I am a firm believer that the big things in life are made of of all the small things put together. What does this mean for a woman with low self-esteem and bad body image? Well, that there is a need to dissect those small parts that make up self-hate/loathing. Eventually those things become the self-deprecating, self-destructive things we do in our day-to-day realness and that is what makes those small things a big deal.
Attempting to get a grip on this inner-dialogue that we’ve had for most of our lives is not going to be an easy task. I have said these things to myself for so long, and never really took the time to analyze it. Catching myself will probably be a slow process. The good thing about making it into a regular habit is that you will slowly get an inventory of all of the bad things and slowly get rid of most of the inner-dialogue. I’m sure you won’t always be perfect but I bet you can change a lot. If you are just starting on your body positive journey, this is a great place to start.
I’ve done this once before, in an unrelated situation. I had to take inventory of the way I was treating others and find a solution for myself in the future. There were the big, obvious things of course but those aren’t always the only important things. Sure, ditching a friend was way bad and I knew that without a doubt. But, what about all those times I would drive really fast requiring that I maneuver a lot and after, getting upset when someone wasn’t driving the way I saw fit?
This series of events would lead to me cutting them off and potentially “irking” someone else. When I saw that this was a “dull pain” in my life, I was able to adjust my habits so that fewer (and eventually, hopefully none) are hurt by my driving.
This type of daily inventory will slowly begin to change you. It is not the only solution you will need to go after but it is a really, really big one.
Step One- Taking A Daily Inventory
It is important that we notice all of the ways we hurt ourselves with negative inner-dialogue. What this looks like for me is something like:
Morning: Said that my arms look fat, commented on that girl’s crooked teeth, insulted myself when I made a mistake, commented on that girl’s flaw because xyz, etc..
Afternoon: Oh, I’m so bad for eating a cookie, made fun of that girl’s shoes, etc..
Evening: “I can’t believe I said that stupid thing seven years ago” and started thinking too much about that one thing that one person said, being overly self-aware, etc..
Next, you’ll want to jot down what would be an appropriate response in the future:
How can I react differently to these things in the future?
The beautiful part about this process is that we are recognizing the dialogue. Once we begin to shine light on those words, it becomes less of an automatic response and we have the ability to replace it with love and positivity. This is actually a common technique within the mediation world. Recognizing that you are thinking while meditating is the first step towards clearing your mind. It is a process and it can only be a process. There is no quick fix.
Another huge, massive, big-fat important part, is that we are aware of the things we say about other women in our heads. I assure you, saying mean things about another woman does not make you better than her and it is so poisonous for you in ways that you cannot grasp until you take inventory. So, make this a part of your daily inventory as well. It should never take more than five minutes unless, of course, you decide to. A short jotting down of what was said in your head will do. Again, the most important part is developing the habit. Sometimes I forget the negative things I say so I jot them down in a designated spot in my phone.
Step Two- Get on your Instagram and find the Body Positive community there.
The fat rolls, the cellulite, the beauty, and the realness will begin to change your life. I also decided to unfollow bodies that did not look like mine in an effort to decrease the negative comments. There are so many beautiful bodies that look like mine so there is no need to follow one of the other girls. I can’t tell you how much of a difference it makes. I have found more clothing that I enjoy because i see it on a body like mine. I see new styles that bodies like mine are wearing, and I share experiences with these women and it makes me feel connected to the world.
Step Three- Check out the fat positive, body positive community on Tumblr.
Look and learn, Young Grasshopper. You are welcome. There are so many great body positive, strong, female bloggers out there with amazing thoughtful content to share with you. They attack issues that you didn’t even know existed and help you to feel better informed about the struggles that individuals that are not like you experience. I highly recommend giving it a look.
Step Four- Read “Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls.”
I wrote a blog about why I think it is essential. Just do it already. All you are doing is waiting to be happier. Although it is not a comprehensive list and the body positive community is changing and morphing every day, Jes Baker kills the task of inspiring you to let go of those things that make you unhappy. I bought the audiobook and I really enjoyed being able to listen to it while I was going to bed or in the car for inspiration on the go.
Step Five- Creative Visualization.
Write those goals down, get really specific, sit your ass down, put on music that you love, close your eyes, and envision that life for yourself. I cannot explain why this is essential for you. All I can tell you is that a regular practice of visualizing changed my life. Those songs that fill you up with excitement, give you goosebumps? Yeah. Save those songs for your creative visualization and watch your world change. I wrote a couple of blogs. Take a look at this one, this one and this one.
I have no doubt in my mind that these things have been the major forces in my journey. I feel a huge difference in myself and none of it required that I lost weight, got plastic surgery, spend hundreds of dollars on fake hair, nails, lashes or any other random thing women do to fix their “flaws.” I just started changing the things that my mind saw, the words my ears heard, and the inner-dialogue that rattles on in my head. I highly suggest that you start incorporating these smalls steps into your daily life so you can start loving yourself and having the life you dream of. Baby steps are seriously so underrated. If you can only find one thing, one thing will do. Just don’t ever stop writing that one thing down. I believe in you.
The Curvy Broke Girl