At 9 am this morning, I woke up to this text message from a friend: "When you're trying to figure out what to wear but you haven't worked out in a while so you look gross in everything." I quickly responded back with text after text filled with encouraging body positivity.
However, soon after I had pressed "send' and rolled out of bed, I stood in front of the mirror trying on outfits, saying the exact same thing to myself. I spent a good 30 minutes in front of the mirror tugging at every shirt/shorts combo and pinpointing every little thing that could have looked better without any sort of positive back-talk like I had literally just provided so easily to my friend.
When it comes to friends, I see nothing but beauty inside and out. Where they are quick to point out their least favorite parts of their bodies, I am even quicker to remind them of the arms that are strong enough for those who are hurting, the legs that are quick enough to qualify for states or the belly that so enjoyed the dinner out last night.
So why is it that, when it comes to my own body, I am almost blind to the all of the good and beauty?
Why is it that the average woman thinks about her body every 15 minutes, critiquing, redefining, readjusting and manipulating all that she can to achieve a body she's been made to believe is the only perfect one?
Why is it that our body is our first home and friend, yet we bully ourselves into a series of negative thoughts and comments that hold the potential to send us down a dangerous road?
Every little thing, from, "These jeans fit last week," to, "You need to go to the gym because you haven't done anything in two days and you're going out tonight," lends a hand to the way our days play out. And starting your morning over a cup of coffee and the little voice inside your head telling you to wear the sundress and not the cute new shirt because you're feeling bloated and don't want to look "fat" doesn't sound like the kind of perfect morning anyone wants.
If we talked to our friends the same way we talked to ourselves, we wouldn't have any friends left.
If any of our friends talked to us that way, we would write them off and probably make a move to remove them from our lives because ain't nobody got time for that kind of negativity.
The thing is, we each have the power to be our own best or worst company purely just by the thoughts we let into our minds.
Instead of, “I hate the way my thighs jiggle,” remind yourself of all the miles you've run and all the mountains you've hiked with those legs.
Instead of, “I'll look better when I lose five more pounds," tell yourself you look good now (because you do), and let yourself enjoy the day.
Instead of, “I can't do dessert tonight because I didn't work out today,” repeat to yourself that a treat here and there will not undo your hard work.
Instead of spending an extra five minutes in the morning standing in front of the mirror twisting and turning to every angle, spend those five minutes in some self-love meditation: “I am strong. I am good. I am beautiful. I am worthy.”
Nothing ever good comes from being a bully, especially not to yourself.
If you wouldn't say it to your closest friend, don't say it to yourself.