By Erin O'Donnell
How I feel about my body is reflected in the appearance of my body. What does that mean?
It means that I can and DO control what my body looks like. Really???
Yes. Really. Please know, tho, that it took me a long time to understand and believe this.
For years, 30 to be exact, I thought I was a victim of circumstances that were against me...my love for food, my addiction to food, my emotions, my genetics, my responsibilities, other people's standards, the rules from the diet and fitness industries about how to lose weight, be healthy and thin, etc... And because I couldn't control any of these things, I felt I had no control over how my body looked. And yet I constantly berated myself for being overweight and secretly told myself it was all my fault. There was a constant dialogue in my head about my body and my lack of discipline, will power, self control and thus my lack beauty. And it was all my fault.
Every now and then I'd be able to crawl out from underneath the barrage of thoughts, words, and condemnation to feel attractive. An outfit would come together just right. A new lipstick or eye shadow color would look good on me. A new lotion would smell great on me. My hair would look just perfect. I'd shave my legs and feel sexy for those hours before the stubble would return. :)
But it was never lasting. In fact, I never felt beautiful for a whole day. The feeling was always allusive. It would be there for maybe 20 minutes, or the 3 hours a special event lasted, but never a whole day, and for sure never went from one day into the next.
And so for 30 years, I walked with a debilitating limp in my soul. And I remained trapped in a body that I hated.
How a woman feels about her body is the most dominating aspect of how she feels about herself... How she feels about her ability to be a real woman. If she feels she is ugly or unattractive, she will feel she is a failure at being a woman.
When Shelley taught me that I could control my weight, that I could be whatever weight I wanted, do it all on my own, without following anyone else's plan, menu, regimen, and I could make my own standard of beauty, EVERYTHING changed inside of me.
This was crucial to making my weight loss permanent. Because how you feel about your body is what it will look like.
Since I was put back in the driver's seat of my body, I didn't have to listen to anyone tell me anything about it. I was calling the shots and that meant that I didn't have to listen to what anyone said about it anymore, including that voice inside me that was constantly telling me I was failing and it was all my fault.
I began to tell myself all sorts of things about my body.
"I love you."
"I am so grateful for you. You take me where I want to go."
"You are so beautiful."
"I am a beautiful, sexy, attractive woman."
"I am disciplined and self-controlled and have tremendous will-power."
"I have beautiful eyes."
"I am doing my best to be good and kind and loving."
"I love how strong my legs are."
"I have beautiful shoulders."
"I love curling my hair."
"I have awesome lips."
"I love painting my nails."
And on and on it goes. Every day I wake up and have a choice to make about how I will speak to myself about myself. And without fail, what I chose determines what I feel about my body.
And how I feel about my body ALWAYS affects how much I eat. ALWAYS.
Shelley sums it up perfectly. She says to all of her clients, "You must first believe and know you are a beautiful woman. This will affect your behavior with food. Because a beautiful woman wouldn't sit on the couch eating a bag of Doritos, trying to make herself feel better."
Everyday, I have to chose what I want to feel about myself. I've decided that I hate feeling bad and I really like feeling good. So I tell myself things that make me feel good, and my actions always follow suit.
Shelley Johnson is the Creator & Founder of The Losing Coach®.