Episode 065 - You can't hate yourself to the body you want
Welcome to episode 065 of the podcast! It’s great to see you.
Today I’m sharing why you can’t hate yourself to the body you want, and why we think we need to hate ourselves in the first place.
All day, every day, we are exposed to the media full of fixes for our flaws.
We have become so brainwashed by it many of the times we just don’t question it, and instead start to question ourselves.
Something we may have liked previously about ourselves suddenly appears on the subconscious list to pick fault with.
But if you can believe your body has no flaws, that we’re all meant to look different, then you can get to work on accepting your body for the powerhouse that it is.
Once you accept it, you can choose to change it. And that change is going to be a lot easier, a lot less painful, and a lot more satisfying, when you come at it from love.
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Transcript of episode
Hello! I’m your host, Lorraine Stone, and on today’s episode I’m sharing why you can’t hate yourself to the body you want, and why we think we need to hate ourselves in the first place.
All day, every day, we are exposed to the media full of fixes for our flaws. We have become so brainwashed by it many of the times we just don’t question it, and instead start to question ourselves. Something we may have liked previously about ourselves suddenly appears on the subconscious list to pick fault with.
But if you can believe your body has no flaws, that we’re all meant to look different, then you can get to work on accepting your body for the powerhouse that it is. Once you accept it, you can choose to change it. And that change is going to be a lot easier, a lot less painful, and a lot more satisfying, when you come at it from love.
We also somehow convince ourselves that we are the only ones with these insecurities, that everyone else has it easy.
But ALL women tell themselves that keeping their insecurities a secret is vitally important. That we have to keep aging secret. There’s only one alternative to aging, and that’s death. Sure, you might have a day when you will say you hate your legs, for instance, but then a fellow woman will tell you that you have lovely legs, in an attempt to either make you feel better or tell you that you actually have legs that she’d dream of having, and somehow you can’t see it for a compliment, instead taking it to a negative place and end up feeling alone in a world of disliking something about yourself.
The thing is, you can’t hide insecurities about yourself. Whether we like it or not, our primitive brains are wired to seek out security, and that includes seeking out secure, confident, people who are able to take care of themselves, and therefore be able to take care of us, which triggers our own desire to take care of them. We can instinctively tell when someone isn’t who they say they are. We don’t always listen, and then find out a bit too late, but we always know.
When I was in the dating pool, I’d meet guys who would be all confident and strong, yet I could feel my masculine energy taking over, telling me that something isn’t quite right and I wasn’t to let my guard down, that they’re not as protective and supportive as they appear. I’d explain it to my friends as just because I am able to be the first one out of bed if I hear a sound in the night, doesn’t mean I want to have to be.
I heard a great description years ago on another podcast, and if I could remember which one it was I would share it, but I know I was listening whilst walking to my old office, so it was sometime pre-lockdown and all of that time is a blur! Anyway, she likened holding on to insecurities so deeply to carrying around a bag of poo, pretending it doesn’t smell and hoping no one notices. Except everyone can smell it. It doesn’t matter where or how you hide it, people can smell poo even when they can’t see it.
I shared on episode 64 that I had created a story about it’s not safe for me to be seen.
One of the reasons being the trouble it would cause with my ex-husband, so I started dressing in baggy clothes, always trousers, and stopped wearing makeup so I’d blend into the background. For a while after I left my ex-husband I continued to dress this way, and when I did start wearing dresses again they were always really dark colours so I’d still blend away. I was still carrying around the big insecurity that it’s not safe for me to seen and I was still attracting not-so-nice guys, as they seek out people they can manipulate. I was so consumed with the smell of my own bag of poo that I couldn’t smell theirs! Nice guys instinctively picked up on the bag of poo and stayed clear. As I worked on myself, and that bag of poo got smaller, and my confidence grew, I’d still attract the occasional idiot, but I could now smell their bag of poo over my own and was able to steer clear.
When I then got sick, I started adding more poo back into the bag. I would hide that I wasn’t well. I’d say I was fine when I really wasn’t. I’d try to push through being at work, or social events, and then crash and hide on the sofa. I started attracting the wrong guys again. Until I realised that my love/hate relationship with my body wasn’t getting me anywhere. It’s not like I no longer have a bag of poo, it’s now just really tiny and I’m much better at catching my own thoughts before they have chance to get into that bag!
If you are struggling with your confidence, it will show up in various guises.
How you talk about things. How you take on new challenges, or avoid them altogether. If you lack consistency with goals and instead sabotage yourself. When I would tell myself it’s not safe for me to be seen, if I didn’t get out the door super-early for a run before the rest of the world was up, I wouldn’t go. I lost track of how many times I’d say to myself oh I’ll run at lunchtime, haul my kit to work, and then not go. This became a little easier when I started at my current firm and would see all the runners going by. I knew I was never the only runner out there, so I didn’t feel like I stood out.
When we tell ourselves something is wrong with us, we’re lying to ourselves. I am not talking about issues like alcohol or drug abuse, overspending, or anything that breaks the law. If you’re doing those things and come to realise for yourself that it’s wrong, then please do get the help you need.
I’m talking about a lack of confidence due to our own body image. How we perceive ourselves, the image we have created of our own body. These are our thoughts. They are not facts. Fact is you have two legs. Thought is that they are fat. Before medications etc messed with my body I thought my thighs were big. Now my thighs are 3 inches bigger, I can’t believe that I thought that about my then-smaller thighs. Thought is you are fat. Fact is you HAVE fat. There’s a big difference.
I said at the beginning of this episode about media.
The health and beauty industry have us right where they want us.
You’re told about these so-called flaws because they want to sell you something. They have to make you think you’re flawed to buy their solution you didn’t need in the first place. And I know you’re sitting there saying yeah yeah I know this. But do you? Do you actually know this? Do you therefore ignore the adverts showing a miserable person becoming happy because they used the product in the ad, or do you go out and try that shampoo you just saw because you now believe your hair isn’t shiny enough, or that you want that latest fibre filling chocolate bar because you need to lose weight and suddenly a bar full of sugar convinces you that it’s better for you than eating lots of fibre-rich veg?
We see all these flaws in our bodies and we become convinced that we have to fix these flaws before we can love ourselves. But these flaws are just traits, a characteristic, often genetic. Your bum, waist, boobs, cellulite, even the size and shape of your nose. All probably matched to a parent or grandparent, and just a trait about your body. It’s your thoughts about them that determines if they’re flaws or not. It’s an opinion.
When you think your body is flawed, how do you feel? What’s the emotion you feel? It’s dislike, it’s shame. And when you have those emotions, how do you show up for yourself? Definitely not with love. Definitely not as your best self.
When you’re in this state of mind you’re more likely to try starving yourself thinner, or push yourself to the limits with exercise, only to see that after a couple of weeks you’re not getting the radical changes of the transformations you see on social media, you hate yourself even more and give up, or look for the next silver bullet. Hate gets you more hate.
Speaking of these transformations that you see.
There are some real genuine ones out there, and some you can see they’ve lost inches off their belly. But sometimes you look at them and if you’re honest, you’ll say I just don’t see it. Take a couple of those photos of yourself. Then, I want you stand up tall, chin up, shoulders back, hips forward ie how our posture should be. See how you suddenly change shape? Sometimes, the images that you see are just a posture change.
A change that has happened because of the confidence someone has found from the consistency of showing up for themselves every day, choosing to work out, choosing to eat well. That’s a much bigger transformation that you don’t see unless you really look for it. Yes, there are some fake ones out there, that are photoshopped, or look for the good lighting and the good angles etc., and the ones who have perfect hair and makeup even though they claim they just finished a workout.
There was a woman I used to follow on social media who would post just finished working out photos. I look like crap after a workout and I’d see these photos of her and feel even worse. Until the day I spotted myself in the background of one of these photos. There was me, wearing my coat over my gym clothes, which meant I was arriving at the gym and if I was arriving at the gym that meant it was 6am and the gym had just opened. So how could she be posting a genuine just finished working out photo if the gym had just opened? For those of you who might be thinking that perhaps it was taken when I left the gym? I would leave the gym in my work clothes, as I was heading straight to the office.
Please do not believe everything that you see.
How do we find that love for ourselves?
Firstly, let go of the need to believe that flaws are even a thing.
A healthy body image starts with believing there is nothing wrong with you. It will take effort on your part, but I want you to be open to the possibility that maybe your body doesn’t actually have any flaws. If you can ditch the belief that there’s something wrong with your body, then you can just start getting busy loving it, instead of having to overcome the flaws and then learn to love your body.
And that’s the next step. I want you to work on accepting your body as it is.
A lot of people get caught up here because they believe that if they love their body as it is, then that means they shouldn’t want to change it. How many times have you seen people go to a plastic surgeon to have a body part fixed to exactly how they want it saying then they’ll love themselves, only to have them then realise the part they fixed wasn’t the problem in the first place because they’re still not happy.
If you come at your body from a place of dislike, no matter what changes you make you are never going to love your body because you won’t be open to seeing the changes, because you still have the opinion that you are flawed. You’ll just find different parts of your body to dislike. It’s endless. Every time you tell yourself you dislike something about your body you are telling yourself you are not worthy of love.
It’s just not true that you’re unworthy of love because of how you look. When you work to accept your body as it is, you learn that you’re worthy regardless of whether you’re a size ten or a size thirty. And when you start to believe you’re worthy, you get to choose to make changes simply because you want them, rather than thinking that you have to look a certain way to be acceptable in this society.
And that is huge to be able to change from a place of acceptance and love, rather than hate. It’s so freeing. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on the beach I would rather see a decided by society as overweight woman wearing a bikini having a great time, than an acceptable by society skinny miserable one.
Next, I want you to stop tolerating what we say about ourselves.
Stop this as a topic of conversation. Stop normalising it. We say if you won’t say it about others, don’t say it about yourself, but we don’t always realise we’re doing it because it’s so ingrained. So, let’s help each other out. When someone starts talking badly about themselves tell them, “I’m going to walk away if you don’t stop criticising yourself” and make them tell you something they like about their body.
Over and over. Because as much as you relate to this episode right now, some point soon you’re going to look in the mirror and find flaws. Why? Because habit. Because of what you have learned over countless years. You weren’t born thinking how flawed you are. You learned it. And now you have to learn a new way. You have to think differently, on purpose. Every time you catch yourself saying something bad, find something you like. If you have to put a post-it on every mirror in the house to remind you, do it.
In the past 6 weeks I have been working out and have cut the crappy food from my diet. I have lost an inch from each thigh, and at time of recording I’m just over a 2lb away from that first stone lost target. I’m always telling you that you get to choose. And right now, I get to choose. I can stand there and look in the mirror and point out how far I still have to go to get my body back, point out that my legs are not yet where I want them, or that I haven’t lost a stone or more by now. Or I can stand there and cheer myself for how well I have done, about showing up for myself every day. For being consistent and making choices every day that support myself and my goals. Which one of these two options is likely to motivate me more? Which one of these two options will have me loving myself more? Yep, choosing to cheer myself.
I want you to spend time every single day finding things you love about yourself and your body.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable. But you already feel uncomfy when you berate yourself. So why not feel uncomfy for a while pointing out to yourself the things you like so you can start feeling a little more comfy in yourself!
Normalize what your body looks like. Stand there and for everything you think is flawed, notice it’s just a trait. It’s not something standing between you and your happiness. The more you do it, the easier it will get.
If you enjoyed this podcast, if something resonated with you, I want you to know we cover this in detail in my SHIFT to Alignment programme. I can teach you the tools that I learned to get my life back after an abusive marriage and chronic health condition, but if you’re talking terrible to yourself, you’re not going to succeed. We have to get that language out of the way.
To find out more you can email me on [email protected]. You can also find me on Instagram, at lifeinalign, just DM me, and I’ll get back to you. I’ve put a link to my email and my Instagram in the shownotes. I’d love to be a part of your journey.
Thanks for listening, and remember – you are worth it, and you get to choose.
Have a lovely day.