Monday Pep Talk: Our Own Worst Enemy

 "I don't think anyone could ever criticize me more severely

than the way I viciously criticize myself."

-Unknown

Progress

Last week I talked about releasing negative labels, but let's face it: that's a lot easier said than done. All of us hold our negative labels pretty close and sometimes, we're even sensitive to our mate speaking about them. (Sorry hunny!)

For me (and I'm guessing for you), being fat is my go-to negative label. This means that anything and everything associated with weight (i.e. my clothing size, the number on the scale, my athletic abilites, my workouts, and my eating habits)- I'm pretty much sensitive about it all.

Granted, in recent years, I've grown a lot in my knowledge of nutrition and physical well-being, but, sadly, the further I go, the smarter I become, the faster and stronger that I get, I still can't seem to shake the negative label.

Here's what I'm learning: Dispelling that negative label is going to take a lot of work. It's going to mean refusing to say negative things about myself-- I love this idea for a "I promise to stop saying negative things about my body jar;" It means countering negative thoughts (i.e. "I'm so fat") with positive ones ("I'm a sexy beast!" ... No really!); and, maybe most important, it means cutting myself some slack if I don't workout one day, or decide to eat some frozen yogurt, have a slice of pizza or beer.

Us women are so hard on ourselves and I think many of us, unknowingly, strive for perfection. We want the perfect job, marriage, and home, and of course, the perfect bodies. I love this article about women and muscles from Crossfit champion, Elisabeth Akinwale and her mention of Tina Fey’s book Bossypants, and the list of attributes that every girl is expected to have:

  • Caucasian blue eyes
  • Full Spanish lips
  • A classic button nose
  • Hairless Asian skin with a California tan
  • A Jamaican dance hall ass
  • Long Swedish legs
  • Small Japanese feet
  • The abs of a lesbian gym owner
  • The hips of a nine year old boy
  • The arms of Michelle Obama
  • And doll tits

 Ha! So true.

So true and laughable, really; but in our minds, is a joke? When we compare ourselves to others, complain to our friends about how much weight we've gained, or talk about horrible our diets have been? Does the self-bashing help? It doesn't. In fact, calling yourself fat increases your risk for depression.

From Health News Daily:

The more often someone engaged in fat talk, the lower that person's body satisfaction and the higher the level of depression after three weeks, the researchers said.

After THREE weeks!

Think about that for a second.

You say something negative about yourself ("Ugh! I'm so fat- I shouldn't have ate that ice cream") and for three weeks, your body holds onto that-- THREE WEEKS!

Let's stop striving for perfection and strive for happy. Strive for content. Strive for self-love instead of self-loathing.

What's your go-to negative label?

How are you working to dispell it?