It’s summer, and for many of us that means added attention to what our bodies look like.
We are taught by television, magazines, movies, and advertising what is an acceptable body. Our inner critic buys into the media’s view and criticizes us mercilessly for not having what is perceived as the acceptable body.
Comparison is one of the inner critic’s favorite tools. “Look at her! She’s tall and skinny. Why can’t you look more like her?” Comparing ourselves to other people or to unrealistic media images is not only damaging to our self-esteem, but also a total waste of time. We are who we are!
That doesn’t mean we’re against improvement. Sure, we can exercise, eat healthy, and take care of our bodies. But we do these things while accepting our imperfections.
And we appreciate our body for what it can do, for what it continues to do for us each day.
Here are some journaling exercises for understanding your relationship to your body.
1. Prompt: My body is…
2. Prompt: How does your inner critic criticize your body? Does it do this by comparing you to other people? What does it say?
3. Write a letter from a compassionate friend to yourself about your body’s “flaws”.