I changed the title of this post about 11 times. Eleven.
I didn’t know what to call it at first, and then when I started writing, it evolved into so much that I had to keep changing it as I typed.
We haven’t had a true #livinginspiralized post in a while, so I’m excited to get back into it! And today, I’m talking about how talking to yourself (aloud) can have a real impact on your body image, self-confidence and overall control and dedication to committing to a healthy and happy you!
But first, did you see that we have a limited edition Inspiralized t-shirt that’s now available in our Shop? More details here!
Also, since we’re celebrating Inspiralized’s four-year anniversary this week, we’re having a big giveaway! We’re celebrating our four-year anniversary all week! In celebration, I’m doing a big giveaway! THREE winners will each win the following:
- The set of 3 Inspiralized Greeting Cards
- An Inspiralized sticker
- BOTH Inspiralized cookbooks
- The Inspiralizer
- A personal note from me!
To enter to win, all you need to do is comment on this blog post with your FAVORITE thing about Inspiralized! Perhaps it’s a recipe, a social media channel, something you love about spiralizing in general, or perhaps it’s the Inspiralized Facebook Community. You can also get extra points for following Inspiralized on social, just use the widget below to enter- giveaway open to US residents only, ends at 5pm EST on Friday, June 30:
Why I talk to myself aloud and how it helps with body love and confidence
Yup, I talk to myself every day… aloud. It’s in private, and at first, it did seem a little odd and corny, but after a couple of weeks, it had such transformational effects, it was no longer weird – it was effective and powerful!
When I was first trying to lose weight back at the beginning of my health journey, I woke up on a Sunday morning after a weekend full of drinks and unhealthy eats and said aloud, “Okay, time to get back on track.” And then, I continued to lay out a plan (aloud.) I said, “You are going to eat clean and healthy this week and workout at least 5 days. You’re going to commit to this, no ifs ands or buts, because you want to feel good. Slow and steady.”
For whatever reason, saying this aloud made all the difference. It’s almost like saying aloud (instead of in your head) makes it more real. And throughout that week, whenever I would feel tempted to indulge in something not healthy or miss a workout I would, again, aloud, say, “Is this really worth it? You’re so close! And you’re going to feel amazing at the end of this week if you stay focused.” 9 times out of 10, I put down the cookie or whatever it was that was tempting me.
Sure enough, all of these aloud affirmations helped and I reached my health goals in a steady, focused, healthy way.
Still to this day, I speak to myself to stay committed to my health journey. Here are a couple of the affirmations I use:
- When I don’t feel like going to the gym, I say, “Alright, let’s just walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes – it’s better than nothing!” or “You’re going to feel so much better afterwards, it’s worth it.”
- When I’m looking into a tub of almond butter, I say, “How would you rather feel in the morning? Bloated or fit? What’s more important?”
- For those late night munchies, I say, “You only have a couple more hours until bed, what’s the point? You are stronger than that!”
Now, I don’t only speak to myself aloud about my diet and exercise. I also like to talk to myself about my body in general. This has really helped with body confidence, especially as a pregnant woman. I’ve probably gained 5-10 more pounds than I need to in this pregnancy so far, which has led to a bit pudgier of thighs and arms than I’ve been used to. Instead of feeling disappointed, I feel happy, healthy, and alive!
In my second trimester, when I was gaining weight quickly (because I was craving carbs 24/7!), I told myself things like, “It’s okay to let your body dictate what it wants. It may not be what you need, but it wants this – and if there’s ever a time to give in, it’s now. It’s okay to give in.”
Of course, there’s a fine line – if you’re eating a package of Oreos every night and saying, “I deserve this!” that’s much different than having an extra serving of a clean-eating friendly treat, like my Triple Chocolate Zucchini Noodle Muffins. You have to make sure you’re nourishing your body as much as possible (especially when pregnant), so that when you DO need to eat a Dairy Queen Oreo milkshake, it all evens out in the end.
I also often say things like, “Are you doing this for you or because society and Instagram tells you this is how you should look?” It’s easy to fall into the trend of wanting to be “all belly” as a pregnant person because of celebrities and social media. If I’m sitting down at dinner and I order a veggie burger and start to take off the top bun, I think about that question – and usually, I put the bun right back on there!
When I look at my body in the mirror every morning (while Lu is in the shower), I say things like, “Look what you’re capable of! Your body is literally creating another human inside of it! Be kind to yourself today.” This has helped me accept and appreciate the extra 5-10 pounds that’s sitting on my hips and thighs. It’s there because I’m relaxed, happy, and letting my body work on creating a baby. Now when I look at myself naked (or clothed) and I see those extra pounds, I’m proud of them – my body’s doing something magical and I love the way I look. I’ve never been prouder of my body and I have never felt more confident wearing tight-fitting clothing (hips and all!) – even when I was 127 pounds in college (at my thinnest ever), I never felt this sexy. I attribute this to speaking aloud and saying loving things like, “You look beautiful in this dress! Look at your bump!” or “You look like a woman!” My body idols are Sophia Loren types, not the Kate Moss types.
I could ramble on all day about why it’s OKAY to have 5-10 pounds on your body, because I think that not enough women understand that. Those pounds equal happiness and freedom. If you have 5-10 pounds on your body, it means that you work really hard but you also know how to play – you’re balanced! What I always say is this: what do you remember more on your best nights/days: the way you looked in a pair of jeans or the time spent laughing with your friends? Prioritize your mental happiness and the rest will fall into place. There is SO much more to life than the distance between your thighs. I’ve never looked back on a fun vacation or experience and said, “Wow, that was amazing – I looked so thin!” The memories I have are of the travel, the exploration and of course, the chocolate mousse cake.
A while ago (before I understood what a healthy, balanced lifestyle was and I was a chronic yo-yo dieter), I was out with a girlfriend of mine who has always had an average body weight – never super thin, never overweight, always smack in the middle. She always radiated beauty and confidence, and I LOVED spending time with her. She was funny, always knew how to have fun, and I wanted to spend all of my time with her – her energy was amazing. Then I thought, “I’m giving myself all this grief about losing 10 pounds, when this girl is so happy with those extra 10 pounds! Why do I care so much? I’d rather be like her, she’s amazing!” What I realized is that my priorities were in the wrong place.
We went to the beach and I remember looking at her body and the way she carried herself and even though she had a softer tummy than what Instagram would dictate as acceptable, she was absolutely gorgeous. And then I thought to myself, “I’m thinner than her, why don’t I look that good?” And then I realized, “wait, I do look that good, I just am way too critical and harsh on what ‘good’ is.” That was one of the turning points for me – your weight doesn’t define you. What defines you is your character. Most importantly, perfection is a wasted pursuit!
There’s more to life than a six-pack or slender arms or a thigh gap. If you’re happy with yourself on the inside, it’ll radiate on the outside. That’s where self-love starts – love the person you are, first, and the rest will follow.
This morning, after missing my morning workout (that Snoogle is just SO comfortable!), I got ready for the day and then on my way out, I said, “It’s okay that you slept in, your body needed the rest. But, you’re going to workout today, not because you have to, but because you want to.”
I know I rambled, but I hope you all were able to find some inspiration in today’s post!