There’s the obvious, of course—your hip and happening From Thick to Thin gear, shoes or sticky socks, water bottle, healthy snacks, your favorite music download. But are you carrying some other, less welcome baggage? You know, the self-defeating lines we feed ourselves: The “I’m too fat…too old…out of shape…not good enough…not coordinated enough” to do this routine, wear these clothes, hold this pose…One. More. Minute.”
It’s a short walk from the self-defeatist messages we tell ourselves in the gym to the posture we automatically adopt when confronted with a new challenge or situation that takes us out of our comfort zone at work, say, or with friends. When we go along with others’ plans because we don’t think our own are worth satisfying. Or support others’ goals at the expense of our own because we don’t think we’re important enough.
Your body hears everything your mind thinks. The hurtful things you say to yourself leave scars that restrict you from going after what you can do and what you deserve. They make you feel bad about yourself, your body or your capabilities by reinforcing your worst fears or opinions (which are very often wrong). Holding you prisoner in a jail of your own making.
How to escape? Don’t let those negative messages go unanswered. Deconstruct what triggers them and whether or not there’s truth in what you say to yourself. If there is, figure out what you could do to overcome the problem. If the story isn’t true, work on ways to mute the default thinking that leads to self-sabotaging behaviors. If you’re going to tell a story about yourself, make sure it has a happy outcome!
So next time you prep for the gym, pack some positive mantras along with your equipment. You’ll be amazed at the benefits you begin to see in your body and your state of mind.
Susan Bodiker founded One Girl Wellness to help girls and women overcome the image disorders that eat away at their self-esteem and keep them from engaging confidently in their world. She has recently published a e-book, “Fat Girl: how to let go of your weight and get on with your life.”
Check out One Girl Wellness on Facebook