Body kindness is more about doing than thinking. That’s why you don’t always have to have ‘happy’ thoughts about your body to respect and be kind to it.
This is because our brain sometimes needs to play a little catch up while we put into action what we want it to believe and think.
Which is why when you’re freakin out about something, you still do it anyways. The fear slowly starts to dissipate as you’re doing said ‘scary thing’ and you come to realize it wasn’t that bad.
Same with body kindness. Even if you think “My stomach is too fat” or “My thighs are disgusting” BUT still choose to eat, choose to rest, choose to reach out for support…you are taking action. You are thinking something not helpful and nasty, but deciding to still be kind to yourself.
Here’s the thing. Your brain wants your actions to prove your thoughts true.
And here is the most common mistake I see happening when my clients come at their wits end. They have tried everything under the sun to be kind to themselves. They read every book known to mankind about repeating motivational quotes or body neutral sayings over and over again (because practice makes perfect, right?). They’ve plastered motivational and body positive quotes all over their bathroom mirror and bedroom (because you have to see it to believe it). And they’ve listened to every podcast, watched every youtube video, and read every post about this subject.
But they’re spending too much of their time trying to change the thoughts instead of physically doing something different.
All their efforts are being put on their thoughts, but their actions are still the same. (remember the brain wants to prove those thoughts right).
They are still pinching those stomach rolls, restricting what they eat, choosing to workout even when they’re exhausted, cancelling dinner or social plans because they didn’t earn those calories, and participating in behaviors that are proving those unhelpful and nasty thoughts true.
So you might be wondering, “Well what the heck am I supposed to do?”
I got ya! That’s why I wanted to make this simple and give you 3 easy steps you can start today.
Here’s how to choose kindness…even when you aren’t feelin it.
1. Be okay when those unhelpful or nasty thoughts appear.
The attachment to them is unnecessary. And the attachment is where you start to think you see reality when it’s not actually there. Your thoughts are mere opinions you’ve created. And the beauty about that is you get to shift your opinions (about anything) at anytime. But I know how tempting it is to think everything you believe to be true, but it’s not! You can’t control the thoughts you are having (no matter how many self help books you read). They will just come and go, but you do have the power to choose what you do next. And that, is where the true growth and change occurs.
2. Acknowledge those nasty thoughts, say hello, and continue on.
You don’t have to try and stop them from happening. That will be a waste of your energy. But being aware of when they’re there, saying hello to them like you would someone you don’t really like but are deciding to play nice, and then walking away with a smirky smile because you know you just did something badass, is completely acceptable. The main goal in this step is to not fight these thoughts, but welcome them with an open mind so you can continue on with your day. Spending time trying to stop them will just leave you frustrated, confused, and feeling like you’re a failure at trying to think nice about yourself. Just give a nonchalant, ‘Hey how ya doin’ and move on so you can get to step 3.
3. Do something kind.
To be honest, this is the hardest part of the 3 steps. Mainly, because when you are constantly having a mean girl with a megaphone screaming in your ear “You’re ugly,” “You’re fat,” “You don’t deserve to eat that,” or “Your butt is disgusting,” it’s extremely difficult to want to be kind to yourself. But it CAN be done! By completing step 2 with a ‘howdy doo’ without judgment or attachment to those thoughts, this step will become easier and easier to do. You just have to be willing to do this step because it’s necessary for your brain to start to play catch up to the actions you are taking. Here are examples of how to be kind: journal your feelings (and not eat them), reach out to a friend (not be secretive or ashamed), run yourself a bubble bath, lay on the floor (one of my favorites), cuddle a pet (number one favorite), listen to music, choose to eat (and not restrict), choose to rest (and not ‘burn off’ those thoughts), or whatever you deem kind. But DO something. And definitely keep a list of your favorite ways to show yourself kindness for when you need brush off the nasty thoughts because it’s a quick and helpful tool.
Being kind doesn’t have to be hard. But don’t we sure love to complicate the heck outta it?!
And in the end, your actions speak louder than your thoughts.
So the next time a ‘mean girl’ thought rears its ugliness, say “howdy doo” and DO something nice for yourself.
And if you’re struggling with being nice to yourself because the nasty thoughts are overwhelming, you can find out how to overcome those with my free 3 part video series all about finding Freedom From Your Eating Disorder.
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Certified Holistic Health Coach
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach