Creating a healthier, happier you.
5 WAYS TO BEAT BODY IMAGES ISSUES FOR GOOD
I'm a mother of four, and I know what it feels like to feel insecure in your skin.
But I never want that for my daughter - or for you. Let’s be real, though. Body image is something that we all struggle with, so today I want to share FIVE crucial tips to help shift your perspective so you can feel more confident in your skin.
YOUR BODY IS NOT YOUR WORTH
Number one, and probably the most important, is that your body is NOT your worth. You have to separate the two.
This is something that I actually struggled with A LOT. For a long time, my identity was my body. First, as a young athlete, I received praise for my physical accomplishments, then after I became a personal trainer, my body literally was my business.
Then, I had children. After my first baby, when my body didn't “bounce back” right away, I was kind of in shock. I looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize the body I saw there. And it really threw me through a loop.
I felt like I didn’t know who I was. So, I had to really focus on figuring that out.
- Who am I?
- Who do I want to be?
- What values do I bring to the world?
I want you to really stop and assess these things for yourself.
- Why do people love you?
- Why do you love yourself?
- What is it that makes you special?
- What is your worth?
I can tell you right now it has nothing to do with your body.
Look, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and fit. But please know that the least interesting thing about you is how you look. When you die, people are not going to say, "I loved her so much. She had 15% body fat and rocking abs."
Seriously, no one is gonna say that.
People love you and want you in their life because of who you are. And that's everything.
Related: Smallest Doesn't Mean Happiest
STAND IN THE MIRROR AND PRACTICE SELF-ACCEPTANCE
Number two is an exercise that changed everything for me, so I really want you to take this one to heart. I want you to stand in front of the mirror and focus on everything that you love about your body and all of the strengths that come with your specific body type.
For example, I used to look in the mirror and HATE my thunder thighs and my big booty. I would focus on what I hated about my body instead of saying, “I do love that I am athletic, and I love that I have strong legs because they help me do sports.”
After I had children, I was able to appreciate all my body can achieve. It can stretch to grow a human, then shrink back down again with a little time and effort. That is a HUGE miracle.
I started seeing my body, not just for how it looked but as a way to make my life better. I started to give my body more love and send it gratitude. When I had negative thoughts about myself, I'd remember, “No, I'm very grateful for my amazing body.”
I cannot tell you the difference that made.
So stand in the mirror and really look at yourself and just send yourself love and gratitude and focus on everything that you're grateful for. Try doing this every day until it becomes a habit.
Number three is to stop comparing your body to someone else - especially someone with a completely different body type! I fell into this trap when I was in high school.
I am a mesomorph body type, so I can build muscle fast. I'd compare myself to these long, lean dancers even though we had completely different body types. Newsflash: I will never look like those dancers, and they will never look like me.
The problem is I was comparing my “worst” to their “best.” I would look at my legs and want their dancer's legs, and then they would look at my abs and want my abs. But at the end of the day, we were just comparing our body types.
And you can't do that because everybody is so different.
Instead of comparing yourself to other people, focus on the best version of you. What can you do for your specific body?
STOP THOSE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS IN THEIR TRACKS
We’ve already talked about the importance of positive self-talk. Now, I want you to actively stop yourself from saying negative things about yourself.
I think every woman does this at one point or another. It’s totally human to think things like, “I'm not good enough,” “I don't feel my best today,” or “I look bloated.” But you have the power to change that story.
When you start to think these negative thoughts, I want you to try and switch them to something positive.
Remember - what you focus on expands. If you're focusing on all the positive things about your body, that's what you're going to see. If you're focusing on all the negative things, that's what you’re going to see.
And believe me, I’ve been right there with you. When I was in my third trimester with my fourth baby, it was easy to have thoughts like, “I feel so big, I can't move.” But I chose to try to actively stop those thoughts as they drifted through my head.
Instead, I would think, “My body is so cool that it can expand and house this baby. And I'm so grateful for my healthy body and healthy baby. I’m happy that I can go for walks and move my body.”
If you focus on positive self-talk instead of negative, I promise it will make a huge difference in your health and wellness journey.
Related: Changing Your Inner Dialogue
CHANGE YOUR LENS
Number five is changing the lens through which you view yourself and the world. I want to share a story to show you just how powerful this strategy can be.
After I had my third child, Mila, I was on a hike with my husband, and I remember just breaking down. I was bawling because I was trying to do the hike, and my back hurt, it was so hard to breathe, my pants were too tight. I remember telling him that I just didn’t understand - I was working so hard, doing everything right, and my body wasn’t changing.
I was thinking, “ I'm a personal trainer. I know how to change my body.” But what I didn't realize at the time was that I had hormonal issues that were affecting my recovery.
In the midst of this tough moment, my husband gave me the best piece of advice. He said, "Okay, instead of sitting here feeling discouraged and frustrated about it, what if we change the lens to, ‘What am I supposed to learn from this experience, and how can I use it to help me grow?’"
Honestly, at first, I was pissed, I didn’t want to hear that. But when I really took it to heart, I realized that he was so right. What did I have to learn from that experience?
I could either be a victim, or I could learn and grow. And I chose to learn and grow.
After that breakthrough, I shifted my entire personal training business to more of a holistic approach. I didn’t just want to help women be stronger in their bodies, I wanted to empower them to understand their mind/body connection. I started incorporating meditation into my programs and included vital information about hormones and gut health that is so often overlooked.
So many women struggle with feeling like they’re doing everything right, but something is standing in the way of their progress. Understanding that feeling, and digging deeper into the root causes, added a whole new dimension to my personal training. I even started a podcast.
But if my husband hadn’t encouraged me to change my lens, I might still be thinking of myself as a victim. I want you to remember that YOU have the POWER to change your lens at any time.
I hope these tips help you to love your body through all of the stages of womanhood! Every time we practice these healthy habits, we’re teaching the young girls in our lives that self-love and gratitude are as important as what we eat and how much we move.
If you need a bit of support in your journey, feel free to reach out or join one of my training programs to find strength, healing, and confidence alongside other women!
I'm a mom of 4 and have been a certified personal trainer with specialties in pre- and postnatal fitness for 13 years. I'm also a certified nutrition specialist and certified meditation and mindfulness coach.
I am passionate about helping women change their lifestyles to be the healthiest, happiest versions of themselves and I've seen it happen for thousands of women.
I'm glad you're here!
Community. We are a team and community of women committed to the creating the best in each other and ourselves. We lift, encourage, invite, and educate.
Movement. We know that moving your body makes your feel good and function better! Let use help you gain confidence and strength in your body.
Nutrition. Health starts from the inside out. We believe that balance and sustainability are best practices for achieving success in a healthy relationship with food.
Mindset. In focusing on your holistic health, we know the powerful effect mindset has your health and wellness. Learn techniques and practices to that ground you in habits for overall well-being.
GET THE GOOD STUFF
Want to learn how to make new habits stick?
Spend a month with certified Behavioral Change Specialist BreeAnna Cox and Life Coach Jaime Gordon learning how to create lasting change in your life. Includes a FREE interactive PDF with a month of exercises, resources, and guidance.BEHAVIORAL CHANGE FREEBIE
Ready to experience a program made for you?
BodyByBree coaching helps you hop your hurdles with expertly created programs that use your personality to channel your innate strengths and see success in your health journey.GET STARTED
Here's your FREE reminder printable:DOWNLOAD HERE