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“I would never wear a tank top. My arms are too flabby.”
As she stood there glistening with sweat and begrudgingly completing her arm exercises, she looked me square in the eyes and said…
“I would never wear a tank top. My arms are too flabby.”
Yet at the age of 65, she was more in shape and had more strength than she ever did. Her arms were toned and you could see the muscles working diligently with every arm curl and every weight lift. But, the voices in her head still told her that her arms were too flabby.
Those voices. They can noodle around the brain and wreck havoc on the most positive of outlooks. They can pop up out of nowhere at the most inconvenient times. And, they can demolish dreams in the blink of an eye.
It’s those voices that hold you back from being great and, just as you are riding smoothly through life, those voices can throw a stick in the spoke and cause you to hurl uncontrollably through the air.
The actions you take have mighty power and the words you speak can make or break your confidence to take action. But, it’s the thoughts you think that can cause hurtful words and stop your good intentioned actions dead in their tracks — ultimately, leading to a lack of self-trust, self-confidence, and self-love.
I am going to be real with you — I don’t believe in the fake positivity. I don’t believe in just telling yourself that you are enough or that you are going to have a great day or that everything is all rose-colored and filled with unicorn dust.
Sure, that stuff helps, but it is not enough.
Those old thoughts and beliefs that hide in the shadows are stubborn. They are not fooled by the superficial words and inspirational memes on social media. Rather, they are healed and transmuted by changing the way you think and feel about a situation.
They are also healed and transmuted by the actions that you take to prove to them — to prove to yourself — that other ways of thinking, feeling, and speaking are possible.
Because without taking action, change in what you think is possible, what you believe is possible, and how you feel about your power in the situation will continue to elude you.
To learn to truly love yourself, you need to be willing to step out of old routines and what you know.
You have to being willing to create a shake-up in your normal pattern and step out of what is comfortable. This challenges you to believe in yourself, learn that you can do what you once thought you couldn’t, and to discover parts of you that have been lying dormant.
Here are 10 ways that you can take action and change your inner thoughts about your body image and how you see yourself—
Taking Intentional Action
- Try new activities to loosen up your inhibitions, such as Zumba, African dancing, hula hooping, or belly dancing. Try competitive sports or rock climbing or skiing. Get involved in a competition that pushes your limits and gets you out of your comfort zone.
- Use your body to do something, such as build a shed, score a field goal, carry an elderly neighbor’s groceries, instead of treating it as an object to be looked at. You are an incredible physical being with capability beyond your imagination. Get to using it!
- Indulge in your sensual side, by getting massages, using exotic perfumes, or wearing sexy lingerie (even at work). Only you will know how you are indulging in your sensual side.
- Wear clothes that allow you to move freely, such as comfortable shoes, flowing skirts, stretchy fabrics. And don’t worry about labeled sizes, only about how they fit and how your clothes make you feel. Sizes vary from brand to brand and are often purposefully lowered to entice.
- Learn about the wonders of the body, by reading books and magazines that are positive influences towards the body. Learn how the body works, why it is such an incredible vessel, and read uplifting exerts that create an appreciation for the skin you live in. This is most freeing and empowering!
- Try yoga or mediation, two good practices that teach you how to be in your body in a way that isn’t critical or analytical.
- Practice good posture, as an instant shot of body confidence. Standing up tall, squeezing your shoulder blades back, and looking eye level at others creates so much confidence. You can also try the power pose for a burst of confidence building testosterone. Try it out!
- Quit believing that people are looking at you and sizing you up, because we as humans are very egocentric creatures. Most of the time, we are focused on ourselves and the thoughts in our head. We have no clue what you are doing. And, if others are judging you, it is most likely because they are insecure themselves.
- Live your life in a non-judgement zone, by praising others and their accomplishments and their awesomeness instead of beating them down. Live in a gab-free, gossip-free, non-judgement zone and, instead, learn to support those around you. Good energy bounces back good energy.
- Hire a professional to help teach and support you, if you truly have no idea of where to start or you just need some guidance to help you become successful. To achieve anything great in life, being mentored and coached by someone who has walked in your shoes can be a sigh of relief and exactly what you need to finally make the progress you deserve. Also, having someone to cheer you along your journey is a huge boost to the self-image!
It was a hot summer day that was only relieved by a fan, a sprinkler, or a tank top. The air was thick and the sun unforgiving. It was also on that day that my 65-year old client told me that she wore her first tank top in years!
She took a chance and had a moment of “who cares” clarity and slipped into her tank top, showing the world, and herself, that she could do it. And, learning that she looked and felt amazing showing off her newly toned arms.
You have one chance to truly experience life without constraints and with full freedom.
You have one chance at living this life with pure engagement and happiness.
Your life deserves to sparkle, my beautiful friend.
Feel the summer sun on your bare arms and let your body move and dance when the moment inspires you. Embrace your life so that you can look back at any moment and say, “Wow, life is amazing!”
“And, so am I.”
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