So, as a lot of our listeners know, both Sausha and myself have caught some super rude comments on physical attributes this month. We wanted to spend some time discussing the mental health benefits of becoming comfortable in your meat suit. We love you. We want YOU to love you. With that said, we dedicate this episode to cultivating a healthy body image. LEGGO.
BODY IMAGE IS BOTH MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL
- “Body image is both the mental image you have of your body and the way you feel about your body when you look in the mirror” ** (here to help dot bc dot ca, article cited in show notes)
- This statement is illustrating that healthy body image is more than just tolerating your appearance or how you feel in your meat suit. Healthy body image is truly accepting your body as it is, right now.
- Further to the point, you’re not working out or eating healthy to try to force your body to fit into the mold you think it should be in.
- In this space, this is something very important to remember. If you’re working out to lose fat, cool. But remember not everyone will have the same goals, and you’re allowed to change your mind about your goals at any time.
- Self esteem and body image are not the same thing.
- Self esteem is how we value and perceive ourselves. It’s our thoughts, opinions, and beliefs about ourselves
- Self esteem, in my opinion can be directly related to self talk, which is why we spend so much time talking about flipping the script on how you talk to yourself.
- If you’re spending a lot of time judging yourself, and speaking to yourself in a negative way, you start to believe that those things are true, whether those statements to yourself are based in fact or not.
- HOWEVER, self esteem and body image are tied together. Your body image and self esteem effect your mental health and how you approach a lot of things in your life. We’ll link the article in the show notes, but look at a couple of examples
- We’ll cover healthy self esteem and body image first: “I know what my body needs” would be a health body image statement. “I put realistic expectations on myself” would be a positive self esteem statement. When you believe these things about yourself, you’re more apt to be aware of and willing to take care of your mental health because you realize that you can continue to do difficult things even when you’re struggling because you’re going to take care of your mental state as well, if that makes sense.
- Negative self esteem and body image can look a little like this: “I hate how I look” would be a negative body image statement. “I am worthless” would be a negative self esteem statement. These opinions of yourself can lead to those all or nothing type of statements that we covered a few episodes back.
YOUR APPEARANCE IS THE LEAST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU
- If you’re on tiktok at all, or from Omaha, you’ve no doubt seen Elyse Meyers. She made a tiktok about this a few days ago and it stuck with me. The things that make up the whole of the person you are have nothing to do with your appearance.
- And this even applies to those of us who look a little… “loud” lol – so half my head is shaved and I have tattoos and a resting bitch face, if you actually talk to me, you’ll find I’m a delightful weirdo who loves cats and cries very easily.
- You work hard. You put out positive vibes into this world. You’re resilient and tough, and a badass in your own right. None of those things have anything to do with the outside of the meat suit you inhabit.
- We mentioned this before, but we’re gonna repeat it again and it goes both ways: if someone cannot change something within 5 minutes, we should not be commenting on it, and if you can’t change something within 5 minutes, no one should be directing a comment toward you.
- When someone says something shitty to you about your appearance, try remember that it says more about the person making the comment than it does about you.
- Of course those comments sting, but they sting a fuck of a lot less when you respect yourself and have a healthy body image.
COOL, SO HOW DO I CULTIVATE A HEALTHIER BODY IMAGE?
- Respect your body
- Respecting your body and appreciating it for what it is capable of when you don’t even have to think about it…. mind blowing.
- Respecting your body is one of those your mileage may vary things. It looks and feels different for each person. The way I view respecting MY body, may not look or feel like what you’re doing. For me, running, weight training, eating balanced meals is what makes me feel comfortable in my own skin. The way that fits into your life or your pyramid of body respect may look entirely different than mine.
- Be aware of the conversations you have about your body with yourself and with those around you. Remember that words matter, whether you’re saying them to someone else or to yourself.
- What you say about yourself to other people can negatively affect … other people. I remember a long time ago when I’d hear someone with a similar body type or facial structure to mine, pick apart their body etc, I’d internalize that and wonder if I should be ashamed of or be picking apart that same thing on myself.
- Be aware of the thoughts in your head. When you are having negative thoughts about someone else’s body, internalize that. Where is that coming from? No one knows what you are doing for you, just like you don’t know what another person is doing. Health and healthy body image doesn’t have an aesthetic.
- EVERYONE struggles from time to time with body image. Everyone.
- Sometimes the negative things we think of other people are a projection of ourselves. As much as that fucking sucks to admit, there’s truth in that statment.
- Wear the fucking shorts. The fucking swimsuit. Wear whatever the hell you are comfortable in. This body is yours. No one can take away all of the amazing things it’s done for you, or that you do for it.
Love yourself! Respect yourself! Build yourself up. You earned your talent, your hard work, your will, your integrity… the list is endless. You. No one else. So why wouldn’t you love that body? Why wouldn’t you believe all of your accomplishments and respect the hell out of yourself? Sometimes it can be easier said than done, but it’s worth it. It’s so worth it. We’re all going to struggle from time to time, that’s part of being human. But you got this. Hell yeah.
Bobby Hill quote: “Mom, I’m fat. But big deal. I don’t feel bad about it. You never made me feel bad about it, and just because there are some people in the world who want me to feel bad about it, doesn’t mean I have to. So Bobby’s fat. Eh. He’s also funny, nice, he’s got a lot of friends, a girlfriend, and if you don’t mind, I think I’ll go outside and squirt her with water. What are *you* gonna do?”
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