I know I’m not alone in saying that I waste way too much time thinking about the things I don’t like about myself. I give myself a hard time over things that I wish were different. I am smart enough to know it’s a whopping big waste of my time, it’s unproductive, pretty damaging and also quite boring to obsess over our bodies.
So, what if we actually focused on the things we love about ourselves and let ourselves off the hook when it came to all the nego nancy self talk? Seriously our self talk is SO brutal at times, I would never talk to anyone the way I talk to myself.
I work with an incredible bunch of women who are absolute stunners inside and out. At one time or another I’ve heard them all talk about the things they don’t like about the way they look, but I have never heard them talk about the things they quite fancy about themselves, so today, I emailed them asking that very question and here were their replies;
Monty: “It is kinda worrying how challenging I find it picking out parts of my body I really love. Makes me kind of sad to be honest. I didn’t realize how much self love work I need to do. I am really happy with how my overall body comes together but picking individual parts is tricky but here goes. I actually quite like my legs. They are strong and I’m happy with the shape. Not only do they let me walk and run, they look alrightin shorts too. I also think I have fabulous feet. Like model worthy.”
Carla: “I got your email an hour ago and have wandered around the house going what do I SAY. I could tell you you a million parts of my body I don’t like and it’s not like I don’t have parts that I love but it feels wrong to say yeah I totally love my boobs…like I’m being arrogant. I really like my decollatage and shoulders and yeah considering I’ve breastfeed two babies my boobs are still pretty great too. I always feels comfy and attractive chucking on a strapless top or a strappy dress.”
Beth: “It’s been what feels like a life long battle for me when it comes to body image, I’ve always struggled with body confidence and have fluctuated in weight as a result! So as difficult as I find it to answer this question, I welcome the challenge as I’m consciously trying to improve my relationship with my body. So, here goes…I love my waist, it creates shape to my body that I’ve grown to love no matter what size I am. I also love my hands, I have my mums hands so I love that they remind me of her and as a makeup artist they are my tools which is obviously really important!”
Stacey: “As a kid I spent a lot of time being very aware that my body was built quite different to other girls. I would hear people tell my parents that I had a muscly boy type body and at the time it made me a little more self aware than I would have liked. My parents always talked to me about being grateful for how strong and powerful my body is and to be honest, that made me appreciate my body. I’m not saying I’m confident in every single part – I am conscious that my arms a bit hulk-like but I still wouldn’t change them and I really do bloody love every part of my body. I feel powerful and strong. I feel like I can literally ask my body to do anything, and it will do it. That in and of itself is fucking unreal.”
Mel: “It’s funny because I’m so used to picking apart the things I DON’T like about my body that to try and focus on one part I love is actually pretty tricky. I’ll say that for all the different sizes I’ve been over the years, I have always liked the fact that my body has curves. I’ve always had boobs, a waist, hips and a bum and that shape has always made me feel really feminine.”
And then that leaves me. I won’t lie, I too, found this challenging. I wish I could think a little more like Stacey, her response is the way I want my daughter to feel about herself, that her body is something that is powerful and strong, because it is, all of ours are. I can find beauty in everyone else, but there are days when it’s hard to find the beauty in myself and I think that’s the case for most women. When I was younger I hated that I had big hips and big boobs, but as I get older I’m embracing them both. I remember being told as a teenager that I had ‘perfect child-bearing hips’ by our family doctor. I never forgot that. But you know what? I bloody do have great hips because they birthed my baby girl and that’s pretty awesome. And I’ve learnt to really love and appreciate my boobs these days too. They breastfeed by little babe, and as any women who has been down that path knows, it’s a bloody miracle. I’m proud of them and what they can do.
The fact that we all, myself included, struggled to answer this question, shows we have work to do, but perhaps if every now and then we took the time to acknowledge what it is we love about the way we look then maybe the tables will slowly turn.
And if you’re hanging out with your girlfriends or sisters this week, why not ask them what they love about themselves? If we ask and answer this question often enough, who knows, it could just be the start of a beautiful new relationship with ourselves. And as Whitney says, that’s the greatest relationship of all.
We have had so many great chats about this very topic with some of the very special women we’ve had On the Couch with us. Do yourself a favour and check these out…