We all want to feel good about our bodies, but many of us--myself included!--have spent years caught in a negative relationship with our bodies. 

SOURCE: INSTAGRAM, @MELPARRISHPLUS  Photo by Caroline DeSantis, @crazytownproductions


Photo by Caroline DeSantis, @crazytownproductions

There are really four pillars to your relationship with your body, and how you think, feel, move, and feed all dictates how good you feel about your body at any given time. Over the next four weeks, we in the #healthyatanysize community will be unpacking all four of these as we transform our relationships with our bodies so that we can live at full amplitude.

The way that we think about our bodies absolutely impacts our experience with them. When we focus all of our thoughts on how we wish our bodies could be different, we’re tearing ourselves down. When we stand in front of the mirror and inventory all the areas of our bodies that we would like to “whittle down,” we’re essentially doing the mental equivalent of taking a scalpel to our flesh--without anesthesia!

This type of thinking doesn’t just amount to a state of unhappiness:it’s really a form of violence against ourselves. These thoughts can lead us to extreme behavior when it comes to food and exercise. No one thinks, “I love my body so much that I’m going to start downing these fat burning pills that make my heart pound out of my chest,” or “I love how I look in the mirror, therefore I’m going to throw up everything I ate”, or, “I love my body, therefore I’m going to run until I feel the tendons and ligaments around my lower back start to tear and snap.” Extreme behaviors like these are fueled by the negative thoughts we have about ourselves, and in this way, the mental violence results in actual acts of physical violence against ourselves.

These thoughts can be very sneaky. Often, they’re based in the negative feedback we received about our bodies early in our lives, during our childhood and teenage years. If you’ve spent your entire life believing that it’s not okay to be curvy, and that you need your body to look a different way in order to be okay, you might not even realize that it’s weird to stand in front of the mirror and mentally rip yourself to shreds. For me, I developed negative beliefs about my body because of being teased by other kids about my size growing up, and by the time I turned 30 I was still carrying those beliefs around in me in ways I wasn’t even aware of.

Becoming aware of our thoughts happens the minute we decide that we want to embrace our bodies as they are and think kinder thoughts towards ourselves. If you make this your intention, you’ll begin to notice when those negative thoughts arise.

Regardless of where you are in your own journey with embracing your body as it is, consciously cultivating kind thoughts about yourself is key to creating and maintaining a loving relationship with your body.

For more help with this process, tune in to my Facebook Fan Page for a Live Stream at Noon EST today, October 7, 2016! And share this post with a friend who would appreciate reading it. We’re always supporting one another in transforming our relationships with our bodies in the #healthyatanysize community, so sign up to become a part of that and to get support along the way!