Mirrors. Friend or Foe? Certainly they can be very helpful. They help you make sure you have successfully removed the spinach from your teeth, you can be sure there are no deodorant stains on your shirt and you can see that your outfit matches.
What about the times when it becomes our nemesis? Who knew that such a wonderful invention would throw so many women into a tailspin on a daily basis? Why is it that we only zero in on our “big thighs” and “enormous butt?” We fail to see the overall picture and pick ourselves apart with tunnel vision? The interesting thing is that we see our “flaws” far more than other people (particularly men) do. How do we make peace with something that can easily destroy our self-esteem if we allow it? Try this simple mirror exercise:
- Stand in front of your mirror for two minutes. Allow your gaze to sweep from head to toe without zooming in on any one area.
- Describe each area without judgment. Remove harsh words from your dialogue and only use words that describe without criticism.
- Notice thoughts that come to mind.
- Notice any feelings and say them out loud.
- What would you say to your closest friend or family member if they shared those thoughts and feelings about their body?
- Use the words you would say to your friend or family member to challenge your thoughts and soothe your feelings about your body.
- Try this daily until your thoughts and feelings about your body become more positive.
We can have body acceptance at any size or weight. Learning to love and accept your body does not mean that you give up wanting to make progress with weight loss goals. It does mean that you will experience more success because you will be less likely to sabotage your efforts with emotional eating due to self-loathing and hopelessness.