors are linked to our current thoughts.
When you step on a scale and a number pops up, what thoughts come up for you? With those thoughts, what behaviors follow those thoughts? Connecting the dots from the thought to the behavior creates a pause. Within this pause exists the opportunity to change the thought.
CONFIDENCE: As you notice your thoughts, you gain confidence in this process, you are now on a new path of change.
COMPETENCE: With practice and confidence comes competence (not perfection!) When you pause, you have the chance to explore and question the old thought without judgment.
Instead of, “Wow, I’m such a failure. I might as well go to McDonald’s because it doesn’t matter anyway,” comes the opportunity to shift to “Wow, that’s interesting. Why am I feeling like this? Why does a number on a scale provoke these feelings? I know I’m doing the best I can right now. Things have been hard. I wonder what I need? Maybe I’ll take a walk.” (Or take a bath, journal, or call a friend to vent, cry, connect, etc.)
Choosing a different option builds confidence, competence, and so on. This is how you begin to truly shift.
CONNECTIONS: By creating and strengthening connections with others who’ve had the same experiences, (like we do in private Diet-Free Sisterhood Facebook group), we validate our experiences and a realize we are not alone.
When you have someone to share thoughts and feelings with on your same journey, it creates a safe space to share.
We know human connection has many benefits including decreased stress, less anxiety, less comparison and judgment, and increased safety, OK-ness, and a sense of well-being.
Put It Into Practice
As you get curious about your own challenges with food, eating, weight, and body image, let the 9 steps guide you through the process to a better, more sustainable, more joyful way of living.
Begin the journey to joy and allow each step to propel you further along.
Start with Self-Compassion
Challenge old thoughts and behaviors
And make lasting, supportive Connections
Your body is your home. It is here within your own skin where you can find comfort and contentment.