Does this sound familiar?
- “I’ll take that beach vacation when I lose 20lbs”
- “I just want to wait until I’m at my goal size before I buy new clothes”
- “I’ll sign up to speak at that conference next year. I’ll be smaller by then”
Basically it’s the same-old version of the classic:
"I’ll _________________ when my body is _____________ (smaller, thinner, stronger, etc)"
Somewhere along the way, you’ve gotten this idea that your current body is temporary- that there is this smaller, thinner version of you waiting to come out and THEN your life begins.
And the woman you’ve got in your imagination - she’s amazing.
· She travels
· She speaks her mind
· She goes to dance class and signs up for improv
· She takes risks
· She flirts
· She wears what she wants
· She radiates confidence
I mean, why wouldn’t you want to be her? So if your thoughts are telling you that these things aren’t possible because of your current size - your life’s work then becomes changing your body instead of living in your current one. But what if your thoughts were wrong?
I hear you.
When I was in the thick of it with diet culture, I was an expert at waiting:
Waiting for my arms to get toned so I could go sleeveless
Waiting to be smaller before hiking with friends or making that dating profile
Why bother buying pants that fit? I won’t be this size for long
The list was endless. And eventually I realized:
- I'd been trying to change my body FOREVER and I was no closer to that fabulous life
- I was sick of not being in any pictures
- My clothes were too small and they flipping hurt
I was so over it: the self doubt - the worry - the comparisons - the hiding.
Life was too short and I was missing it.
I had to make space in my brain that maybe this waiting thing wasn't working for me.
I started living my life as if my body wasn't temporary.
And things really started shifting.
Many of the women I work with aren't always ready/wanting to jump on the body love train but they ARE ready to stop declaring war on themselves.
That's a great place to start.
TEMPORARY BODY = TEMPORARY LIFE
No wonder you’re not happy in your current body. You’re not actually living in it! You’re in a holding pattern. When you view your body as temporary, you most often treat it and live in it accordingly.
How could things be different if you:
Applied for that job
Got that awesome haircut
Started moving your body in ways that feel good
Treated your body with kindness.....now
Life is happening TODAY - not this fantasy “when.” Imagine the possibilities if all that energy and brainpower of yours went towards building a life you love as you are now.
Is this way of thinking working for you? If we're being honest - probably, in some way. The lie and illusion that your body is keeping you from having these things allows you to stay safe, small, under the radar and free from taking any risks.
But what else is true?
Is it helping you build the life you want?
How long do you have to wait?
Haven't you been waiting long enough already?
What if you worked on changing your thinking instead of your body?
THE WAITING HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR BODY SIZE
I want you to read that previous sentence a few more times. That’s how important it is.
The things that you’re really craving - peace, adventure, accomplishment, to glow, to be loved, desired, to be recognized for your work, to feel comfortable, confident and worthy - these are not sizes.
You acquire them by doing, by living
And they are not reserved for any specific body type.
Who says you have to wait?
FACT: Women of ALL shapes & sizes rock swimsuits, run businesses, fall in love, are athletes, get their pictures taken and lead full and amazing lives.
YOU CAN START WHERE YOU ARE
There is no thinner version that needs to show up.
What if YOU started showing up? You are the one you’ve been waiting for.
And if what you need is a permission slip, then here it is.
Start where you are and build from there.
You’re allowed. You’re worthy now. It’s ok to have fear. It doesn't need to be perfect. But just start.
Life is going to continue whether you’re participating or not.
Wouldn’t you rather be part of it?
IF YOU’RE READY TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT:
Make a list of 5-10 things you picture that body confident woman doing.
Now start putting your time and energy into putting one into action TODAY.
That’s how your life changes.
I’d love to hear what you choose.
And I can personally speak to the fact that life (especially summer) is so much better with sleeveless!
Jamie Earnhardt is a licensed professional counselor and body acceptance coach. To find out more about her work or to contact her, go to www.jamieearnhardt.com