Banish Winter Body Bashing
So many of us go through the winter blues, especially after Thanksgiving and right when the weather turns colder. Ah yes, we indulged and ate to our hearts content maybe even over our limit and we feel badly, even shameful. Each year we go through the same demise. Wouldn't you like it to stop? You can. Right now. With no gimmick or purchase.
We are trained to value ourselves in a singular dimension, Through our bodies. Lots of companies make money, lots of money by enforcing this manufactured value system to sell their products. Be it beauty products, diet products, clothes, you name it, if a woman is being asked to buy a product, all the psychological twists and turns are thrown her way and after years, now decades of this being reinforced in our culture, our parents and grandparents buy into it as a cultural truth. The body has been the most bashed, manipulated and blamed object for all of life's ills. I don't know how much more we or our bodies can take it until we start developing beliefs of our own. For our own good.
We are more than just our minds, our creativity, our skills in the kitchen, bedroom, or the size of our bank accounts or number on the back of our dress. Are we ready to accept change? To change our beliefs about ourselves? To include a mind, body and spiritual connection? To engage and live life the way WE want?
Its almost like rewiring our brain. No loving husband, boyfriend, best friend or person other than ourselves can do it. The good news is, once we change the negative self talk, we start to feel better and once we feel better the less we'll beat ourselves up. The less we will tear others down, the more we accept what is and make it the best it can be, truthfully, realistically and responsibly. To get there you need to shake things up.
-Help someone less fortunate than yourself, regularly.
-Drink lots of water.
-Make sure you are getting enough sleep.
-Ask for help.
-Eat fresh foods more than processed.
-Create a silent special space in your home to pray, meditate, dream, listen, or whatever. Just go there daily for however long you need to reset and recharge your heart and spirit. You'd be amazed at how this can work in your life.
-journal your thoughts and feelings along with short term and long term goals. (personally I just signed up for Ballroom Dancing for beginners. I want to follow instead of lead!!!) and last but not least...
-Treat yourself. If chocolate is your thing, buy your favorite or the most expensive kind and savor it during the winter. (a goal can be not to eat it all in one sitting). You want to have it when you want and allow yourself to enjoy it. (obviously this goes for whatever your "goodie food is, go for quality and allow yourself permission for once and for all). Once you finished it, buy it again and make sure you have this treat available to you. No this is not crazy, it just replaces shame around food you desire which creates overindulgence (binging and weight gain) with permission and acceptance which creates room for responsibility and basic satisfaction.
Doing just one or two things off of this list will begin to help turn your negative tug boat around. Negative self talk must be stopped in its tracks. It has no place in your life. Self loving boundaries need to be established before you can demand them from others. Once you do for yourself and stop putting yourself down, you will see a big difference. I know a simple hair cut or color can lift me up as well as cleaning out closets...it all leads to facing the real issues that blaming our bodies can be so easy to do but has such long lasting harmful effects that get carried on from generation to generation. Such a waste of our most precious natural resource!
Be courageous and go there...you're going to love what you find.
Photo: Jennifer Crawford, Hamptons '08