For most of us, carrying excess weight becomes a heavy burden on our self-esteem. We look in the mirror with self-loathing and the way we feel about our body slowly becomes the way we feel about ourselves.
I was reminded of this dynamic recently on an invigorating power walk. Pumping my arms and taking long enthusiastic strides along my favorite work-out route, Pit Bull blasted through my headphones. Passing a familiar home with a for-sale sign in the front yard I took notice of an addition to the sign that read, “I’m Beautiful Inside.” Wow, what a great reminder!
As our body image takes shots at our self-esteem, we need to learn to fight back. Changing our body takes time, so some unsavory messages are bound to surface on occasion. It’s important that when that happens,
"we turn our attention to our inner strengths so that we don’t provide fertile ground for those negative messages to grow. Remembering that we are not our bodies, our bodies are where we live."
What are the qualities contained within the body that you admire or love? What are things you love about yourself that have nothing to do with your body? For instance, I love my sense of humor, my compassion, my ability to be non-judging and accepting of others. Those are things that make me beautiful inside, just like the real estate sign says.
When we remind ourselves of our inner beauty, it makes us more accepting of our body and preserves our self-esteem. That’s really a win-win situation. You can love your body and still want to change it, but reminding yourself of some of your virtuous qualities makes it a lot easier to do.
Give it a try. Write down five things you like about yourself that have nothing to do with your body for the next ten days straight. I guarantee that at the end of the ten days you will feel infinitely better about both yourself and your body!