When you look at yourself in the mirror where do your eyes immediately go? I know for a fact that it isn’t to the part of your body you love the most. When we look at ourselves we instantly notice the flaws or the things we aren’t proud of. For me (and for most women) it’s my stomach. When I look at myself in the mirror my eyes instantly notice my stomach and how it’s not flat and how I for sure do NOT have a six-pack. How do we get away from this? How do we get to a place where we notice these ‘flaws’ less?
Self-love is something I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve worked hard to get to a place where I am happy with me. I used to think I’d love myself when I got that flat stomach or some visible abs. I was treating self-love as a destination, when it is most definitely not. I would work so hard on my nutrition until I got to a place where I felt what I thought was happiness and love for myself, but as soon as I got off the strict path that led me there my stomach would get a little less flat and I’d find myself right back where I started, unhappy.
How do we train ourselves to see the good?
My best advice is to name a positive for every negative you notice. So when you notice your most hated spot maybe you also notice the muscles in your shoulders that are more defined than they used to be. Or when you think you look out of shape you also remind yourself that you’ve been crushing workouts because your body is so strong. Maybe when you’re feeling down on yourself for not following your nutrition guidelines you also think how happy you were when you were enjoying a glass of wine or an ice cream cone (or both!) with friends the night before. Give yourself some grace, the more you start focusing on all the good in you the things you dislike will matter less. When we fall in love with another person we don't focus on all of their flaws, we see the good, why not fall in love with yourself the same way?
This technique can be used in your work in the gym too!
Look for the good in every workout. Some days it will be easy to find, like the days you PR, or the days you just absolutely crush the workout. Other days it will be harder, like when you leave covered in whip marks from your jump rope, but did you link more today than you did before? In the gym and in life there is ALWAYS good to be found, somedays you just have to search a little harder and that’s okay. So, turn up the self-love, the more we build up the good in ourselves the more we will be able to help others build up their good too!
Interested in more ways to adjust the volume on the voice in your head? Check out my previous post Turn the Volume Down!