Author: Ann Grandchamp, Mental Health Editor
91% of women hate their body. Do you think that’s crazy? I do. And yet, it’s true. So I’ll say it again: 91% of women hate their body.
Are you one of them? Do you want to stay part of that percentage, or do you want to be one of those who bring that number down? If you want to bring change by improving your body love and falling in love with your body, here are 6 practical steps you can take from today to start making a difference in your own life and in the lives of girls, teenagers and women around you. And let me tell you this:
By making these changes, you will also have an impact in the lives of boys, teenagers and men around you. It takes ALL of us, male and female, to turn that number around and bring it to 91% of women who LOVE their body.
Step 1 – Stop the bitching
Yes. You read that right. The first thing to change is the way you look at other women. We start looking at other girls and criticising them at a very young age. It’s not good for them and it’s not good for you. So even if you don’t do it for them, do it for you.
Start practising kindness towards other women with your eyes, with your thoughts, with your words. Kindness always matters. Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. And kindness is contagious. There is absolutely no good reason not to be kind when you look at a girl, a teenage girl or a woman.
To do this, start by changing your filters – the way you look at them. Ask yourself:
- what is beautiful in her?
- what do I like about her?
- what’s nice in her outfit?
- where can I see her inner beauty shining through?
- what compliment could I give her?
Then start saying those things out loud to her. Tell her.
If that sounds or feels weird at first, you’re normal. Because that’s not what we are wired to do from our youngest years. But this is what will change the world for women. Start today and notice how much better YOU feel when you do this. Watch the women you compliment smile, blush and start to bloom. Oh the joy!
Step 2 – Stop comparing yourself
This one goes hand in hand with Step 1. When you change the way you look at and talk about other women, you will also compare yourself with other women less. You will criticize yourself less. I can garantee that as a result, you will feel a lot more confident about yourself, your body and your beauty. Because yes, you are beautiful just the way you are.
Be kind to yourself. Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem and boost happiness. See Step 4 on how to be kind to yourself.
Step 3 – Choose a role model
Positive role models influence our actions and motivate us to strive to uncover our true potential and overcome our weaknesses. They are a powerful and real representation of what and who we want to strive to be. When we have a role model, we can use them in our visualisations as we start to see ourselves rocking our body (see step 5).
My biggest role model on this journey has been Taryn Brumfitt, director of the documentary Embrace. Watch it. As I shared in Part 1 of this article, the movie was a massive stepping stone towards loving my body for what it does for me. It was then that I started to let go of what my body is and instead thinking more about my personality, my character, my strenghts and what I want to bring to this world as a person.
“My body will take on many shapes in my lifetime.
It is my character that matters MOST.”Taryn Brumfitt
Who do you want to emulate? Let yourself be inspired by women who truly and deeply love themselves and their body. It will start to change your vision of yourself.
When you are in love with the entire you is where the magic happens.
Step 4 – Start body loving yourself
Your body hears evertything your say to yourself. And your body’s biochemistry changes accordingly. If you’re mean to yourself, you will release stress hormones which will have an impact on your mental and physical health. Being mean to yourself over a long period of time can lead to chronic illness. I see it in my work every day. Men and women who have been so hard on themselves all their lives and as a result are suffering from dis-eases. Who burst into tears as I teach them to change their self-talk to one that is loving, kind, encouraging, self-believing, boosting and life-enhancing.
Make that change too. “Your inner voice is the most influencial voice in your life”, is a fantastic quote by my colleague Nikki Emerton. Start by making a list of 50 kind and loving things you could say to yourself about your body, your personality, your strengths, your character. Yes. 50 things. It will make it easier for you to change your self-talk if you have spent some time on this beforehand. Your brain is used to telling you all that crappy stuff. It does it automatically. That’s what your brain is made to do: make easier for you what you do most. But the great thing is you can change that anytime. Start talking to yourself differently, regularly and consistently, and your brain will start to make that automatic (this is neuroplasticity in action and it’s a wonderful thing).
But do you know what is even more powerful than your self talk? Your body language. Watch this video by Amy Cuddy – it will change your life. By adopting a power pose for at least 2 minutes you will change your biochemistry. Your adrenaline levels will go down (goodbye stress) and your testosterone levels will go up (hello condidence). In just 2 minutes.
You can also change the words you use to talk about parts of your body you’re not in love with. For example, a client of mine started calling her stretch marks, “love marks”, in reference to her 2 pregnancies and children she loves. By simply changing one word, her perception changed and she started loving her tummy and being grateful for it.
Finally, look for what you love in your body. It’s a filter thing ladies. In an ideal world we would love all of our body, all of the time. In reality, there will probably always be parts of your body that you love more than others. Focus on those. Choose to put your attention on those bits that you love. And when you do think about the parts you like less, choose to send them love and kindness.
Step 5 – Start visualising yourself rocking your body
You visualise when you use your imagination to build a mental scene in your mind. Athletes use it. Musicians use it. Successful people use it. Use it too. This is what you do: you imagine yourself exactly how you want to be. It could be in the near future or in the distant future or both. Use the present tense and your 5 senses: see, hear, taste, smell and feel what it would be like to truly and deeply love yourself and your body.
Your imagination has no limits. Really connect with that future you and when you have connected with her, bring those feelings back with you to the present moment. Do this daily. Start taking practical steps towards becoming her. Celebrate each positive step and positive change on that journey.
Step 6 – Start rocking that body
As Amy Cuddy says,
“Fake it until you become it.”
Sometimes we have to pretend a little bit to get ourselves going. Pretend you’re a child. Or an actress. What does rocking your body look like? Do it. Just do it. Get out there with your amazing personality, put a smile on your face and rock it.
“I say screw the beauty and diet industries that prey on women’s insecurities. Become unstoppable and learn to love your body from the inside out. Your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams.”Taryn Brumfitt
Imagine all that you could do and accomplish if you unleashed your inner beauty?
Ann Grandchamp, Lightning Process® practitioner,
Advanced Master NLP practitioner, Life Coach
- have fatigue, anxiety, depression, burnout, or ongoing chronic health issues,
- struggle with meditation and other healing solutions but would love the same benefits and more,
- feel that your healing is prevented by sympathetic nervous system over-sensitisation,
- want to live a healthier, happier, and more harmonious life,
then the Lightning Process® may very well be the solution you’ve been looking for.
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