Trash-Talking Your Body is a Good Thing and Here’s Why


When I stand in front of the mirror, I hate my thighs and my arms. I’m convinced they are awful, disgusting and absolutely horrendous. I still swear by that, even though I know realistically that they are not. My arms are strong and tone (and tan these days) from carrying two infant car seats filled with twins for the past 14 months and my thighs are muscular and strong from a life of cheerleading, softball, walking and yoga. Realistically I know that I have a great body and that I’m petite, thin and looking good – especially considering I have four kids and two of those are twins that are just a year old. But when I look at myself, I have to remind myself of those things and try to ignore the negative self-image that eats at me and makes me feel as if I’m not thin enough or healthy enough. Most of us do that. We see what we think we see in the mirror, but I’m not convinced that what we see is reality. I know my girlfriends and my husband must think I’m a complete lunatic when I say I dislike my body or that I feel fat on any given day. I see their faces; it’s the same face I make when my Gisele-thin friend makes comments about how fat she feels. She weighs about 7 pounds and she’s gorgeous; but all she sees is imperfection.

It’s a bad habit, but trash-talking our bodies is not necessarily the awful thing that we like to think that it is. In reality, we don’t want to perpetuate negative self-image or the thought that perfection is actually attainable. But we do want to take our words, notice them and really turn them into something positive. On that note, I don’t think that saying negative things about your body is a bad thing all the time, but that’s only the case if you take that trash talk and turn it into a silver lining. How do you do that? It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Take Note

Take your clothes off and go stand in the front of the mirror (at home, not at work in the public bathroom, please) and take a good, long, hard look at your body. What do you see? Do you see fat thighs, too much baby weight, big arms? What do you see? Say it out loud. Talk it out. Say what it is you don’t like about yourself and follow each statement up with something positive.

For example, when I stand in the front of the mirror, I see big thighs, “I hate my thighs. I wish they were smaller, but I wear a size 2 without an issue so they can’t be that big,” is what I say to myself. “I hate my arms. I wish they were smaller and I didn’t feel the need to hide them or put my hands on my hips when I take a photo. But they’re toned and strong because I am fortunate enough to be able to carry not one but two beautiful babies in their infant carriers 4 times a day when I drop my other two kids off at school and pick them up. My arms are strong and toned because I have a beautiful, big family and I’m blessed.”

That always makes me feel better. Try it.

Use your Negativity

Now that you are standing in front of the mirror using negative words to describe your body, use it. Take that negativity and turn it into something positive and use it to your advantage. For example, I use my negativity when I’m feeling a little bit bloated after a long weekend of too much wine or too many  Mich Ultras on the boat all weekend to encourage myself to get moving throughout the week.

Motivate Yourself

The best thing you can do for yourself with your negative self-image is use it as motivation. Take it and make it your own. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you can do to change the way you feel about your body. Can you exercise more? Eat healthier? Learn to love yourself? What can you realistically do to change your body and the way that you feel about your body in a manner that is healthy and productive?

Learn to Love Yourself

Some of us are meant to be a certain way, and that’s all there is to it. I’m convinced I could have been a Victoria’s Secret Angel if only I was 6 and-a-half inches taller. But I can’t make myself taller, so I have to learn to love my petite frame (and no, I’m not vain…but I have been practicing my model walk since I was 5 and with hair and makeup and lighting these days, any of us could do it, really).

I can’t change my height anymore than someone who is a foot taller than me can change theirs. There are some things we can change and other things we cannot change, but we have to learn to love ourselves no matter what. It’s not all about what’s on the outside. I’d rather see someone who isn’t perfect on the outside but is pretty amazing on the inside than someone who looks amazing and has the personality of a corpse.

Learn to love your quick wit and sense of humor, the amazing way that other people see you, the way your kids love you and how they see you and all the things about you that are so good. Because guess what? There are so many things about you and me that are so much better than the exterior. For example, my husband thinks I’m hilarious and my kids think that I’m fun. My friends think I’m funny and they think I’m kind-hearted, and my husband thinks that I’m selfless and giving and sweet. Those things are pretty darn awesome, don’t you think? Why not focus on those aspects of yourself while you work on the others and be happy with who you are while your trash-talking motivates you to become a better version of yourself?

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images


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