A few months ago a friend texted me upset about her weigh in that morning. I answered her nutrition and training questions, however, the advice I thought might actually help her the most had nothing to do with diet or exercise. It had to do with the way she was talking to herself. It was like one of the mean girls from that movie with Lindsay Lohan had taken up residence in her head.
Do you find yourself beating yourself up when you eat something you're "not supposed" to eat, when you eat too much, when you sleep in instead of work out, or when the scale won't budge? There's a saying that I see a lot on social media these days "You'll never get the body you want hating the one you have." Now, I bet it's actually possible to get a smoking hot body while talking trash about yourself. The problem with that plan though? I mean besides the obvious fact that that's just an awfully unpleasant way to live! Your mean-girl, trash talking voice will keep you from seeing what's really there even after you've smashed your goals. You'll still be in there finding flaws and jumping all over yourself for any perceived infraction. You will crave the next compliment on your figure, desperately wanting that positive affirmation from anyone willing to give it, that you're looking good.
So what can we do to silence our inner mean girl? This is the advice I shared with my friend: The next time you catch yourself in the middle of hurling a verbal molotov cocktail at yourself pretend you're talking to one of your children. What would that sound like? Imagine your child was working towards a goal and struggling to make progress, what would you say? How would you help? Can you imagine "helping out" by berating her or him? Of course not! What are some things you might actually say?
Keep on working at it.
You'll get there.
Be proud of how far you've come.
You've got this.
Don't give up now.
Don't worry about it.
Everyone messes up sometimes.
Just get back on track.
You know what to do.
I know you can do it.
Its just a small setback.
What if we said one of those things to ourselves the next time we overindulge, notice the scale not moving or discover that our pants are tighter than usual? It's interesting to me that self compassion often doesn't come as naturally as compassion for others. It takes practice to begin talking to ourselves this way. Imagine though reaching our physique goals and having our inside be just as beautiful as our outside, and best of all being able to see and acknowledge that beauty.
Be good to yourselves ladies! If you feel so inclined to share I'd love to know -what is your biggest nutrition or fitness struggle? FitGirl Total Transformations is all about finding sustainable solutions to women's fitness and nutrition struggles.
I'm a NASM certified personal trainer who is passionate about helping women transform their bodies through strength training and sustainable nutritional habit changes.