Guest post by Summer Innanen!
No matter where you are on your journey to Fuck It, you are going to have good days and bad days. There are days or weeks or months when everybody and every expert (including myself) feels that negative voice – the one that says you are ‘disgusting’ or ‘not good enough’ or ‘will never be attractive’ – getting louder and louder.
Even though you are perhaps doing body image work and seeing radical improvements, you’re still going to have rough patches. It’s impossible to feel like an unstoppable sexy beast every single day… especially if body hate is your go-to coping mechanism.
When this happens it’s our natural response to jump into problem solving mode. To plan on ‘eating really clean for 30 days’ or running like a maniac every day for week. As you probably know by now, this is not the solution.
Many experts would also tell you that you should spend some time telling yourself you are beautiful.
Unfortunately, this is also a bullshit-laced solution. We can’t infiltrate our brain with positive when we are consumed with the negative. That’s like trying to hide your rambunctious 100lb Rottweiler under a blanket so no one notices him.
Instead, we need to dig deeper and get to the underlying issue of why that negative voice has returned.
Today, I want to share with you – loyal Fuck It readers – my 6 step process for dealing with body shame.
6 Step Process For Dealing With Body Shame
Step #1 – Do not – I repeat – DO NOT overreact or exaggerate the situation.
This is when we usually go into OMFG feelings of terror, panic, and diet planning. Don’t do that!
Stop. Collaborate and look at it realistically and sanely.
“I’m feeling really crappy about myself and my pants are a little tighter…no big deal. I trust my body will go back to where its happy weight is.”
Step #2 – Figure out the real issue that you’re struggling with.
– because it’s not your muffin top.
Body shame is most often a coping mechanism for emotional discomfort we are feeling. We deflect it onto our body because that’s something we can ‘fix’. It’s so much easier to cut carbs than deal with the reality of life. You want to identify the real trigger.
Sit with it and think about it if you need time. Usually it’s something that is beyond your control or another source of shame and stress in your life. Again, do not over exaggerate!
Accept and admit the reality of the situation.
“It’s not my body, it’s ‘oh fuck me, I’m dealing with a lot of stress at work right now and I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job.”
Step #3 – Identify and feel the actual emotion that you’re feeling.
This is critical. You need to pinpoint the feeling that’s actually happening and it doesn’t have to be super specific. Remember fat is not a feeling!
In my experience, it’s often fear, anxiety, overwhelm, sadness, loneliness and vulnerability (fear of judgment or not being accepted) that masquerade as frustration over your body. Everyone has different triggers.
But wait! Just because you identified the emotion doesn’t mean you need to let that emotion overtake you. You get to choose how you want to deal with it and my approach is generally to observe it, be curious with it (like I’m high discovering scratch n sniff stickers for the first time) and then move on to the next step…
Step #4 – Share it. Talk about it. Don’t bottle that shit up!
Express the emotion to move through it.
Journal it, talk to a friend or partner or share it in a supportive online community. Let it out in an environment that feels comfortable for you.
Step #5 – Be nice to yourself and relate to yourself
Talk to yourself like you would your best friend. This is not the time to be critical or unforgiving!
“It’s all good. Things are going to work out just fine. You have lots of skills and could always find a new job. You are doing the best you can and the rest is out of your control. You will survive.”
This is not a one-time talk with yourself either…this is a continuous, talking yourself off the ledge type discussion that needs to keep happening.
Step #6 – Make yourself feel good. Engage in a coping mechanism that is not self-destructive.
Controlling food, exercise and weight has probably been your go-to coping mechanism for a long time. When you feel those urges coming to the surface, it’s important to divert your self-care to something more useful – whatever rocks your socks off.
Repeat as needed.
Above all else, remember you are human! I think there is a big misconception that loving your body will absolve you of all shitty emotions and make you bulletproof to self-hate. It won’t. Everyone goes through this stuff… even the experts.
For more lessons in getting to the underlying issues of food and body woes, check out my free online class Rock Your Body – you’ll get instant access to 3 free training videos to help you eat food effortlessly, kick your diet mentality to the curb and love your body.
Summer is an expert on healing body image and embracing your natural, awesome body. Check out her video series!