Every woman, at one point or another in her life, struggles with the way her body looks and feels. And please know that men struggle with this too. It’s perfectly normal to go through periods of loving and hating the way your body looks. It needs to become perfectly normal to work through these feelings and make our way to body confidence.
It is becoming mainstream to talk about body issues and the way we handle them, but it can still be difficult to know where to go and what to do. It’s also still sometimes characterized by girls as arrogant to truly love your body. This is the issue with society and what needs to be changed.
When it comes to our bodies and the way we perceive them, awareness is key. Paying attention to when your mind starts to come up with negative thoughts will help you become self-aware of what triggers them. Even neutral thoughts like “oh that’s not my color” or “oh I could never wear that” can have negative effects on your relationships with your body. That’s what this truly is – a relationship- and one that needs nurturing and commitment.You only get one body. Whether you fill it with chemicals or everything organic, it’s still vital to learn how different foods impact you. Keeping track of what you eat and corresponding it to a mood tracker can help you keep track of what makes you feel happy or sad. Knowing what you
will feel based off of what you eat can not only help improve your health, but also improve your relationship with your body.
I like this approach with girls over talking about being “good” or “bad” when making food decisions. It’s a much better perspective than focusing on looks and weight too, and the end result is learning what makes her healthy.
Using a mood tracker, she can track days she felt sad, depressed, happy, angry, confident, or any other range of emotions. When compared with a food tracker, she will see the the difference on the days when cheeseburgers and fries were a choice for lunch (maybe leaving her feeling depressed,) versus the days when grilled chicken and some greens were the choice that left her feeling energetic.
Using these tools can teach your teen how to make healthier choices, thus improving her relationship with her body. This can be done in a journal, with this downloadable PDF or even an app.
When your daughter starts to become aware of her thoughts and feelings in correlation to the foods she eats, then she will be able to start taking proactive action. She can learn how to catch herself when she is thinking how she will never fit into something again. Then, she can pause and turn her thoughts back to something positive and empowering. Gaining control of her thoughts like this can even change the way she perceives the world.
Getting out and exercising is another way to help expel toxic emotions. As was famously quoted in Legally Blonde (one of my favorite movies, don’t judge me :-)) “Exercising gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t……” Anyway, even if it’s just acting out one of those famous dance party scenes you always see in movies. Get your body moving and you’ll appreciate it so much more!
Don’t Just Wallow
It can be so hard to keep a positive mindset when she’s feeling bad about her body, especially if she is carrying some extra weight. It’s hard for us as adults too. Mindset work, eating healthy, and exercising sometimes isn’t enough. It’s impossible to be upbeat every single day. We’re human! Attempting to stifle emotions is not healthy anyway. So expect some bad days, they are inevitable. But we can model and teach our teens what to do when they happen.
It’s okay to take the time to feel bad. I give my clients (and children) the space to acknowledge how they feel – they are real feelings with a real reason behind them. Even if the reason seems silly or odd to us. Giving her the space to figure out why she’s feeling the way she’s feeling, letting her feel them for a reasonable amount of time depending on how severe the situation. Then, take action! Do at least one of the tips mentioned above. Once that time has passed, get a move on. Both ends of the spectrum are unhealthy – stifling your emotions and wallowing in them for an extended period of time. Be proactive and help your teen change the relationship with her body. Both of your lives will be exponentially better.
I’m on a mission to inspire girls to stand up and shine. I want them to shine from the light deep within that comes from knowing and loving exactly who you are and sharing that person with the world. If your daughter is struggling to discover her beauty on the inside, the uniqueness that makes her beautiful in her own right, we need to talk! Book a complimentary call here