If you struggle with negative body image or judgments around your food choices, you are not alone. Here, I’ll leave you with a 5 minute practice that can help you transform how you think and talk about food and your body.
Overcoming Negative Body Image: The Power of Positivity
For years, I identified as a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person…critical by nature, especially of myself. This continued well into my twenties until I met a therapist who helped me reshape my thoughts.
By using the power of your own brain, retraining yourself to find the positive–even when it is about your body or food choices– is possible, and it takes less than 5 minutes a day.
My clients know I love to nerd out about how cool the human body is, and our brain may be the most miraculous to me. Neuroplasticity refers to the brains ability to change throughout your life. Researchers have said neuroplasticity is “proof that you can teach an old brain new tricks”, and this is true for changing your negative self talk and thought patterns.
5 Minute Practice to More Positive Self Talk
At the end of the day, either out loud with your partner or friend, to yourself or in your journal, reflect back on your day and find a high, a low, and another high. Try to make these specifically about your body or food choices.
When my therapist first suggested this exercise to me, it was to help me reframe my negative self talk. In the years since I learned this practice, it has helped countless clients of mine reshape how they talk about their body and their food choices.
High-low-high is a positivity sandwich. It validates the negative that occurs, and challenges you to find the good even on the hardest of days. While it may sound simple, it’s common that it feels difficult at first. If you’re anything like me, after a lifetime of negative self talk, finding anything positive to say was like pulling teeth. If you need a little help at first, we’re happy to help.
With time, the power of your brain and neuroplasticity takes over. You will find this practice becomes easier and easier as it trains your brain to look for the positive.
Give yourself permission for the “high” to also be a neutral. A big misconception about body positivity is that you need to get to a place where you love your body every day, in every moment. Sometimes, just remaining neutral is a win.
When in doubt, zoom in on the function of your body and the little things you may otherwise take for granted. It is a privilege to be able to say “this body woke up today; this body helped me take care of my children; this body helped me go for a mile walk…”
If you’re coming up empty, simply journal about your day and ask your Dietitian or Therapist to help you find a high-low-high from the day.
So I challenge you…
Pause and ask yourself “what is a high that has happened today?”
– Meg Carber, RD