As badly as I wanted it to be true, the fact remained that there was no shortcut. There was simply no quick fix. If one existed, I would have found it already. I had tried everything to be the perfect size. I tried weight loss pills, meal replacement shakes, special potions, weird exercise equipment and crazy diets. Any new product on the market that promised fast and easy weight loss had me at the front of the line to give them my money. No matter what I did. No matter what I tried. It didn’t work. Nothing lived up to the expectations I had. I even tried to have an eating disorder. As crazy as this sounds, it is one hundred percent true. I deliberately tried to be bulimic, but I couldn’t do it. Being anorexic seemed more realistic for me, but I still couldn’t make it work.
To be honest, I have never had a weight problem, and some would say that I am naturally slender. However, I was never skinny enough to be a high fashion runway model like I wanted. Every audition I attended was filled with super slim women and I was always the biggest person in the room. Since the age of 14, wearing a size 6, I have been told I was not skinny enough. It’s true, I haven’t had the same struggles with weight as most of my clients, but I’ve had the same struggles with body image issues and self-esteem. I was never satisfied with my body. I was never satisfied with how I looked. Only recently, in the past few years, I have started to feel comfortable in my skin. Can you imagine feeling comfortable in your skin? It sounds like a fairy tale. I almost don’t believe it myself. To be comfortable in my own skin is a dream that I didn’t know I wanted or needed. I didn’t know it was possible.
So how did I get here? How did I come to be comfortable in my own skin? More importantly, how can YOU become comfortable in YOUR skin?
The answer is simple, but simple doesn’t mean easy.
The secret to becoming comfortable in your skin is to change your mindset. Changing your mindset will change how you see yourself. You will learn to love yourself. Loving yourself is the key. Loving yourself is the secret. Self-love sounds like a simple concept, but it is not easy to achieve. Most of us don’t realize that we don’t love ourselves. So how does one change their mindset and achieve self-love?
- Be kind to yourself: This is a big one for me personally. Often, I am easy on others but I am so hard on myself. There is so much to be done and my list of tasks is growing every minute. There are times when I have to remind myself of all the tasks I’ve completed in order to take a break without feeling guilty. I remind myself of what I’ve accomplished and how far I’ve come. I remind myself that I am only human and it’s okay to take a break. A long break. Don’t worry. The world will keep spinning. Treat yourself to a spa day, a pedicure, a romantic comedy or a nap. Yes! A nap sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
- Positive Self Talk: This works, but it requires practice. Especially if you are not accustomed to it. Become your biggest fan. Vote for YOU! The same way you would encourage a child is the way you should speak to yourself. You should have a child-like belief in yourself. I have a long list of positive affirmations that I repeat regularly. “I am smart. I am beautiful. I believe in myself. I am capable of great things.” You are your best friend. Be positive and supportive to yourself.
- Do it terrified: I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, *Do It Scared. Sometimes this is the only way things will get done. You’re scared? SO, WHAT! Fear is a destructive emotion that will keep you stagnant. Identify exactly what you are afraid of and face it. You will continue to believe that you can’t if you continue to not try. Take the leap and give it a shot. A real shot. You may surprise yourself. You may even make yourself proud. Even if it doesn’t work out as planned, taking the leap and betting on yourself is a confidence booster. Soon you will start believing in yourself. Confidence begets confidence.
- Zero Tolerance for Negativity: Do not allow negative thoughts to take over. The moment a negative thought creeps into your head, counter it with a positive thought. Recognize and acknowledge the negative thought, then focus on the positive perspective.
Like any new, healthy lifestyle change, implementing these steps to change your mindset and achieve self-love will require deliberate practice and dedication. Trust me when I say, the outcome is worth it. Imagine being comfortable in your skin. Every day when I wake up, I decide that I am going to be the best version of myself. I am not going to waste any of my precious daylight trying to be what others want me to be. Seeking their approval. I am grateful for my life and the person I am. Say these words, “I am smart. I am beautiful. I believe in myself. I am capable of great things. I love myself.” That’s the secret.
*Do It Scared, Book by Ruth Soukup, www.doitscared.com