I pinched the skin that was poking out. Then I grabbed a handful of it and squeezed. The skin went red and the nip of pain felt weirdly satisfying, like I deserved it. I looked at the mirror in front of me and a deep pang of self loathing coursed through me. I looked down at the pale flesh and wished I looked different. How could I have thought this looked ok? Shame chased after the self loathing to convince me that I was embarrassing and disgusting. The truth, however, was that there was nothing “wrong” with me. My perception of how I looked was in my head. Nothing had changed physically from the moments before when I thought I looked great, or at least acceptable, to this other moment when suddenly I wasn’t.
Objective reality has nothing to do with it
I’ve always been naturally slim and whenever I expressed out loud my disgust with my body, I would be met with objection. “What? How can you think that? You’re so skinny!” But it didn’t matter what people said or what was true. What mattered at that time was how I felt. I felt like my body had let me down and was deeply flawed. It was too big in the wrong places and too small in others. It wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough. When I look back at photos of the times when I felt this way, I see someone who looks healthy and beautiful in her own unique way. From the place I am now, I want to go back and help her to see what I see.
No one on the outside can fix it
Our relationship to how we look is complicated. It’s made up of so many layers of beliefs we’ve created over a lifetime: The meanings we’ve given to things that have been said and a misplaced emphasis on the external. At this time of year when your inbox is screaming with exhortations to lose weight, get fit and improve yourself it can be overwhelming. But there is another way, and it doesn’t mean giving up on being the best and most vibrant version of yourself.
It’s not shit or bust
It’s tempting to think it’s all or nothing. I’m thin enough/ fit enough/ clever enough or else I’m not at all. Actually it’s so much more than that. It comes down to what you pay attention to and how you respond to the thoughts and feelings that you have. In my journey to uncover my own happiness, I discovered that so many things about my life could be different, even if nothing changed at all.
A Special Invitation
I would love to invite you to an extra special FREE guest expert session with Body Confidence Coach and author Judi Craddock on Friday 21 January at 12.30pm. This session is for you if: * You’re fed-up dieting or trying to change your body to feel better about yourself. * You’re sick of body worries taking up too much of your time, energy, and head space. * You want to detach your worth from your weight or dress size, stop holding yourself back, and get on with fully living your life. * You’re open to exploring a different way to feel better in your body. In this session, you’ll learn: * The truth about why diets don’t work (& make you miserable!). * What will help you feel better than any diet can. * 2 key mistakes that hold women back from a better relationship with their body and how to avoid them. * Practical tools, strategies, and perspectives to help you feel good in your body. You can book your spot here and if you’re part of my membership then you’ll have access to the recording, as well as the rest of the extensive guest expert library.
Not a member but like the sound of that? The Be. Membership is for you if you want a supportive place to tackle overwhelm in your life and build a life that’s truly meaningful and happy. It includes weekly support and inspiration, live meditation, monthly guest experts, and a curated library of hundreds of practices and expert masterclasses. You can find out more about the membership and sign up if it feels right for you here.