Body hate is a nasty consequence of rising popularity of a fitness lifestyle. As much as fitness is about changing our body in positive ways via exercise and diet, it rarely involves exercising our mind to treat our body right. Even the whole idea of going to the gym often begins with a thought that there is something wrong with our body.
We compare ourselves to others on social media and get mad at our own reflection. We are focusing on our flaws much more than we tend to celebrate the things we like about ourselves. That detachment from our body, as if it weren’t a part of us, makes it so easy to resent it.
Body hate is detrimental, because it leads to destruction. Some people try to eliminate the source of the problem by diving into a rigid diet and exercise regime only to find themselves exhausted and unable to maintain such regime soon. Others avoid the problem, suppressing the body hate and pretending it does not exist until it erupts. Finally, there are some people who give in and do even more of what causes self-hate.
Suppressing, avoiding, or exacerbating, we all are dealing with our body hate in many unhealthy ways. To start making peace with our body requires these seven mindset characteristics that can be trained.
1. Minimized comparison mindset:
My friend once told me how she compares herself to a Brazilian fitness model on Instagram. She thinks that the model’s body type is attractive to the kind of males my friend finds desirable. In other words, she tries to satisfy the imaginary tastes of an imaginary perfect male character!
As one of the basic decision-making mechanisms, comparison is natural for our brain. When it comes to our body, however, we mostly engage in unfavorable comparison. Moreover, a snapshot in the moment, comparison often omits the differences in time and resources that other person invested in getting a “better body”.
While impossible to eliminate comparison altogether, minimizing the exposure to comparison triggers, like social media, can certainly help. Also, intentionally practicing a positive comparison, by verbalizing what your body is better at, can help rewiring your brain to think differently.
2. Owner’s mindset:
Your body is yours. This obvious statement is often under-appreciated. But think of the times you deemed something being better just because it belonged to you. Your childhood blanket, no matter how old, was the best because it was yours. Your toys had more superpowers because they were yours. Even your puppy that just pooped on the floor and tore a corner of the sofa is still the most amazing creature in the world. And any other cutest puppy on Instagram will not replace your own. So why is your body different?
Get into a habit of giving a positive praise to your body. Instead of focusing on the success of the outcome, appreciate the hard work you body does in the process. Instead of punishing the wrong things, reinforce the right right ones.
3. Guardian mindset:
We tend to value something that is scarce, came to us at a price, or was entrusted to us to protect. Our body is scarce: we only have 28,000 days in our life with almost a third spent asleep. Our body comes to us at price: from clothes to medical bills, our body is one of the most significant investments we make. Finally, no one can take better care of your body than you. You are pretty much all that your body has. Be a good guardian of its value!
To cultivate a guardian mindset, it helps to constantly realize the importance of what you are protecting. Spoil yourself sometimes! Whether it is a spa visit, an expensive fitness club membership, or good skincare products – you are putting money into your self. You better not mess it up!
4. Partner mindset:
The strength of any partnership is tested in an adversity. Rich or poor, in good health or in sickness, new husband and wife promise to stay with each other. In marriages, where trust, communication and empathy are the priorities, partners know that the positive things outweigh the inevitable negative ones. With your …