Posted on Jan 04, 2023

“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” –Louise Hay

New Year, More Confidence?

Friends, it seems that everyone wants to lose some weight when the New Year hits. Weight loss goals are among the tippy-top of the resolutions list–and it’s easy to see why. Our culture has equated “thinness” with all sorts of lofty human potential.

If you’re thin, the media leads you to believe that you’ll also be:

  • Happy
  • Sexy
  • Rich
  • Alluring, attractive 
  • Healthy
  • Strong
  • Fun-loving and playful
  • Adventurous
  • Free
  • Confident

Here’s the truth: None of these attributes have anything to do with your body size or shape.

In fact, it’s totally possible to become confident and FREE in the body you have right now (even if it’s still a goal to improve your health markers, develop more physical strength and stamina, and shift your body composition.)

Today, let's talk about how to help you on your Body Confidence pathway–without ever having to change your size or shape.

But I cannot stand my body right now. How do I even begin?

Remember the pervasive media? Yeah, that’s probably contributing to your self-criticism. And those media roots run deep. 

Think about it—even if you believe the foundation of your body dissatisfaction comes from your caregivers or another important adult in your life when you were younger, where do you think they got the message that bodies are only okay if they are lean, small, or chiseled?

There is a LOT to unpack in the cultural body-shame suitcase, for sure. But let’s cut to how to understand and shift your Inner Body Critic, and get on the road to confidence that sticks and stays–no matter who you follow on Instagram.

First, Observe 

Here’s what I often say (okay, all the time) in these posts:  You cannot change what you don’t see.

So, if you continually berate yourself and your body each day but don’t NOTICE that you do it, you will not build the body confidence you seek, even if you lose “that last 10, 20, 30, or 100 pounds.”

In the next several days (or even several hours), begin to notice every time that you mentally tear yourself down. And, it doesn’t even need to be about your weight. How often do we all look in the mirror and exclaim,

  • “Ugh, another pimple?”
  • “Maybe my lips should be a bit fuller.”
  • “These pants make my thighs look huge.”
  • “I look so old.”
  • “I’ll never be beautiful/handsome/sexy.”

These micro-aggressions toward yourself build up and pile on until your self-esteem is in the gutter and you can barely move or breathe without thinking you need to be something or someone else—anyone else except YOU.

Then, shift the messaging (even if it feels fake at first)

The next step toward creating lasting body confidence happens when you catch your Inner Body Critic getting loud, and then you *lovingly* let it know that you've got this and it can be quiet (at least for a moment.)

Here’s how that sounds if we use the example statements above:

  • “Hmmmm, I notice I’m a little broken out. I’ve been under a LOT of stress at work this week. Maybe some yoga or a walk later would help calm my body and brain.”
  • “Look at my smile!”
  • “I don’t love these pants on me, but the color is awesome. I’ll keep looking until I find pants that help me feel awesome too.”
  • “My eyes are wise and I know what I want–I didn’t know that 20 years ago.”
  • “Humans are so many things all the time—beautiful, clumsy, graceful, silly, sexy–I’m all those things too!”
  • BONUS: Affirm "I am enough," after each and every one of these statements above.

Though it might feel a little awkward at first, the more practice you get at noticing negative messages and shifting to even slightly more positive words, you’ll begin to feel less shaky and critical of your body, and more confident about your body’s amazing-ness.

And no, we’re not going to re-pattern YEARS of cultural and familiar conditioning overnight or even in a couple of weeks. The body confidence journey is a process—with progress being the goal, not perfection. (There’s plenty of fake perfection on social media to go around anyway—we don’t need to create any more unrealistic expectations here!)

Go a step deeper still

The steps above are great to get you started on the journey of shifting the inner body critic.  If you want to go deeper and get to the root of how this inner body critic took on this role, there are a few questions to consider as a starting point:

  • Who or what does this inner voice remind you of?  Is there a parent or authority figure that the critic sounds like?
  • What happened to you in the past that would have an inner critic show up to help you in some way?
  • How has this inner critic been serving you?  What's the payoff for you if the inner critic sticks around?

Support is crucial in the body confidence journey

I’m excited to offer my first ever self-led retreat to support you on your journey to create new beginnings full of confidence if that's your desire.  It is FREE and available NOW!

This powerful experience will help you create the rituals, ambiance, and time to usher in a NEW voice—one that builds you up instead of tearing you down each day. One that recognizes and values who you are–objectively and honestly–with the help of an unbiased source (me.) 

(Because, c’mon…you’re biased. I know that you would never speak to a good friend the way you often speak to yourself–it’s time to change that.)

Reserve ONE full day in your calendar, OR two half-days for flexibility and convenience.  The retreat is available now and you'll get everything—all the tools to make the changes you want for yourself in 2023 and beyond.

Here’s the LINK to get started on your path to a New Beginning.

And, if you feel you still need further support, consider a personalized Hypnotherapy Package.

In the meanwhile, be well, friends. Let’s all recognize our beauty, strength, and resilience as we work to change our critical inner voices. Yes we can! 

Take care,

Sara Raymond

The Mindful Movement