There is a voice in my head – it is a constant monologue of ‘shoulds and shouldn’ts’ – “You shouldn’t eat that cookie”, “You should probably work out some more”, “ You shouldn’t wear that because it makes you look fat”, You shouldn’t even bother trying on a bikini, it’s going to look gross anyway.” “You should maybe just stop eating for a month” Then there is the downright mean bully voice “Your body is not meant for sexy clothes, just deal with it” “What happened to you? You used to be so sexy?” “Don’t wear anything tight, it will show all your flaws”….BLAH… Have you ever heard a voice like that, saying things like that to you?
I never used to question where that voice, or voice(s), came from – but on the road to self discovery and more importantly, positive body self image, I realized that I had the choice to question that voice in my head and start figuring out where it came from and why I thought I needed to believe what it said.
The positive body image movement is not new and it’s growing FAST, and I’m thrilled for that. But, I’ve often wondered: ‘Am I the only one who still hears those voices, even though I know they aren’t telling me the truth?’
There is a difference between ‘knowing’ something in your mind and knowing it in your heart. Knowing something in your mind is easy enough to do. Read enough self help books, spiritual books, body positive books, and other types of literature like that, and you’ll have a whole arsenal of self improvement projects at your disposal. Initially, it feels fantastic to have all of this new knowledge. But, what we don’t often talk about is how, even with all this new knowledge, we can still find ourselves crying in a heap on the floor because those pants from 5 years ago STILL don’t fit, in fact they don’t fit even less than they didn’t fit last week when we tried them on and fell apart – again. We are still repeating our patterns of self destruction – over and over again. And then the shame sets in AGAIN because we cannot believe we are still in this place after all we now know.
Knowledge is one thing, integrating it is an entirely different process and it is not a magic bullet, overnight experience either. It is something that is gradual, gentle and is something that becomes a lifestyle, rather than a ‘thing’ to fix the ‘thing’ that is wrong with you.
You see, even with all those books out there and body positive messages, we still come at it in an unhealthy way. We warrior forward wanting to fix something that we feel is broken about ourselves. It’s always the same script. It doesn’t matter WHAT we are fixing, it is the belief that we need to fix SOMETHING about ourselves to be ok that causes all the problems. We’ve been told for so long that we are broken – we’ve started to believe it. And even though we are smart enough to KNOW that judgments, shaming, and negativity aren’t our problem, or our fault – we can still find ourselves FEELING ‘less than’ and wonder why we just aren’t ‘getting it?’
The truth is: This is the real weight we need to lose: We need to let our old beliefs fall away from us so we can rebuild newer, healthy ones that support us, love us and empower us.
It is not enough just to KNOW up in our heads, we need to KNOW down in our hearts. This is not spiritual woo woo either, this basic human conditioning. It takes time to integrate new habits, and that is really all a body positive and confidence mindset is; a new, healthier and more supportive habit.
So, how does one go about ‘doing’ this? Isn’t this just another thing we need to put on the ‘to do list’ and something ELSE we need to fix? NO. In fact, this is where things change a bit and we do what usually feels counter intuitive when striving to get away from negativity and shaming.
We’re going to LISTEN to those voices.
Yes, listen. The logic and value of this is undeniable. There is a saying that goes ‘what you resist, persists’ – when you resist a thought, a feeling and judge it as wrong, or unacceptable, you are not letting it go, you are doing the opposite – You are repressing and stuffing it deeper down and end up carrying it around with you as ‘extra weight.’ Wouldn’t you rather put down that weight once and for all rather than continue to have to deal with it and drag it around everywhere you go? The obstacle we can often face when learning how to love who we are, is that we tend to ‘disallow’ any negativity by stepping on it as soon as we see it as we would an unwelcome bug. This seems like the right thing to do, but true healing is not about stopping, true healing is about releasing, surrendering and re-building upon a stable foundation.
We CAN put down all that extra weight, and how we do that is by surrendering to those feelings, allowing those thoughts their time in the spotlight and just LISTENING rather than ‘stuffing’. When we begin to listen, the energy and weight begins to loosen, shift and fall off – quite naturally. It becomes less about ‘doing’ and becomes more about simply ‘being’. This is different than believing what those voices say. When we believe we react and get entangled in the negative energy. When we listen we observe and allow feelings to flow through so we can release them.
It is the fundamentals of meditation, or yoga – it is a healthy process for many reasons. It allows you to observe only and allow the energy to flow through and release.
All feelings need is expression and acknowledgement – they are, after all, parts of you. Denying those parts will only serve to alienate you from yourself further. We all have dark, unwelcome thoughts and feelings – it is the HUMAN experience. And in body positive work, we have YEARS of conditioning to work though that has created those voices within us. The trick is to master your reaction to them. Learn to listen and observe only.
The following are 5 ways that you can encourage yourself to start listening. And be prepared, it can be intense when you start allowing feelings to surface that have been stuffed down for years. Know that you are safe, you are ok and that you are cleansing your body of excess weight by allowing it to leave out the exit door and never come back. Be gentle with yourself, and if anything gets to be too much, just stop and start again another day. It is under your control and always your choice. ‘Slow and steady’ is the winner way to approach this process at all times.
Five ways to start losing emotional weight:
Journaling is one of the most powerful ways to express, process and allow yourself to cleanse and clear what is going on within you. An enlightening practice is to write down the voices that you hear in your head every day. Allow them to surface and give them to space to say what they need to say, write it down – use your left hand if that helps to give distinction to ‘another voice’ – censor nothing, allow it all. You will find this process very healing. IMPORTANT: Do NOT Judge what comes up, just observe.
There is a reason meditation is still the #1 health supporting practice. It reduces stress, calms the body and the mind and allows you to just ‘be’. Research meditation and find a way that works for you – it doesn’t have to become a thing to ‘do’ – in fact, the best meditation is when you just ‘allow’ and settle into ‘being’. You don’t have to sit on the floor with candles and incense and pan flutes playing in the background. It can look any way that works best for you. The practice is in observing your thoughts, allowing your thoughts and feelings and just ‘being’ in the space around you. You’ll find that if you allow yourself to experience this regularly, you’ll manage every aspect of day to day life with much more balance and grounding.
WALK IN NATURE
There is nothing like the tutelage that comes from nature. Breathing in the fresh air, walking with trees and being under the sun and sky is incredibly healing. When you walk, observe the voices, allow the emotions – give yourself permission to just ‘FEEL’ and ‘BE’ as you walk. Things will come up, allow them. This is your sacred time.
I love this practice for the health benefits it provides the body, mind and spirit. It is important to find instructors who are not locked in their own excessive emotional weight patterns since that won’t help at all – once you find a class you enjoy with an instructor who understands the truth of the practice – allow it to loosen your body, and your thoughts and emotions with it – since they all live in that vessel. Yoga is incredible for getting deep – but you must surrender to the practice and that means going slowly, allowing, not forcing and just ‘showing up’ rather than looking for immediate results.
This is something I discovered on my own when I committed to the goal of losing the emotional weight I was dragging about with me around body image, relationships, life and EVERYTHING. I would lie down (sometimes even in the bath – water is very healing) and on that note, a Float experience would work well here too. Once you are comfortable, start breathing and only focus on breathing. Then talk to your body and your mind and say that it is safe to let go of old feelings now. It is safe to let go of things that are hurting you now. Your body has infinite wisdom and it will always guide you if you are willing to listen. Just lie there and BE. Allow thoughts to come and go. Cry if you feel the need to, allow whatever comes to come. Even if it is nothing. This process is to re-learn the practice of caring for yourself by listening to yourself and following your own inner guidance and wisdom.
Apologize to your body. Maybe that’s where the healing begins. ~ starting [tweetthis]Apologize to your Body. Maybe that’s where the healing begins. ~ Starting #JustReal #BodyImage[/tweetthis]
These are only five suggestions to start losing the weight you really need to – all that emotional sludge that is gumming up the system and needs OUT. But, there are many ways you can offer yourself this time and space – it’s up to you to discover what works best! It’s time to start the detox by going on a guilt free, shame free, judgment free diet full of self love, listening and allowing.
You’ll find the emotional pounds will SLIP right off – and as an added bonus you’ll get an extra boost of energy, decreased stress and will be much more grounded.
The Weight Loss industry makes millions every year based on the shame and guilt of women just like you who feel that they are ‘not enough’ as they are. This is boloney and it’s time we stopped listening to all the crap out there. The goal should always be: To Be HEALTHY – that is it, and that also means a healthy mindset that supports and empowers you and fills you with confidence.
Girls don’t just simply decide to hate their bodies, we teach them to.
This is the ONLY diet you need – when you listen and allow, you tap into your infinite wisdom and find the healthy, vibrant you that has been trapped for so long under pounds and pounds of emotional weight. Then, you will start to see the truth about you – the truth about how truly beautiful you are no matter what your shape or size.
Beauty is in us to be – but we have to believe that we are beautiful first. [tweetthis]Beauty is in us to be, but we have to believe we are beautiful first.#JustReal #BodyImage[/tweetthis]
Enjoy the transformation!
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