What Do You Say About Your Body?

It seems like every week I read something new on what my body shape/type/size says about me. Are “apples” at increased risk of heart disease? Should “rulers” worry about back problems? If I’m a “pear” should I exercise differently? But instead of worrying about what your body says about you, the more important question should be this: what do you say about your body?

The conversations that we have about (and sometimes with) our bodies are powerful. They not only reflect how we feel about ourselves, but also affect how we feel about ourselves.

Picture this: you wake up in the morning wrapped up in your disappointments from yesterday. You didn’t make it to the gym. You didn’t eat as healthfully as you would have liked. You didn’t set your alarm early enough to make up for it today. Before you’ve even gotten out of bed, you’re criticizing yourself. You haven’t even stood in front of the mirror (yet) and had the chat all too many of us have with ourselves each morning (you know what I’m talking about… it usually involves my version of the F-word: “fat”).

Many of us don’t realize how powerful of an impact this routine has on our lives. And not just because it makes us feel badly about ourselves. Rather, this conversation – the one that many of us almost daily – not only gives our self-esteem a mini (or not-so-mini) blow each day, but also has far reaching consequences that – surprisingly enough – often lead to the exact opposite result you’re looking for.

For many of us, when we have these ego-blowing conversations we think we’re giving ourselves a tough-love pep talk. We think that by pinching our bellies, berating our bad habits, that we’re getting tough and affecting positive change. We think that this will make us work harder to treat our bodies properly. But here is where we have it all wrong…

While it’s true that the conversation you have about (or with) your body shapes the mindset with which you will approach the rest of your day’s decisions – it impacts your health, wellness, happiness and even your body – it doesn’t do so in the way you likely intend. Instead, when you wake up in the morning and begin the day with disparaging thoughts – thinking that you look “fat,” angry that you didn’t go to the gym yesterday, disappointed in yourself about your food choices – you set yourself up for further disappointment because these thoughts don’t just reflect and affect whether we’re having a “fat day.” Rather, thinking negative thoughts and saying negative things about your body ultimately affects how you treat your body, too.

When we’re happy and love and respect our bodies, we choose to treat our bodies and ourselves with love and respect, too. We eat well, stay active and more. It’s when we’re sad and disappointed that we try (unsuccessfully, of course) to find happiness in a carton of ice cream. So, starting now, commit to talking about your body in a loving way. And, if you need to, “fake it ‘til you make it!” Because it really is what we say about our bodies that has such great reaching consequences than what our bodies supposedly say about us.

# # #

Alexis Wolfer is a real beauty ambassador and the founder of The Beauty Bean, an online magazine that promotes self-confidence through beauty, fashion, fitness, nutrition and more. She is also the creator of the international and viral Makeup Free Mondays movement and can be found tweeting about all things real and realistic beauty at @AlexisWolfer.

  • So true: “thoughts don’t just reflect and affect whether we’re having a “fat day.” Rather, thinking negative thoughts and saying negative things about your body ultimately affects how you treat your body, too.” Thanks, Alexis. For today saying to myself what’s effortless to say to others: “Hi body! Omg, yayy! I am thrilled we get to hang out together all day! Awesome. Y’know I am always so happy when I get the chance to see you — love love LOVE.  We are going to have THE bestest day. Can’t wait.” …As silly as it initially feels typing that, in the end the shift feels fantastic.

    • Anonymous

      Jennah – Thanks for the awesome quote! I am going to use that one on myself! Yay!!!

    • Elliston

      It was silly to read but I laughed and said to myself” see was that so hard” Thanks Jennah

  • Anonymous

    I find that when I don’t shut down my “Inner Critic”,  I get into difficulty with my mood, my outlook, and my ability to be kind to myself. It does take lots of attention and work to change the inner negative dialogue that for me, has been chattering in my head for my entire life! Thanks for the excellent reminder!

  • I really like this post. Great reminder for me to love and respect all of myself – even my body when I’m not feeling too great about it. Changing thought patterns is difficult but no doubt poweful!

  • guest

    I could not have read this at a better time. Today I definitely overindulged but I will not wake up in the morning and hate myself for it. I will love my body and treat it nicely. It is the only one I have! Thank you! 🙂

  • Thanks Alexis!  This is exactly the work that I teach.  I’m a therapist who teaches the Body Beloved work, a philosophy which invites you to love your body from the inside-out, for the millions of miracles it performs every day for you, rather than the outside-in, the way your body looks.  I actually believe that our critical thoughts affect every cell consciousness in our body.  If this is true, imagine hearing every day of your life “you suck, you are ugly, I hate you, I wish you were different…”  What happens to you as as you read these words?  What do they feel like in your body as you let them spread their poison?  This is what our cells hear from us every single day.  How can we expect them to continue to perform at their best for us if this is the message we are sending them??? If you want, check out my two web sites, http://www.isabelletierney.com and http://www.bodybeloved.com to see how close our work is!  I’m so glad you’re out there! 

  • Chalice Rutherford

    Thank you for this!!!

  • Pingback: - Chizelle()