A couple of days ago I posted this photo of myself on Instagram...no make up, hair with a mind of its own and a genuine smile because I just had done something good for myself. I got some really nice comments on IG for which I’m really grateful.
The truth is I don’t look as slim in real life. I’ve mentioned this the first time I posted a photo of myself in these shorts and it’s really not false modesty. I’m aware of my flaws the same way I’m aware of my achievements. I’m not that lean yet but this photo still made me feel good because it was a testimonial of how far I had come to be comfortable enough at the age of 45 to put a photo of myself out there without make-up and showing my wrinkles….until someone close to me crushed me and pointed out that my legs were not really looking like this.
It’s one thing being aware of your flaws and body issues. It’s another thing having someone pointing them out. I don’t even want to be angry at that person. I know she would move mountains if anything happened to me but some people are not really good with their verbal delivery…and it hurt like hell (it still does) and I felt like giving up all my efforts and then I thought…no, not this time.
We all get hurtful, unsolicited advices and comments when we embark on a new lifestyle and make change to the way we eat and exercise and the bad news is that we can’t make people like, love, understand or accept these changes. The good news…it doesn’t matter. You’re doing this for yourself so if you’ve been hurt by unsolicited comments and advices, here are a few tips:
1/ Fake it until you make it: You don’t have that lean body yet but the lens of your phone has graced you with a shot of you that is pleasing, put it out there. The lens may have been kind but you can’t be far off from your goals anyway so if you have a photo of yourself where you look good, focus on that.
2/ Feed your emotional bank account with positive images of yourself: I went through mild depression two years ago, I spent the first 8 years of Mila’s life shying away from the camera because I didn’t like myself on picture and the lack of photos with my daughter during all these years makes me really sad but I can’t change that. What I can change is the way forward and this year I have decided that it is the year I will re-invent myself to be the lean, fit and happy person I want to be (remember my post about What if…?) so yes this year, you will see more photos of me on Instagram because the changes I’ve made to my lifestyle are finally paying off. Feed your emotional bank account with happy memories, with images of the kids smiling and photos of yourself smiling and accept the flipping compliments you get! I don’t know why women find it so hard to take a compliment but gee take it and run with it!
3/ Focus on the things that make you feel good when you’re hurting: For me, they are simple things like having a fresh lemon in lukewarm water first thing in the morning, drinking green tea throughout the day, making a green smoothie, eating healthy, clean food because each time I make a decision to feed my body well, it has a positive impact on my mind. By doing simple things with a mindful, you are re-centering your focus on the positive side of things
4/ Move on and let go: The hurtful comment or the person who made it are not the issue. They may have their own issues to say something hurtful in the first place. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what people think. You’re doing this for yourself. When I look at this photo of myself, I see a genuine smile from someone who felt good after doing yoga, not the lean legs that I know are not real (yet) and it’s this smile I will hang onto until the pain goes but don’t be angry. Anger is not something you want bottled inside you, let it go…
5/ Don’t give up: You’re doing this for yourself. You’re not in for a quick fix but for a long, sustainable lifestyle that will enable you to be at peace and happy with your body regarding its form or shape. It’s a process, enjoy the journey, write down your achievements, cry one day if you have to but pick yourself up the day after. You can do this because you’ve achieved a lot already.
I hope this helps, love.