“Beauty does not respond to hate – it responds to love.”
– Lana Zincone –
We unknowingly validate our negative beliefs with our own self-talk. We say, “I hate my thighs, my butt is too big, my arms are too fat, I’ll never be skinny.” And when we affirm these negative beliefs long enough, we create self-fulfilling prophecies that, in turn, become our reality. If our belief is that we’ll never look the way we want, then we never will.
These self-fulfilling prophecies are created from the insecurities we have about our body image, and they only serve to reinforce these beliefs. Sadly, as a result, they eventually begin to affect our actions. We find ourselves eating emotionally, turning to food for comfort, and struggling to keep the weight off. We don’t understand why this is happening. We’ve created our own reality without even realizing it.
Note the numerous times we put ourselves on a strict diet and exercise program, and how unforgiving we were when it came to getting ourselves in shape. Instead of giving our body the love it needs, we inadvertently push it to the limit in our obsessive quest for unrealistic perfection. Working out with weights one day, the ball the next, and numerous fitness classes in between, or running an inordinate number of miles each day to increase our metabolism and burn extra calories. We then end it all after falling weak to a craving, assaulting ourselves with sugary, starchy, artery-clogging substances disguised as food. These foods tax our heart, liver, and kidneys, which, in turn, deplete our immune system, not to mention causing foggy thinking and a real mean case of the sugar blues. It is really amazing how our bodies have taken care of us despite the abuse we’ve heaped upon them.
We need to love and accept our bodies just the way they are now. We can’t hate ourselves and beat ourselves up and then expect to look beautiful. It doesn’t work that way. Beauty does not respond to hate – it responds to love. And when we feel love, we radiate an inner beauty. If we hold our bodies in contempt, hating the way we look, the weight will remain unchanged. Our bodies are here to serve a purpose; they are here to take care of us and, in turn, we must love and take care of them.
One technique that has helped me was to stand in front of the mirror and take a long, hard look at myself. What happened was not at all what I had expected. As I looked at myself, what I saw were all the years of abuse I had put my body through, and how hard I was on it. I was amazed at how well my body looked and had taken care of me in spite of this. I felt a momentary feeling of sadness and then an overwhelming sense of compassion to love and take care of it. It was a very moving experience, and this for me was a turning point, actually a starting point for the healing to begin.
I encourage you to try this very powerful technique. It changed everything for me: how I looked at myself, how I felt about myself, and most importantly how I treated myself. With this as a starting off point to my healing, I now feel more forgiving, and when I indulge I make sure to enjoy every bite rather than self criticize. I have awareness around knowing when to rest my body and when to exercise it. In return, my body rewards me by looking and feeling beautiful and most important, radiating an inner beauty that can only be achieved by loving and listening to my own needs.