I want to scream to every mother I talk to about body image: “STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF!” We’re our own worst critics. I’m guilty of this. You are. Even Oxygen cover models are. But I’m not as bad as I used to be.
Last year I had a subscription to Oxygen. It expired and I didn’t renew it. I found myself feeling super depressed when I read about the toned models on the cover winning fitness competitions, killing it at work, cooking and eating 110% clean meals, and oh, this little detail: they’re Mom’s of four. I remember having an almost-three year old and a four month old and thinking, FOUR kids?? Next thought: I bet her house is spotless too. Then the inevitable: I bet she’s really dumb. And finally: Waaaaaaah! into my pillow.
Negative people are… Well, negative. They gossip greedily because picking others apart makes them feel better about themselves. They’re jealous and spiteful. They’re often time-wasters. And negative people may not take care of themselves as well as positive people do. Does this sound familiar?
I won’t rag on negative people too much because as you read above, I’ve been there. Negative people are also likely… a little depressed. Or a lot. On top of having a negative attitude when I’m depressed, I also don’t exercise consistently or with any enthusiasm (if at all). I don’t really eat and when I do my day will probably consist of ten coffees and a donut. I know others who go the opposite way and will sit on the couch watching sad movies and devour ten hotdogs, a bag of Old Dutch chips, and a couple cheesecakes. Neither of these scenarios (undereating/overeating) is good for the mind or body.
Something I learned about this year was the power of positive thinking. You DO have the power to change negative thoughts to positive. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing every lump and bump and every zit or blemish on your face, its time to give that award-winning smile the credit it deserves! Now have a look at that cute little butt. And did you know that women would kill for those curves? Don’t forget about the way you make your kids laugh when you’re tickling them. Your such a good Mom!!
When you do that enough, you’ll retrain your brain to think and feel positively. “Change your thoughts, change your feelings” is a quote a positive friend of mine often repeats when counseling me through a hard day. As you start to feel better about yourself and others, you’ll start taking better care of yourself. This may not mean rushing out to the gym. This may mean taking a walk. Going to a yoga class. Trading a bag of chips for an apple. Making a new friend.
I’m sure the Oxygen cover Mom’s are super positive people! But I bet they get overwhelmed just like I do. Especially at 5:45PM on any given Tuesday evening when they’re frantically trying to get supper together. The house is a disaster, the kids are running around screaming, and they’re texting their husband “where the f$%k are you?!?” Or at least a girl can dream.
Now that I have a three and a half year old and a sixteen month old, my perspective is much different – incidentally so are my sleeping habits. For me sleep, exercise, and clean eating have such a huge effect on my state of mind! These days when I read about a super fit Mom doing it all I think “rock on sister!” Although I still haven’t renewed my subscription to Oxygen. ;)