Posted by: Brenda | March 16, 2012

Day 11: Stress and Body Positivity

I’m still dealing with a lovely head cold, so I haven’t done much in the way of exercise today (other than stairs), but I have been to a couple of good classes. We had one this morning on Finding Your Fitness Style and went over what sorts of things we’ll continue to do when we go home. For me there were several: Tai Chi, upper body strength, lower body on a fitball, and others. It was recommended that we keep a mix of Cardio, Strength and Flexibility training to keep our bodies working optimally.

Later on in the morning, we had a class on Stress in Relationships. I think all women could use this one! We learned that there are four main stress triggers in relationships (whether with ourselves or another person): expectations, communication, mind-reading and visualization. We were taught one way to express our feelings was through something simple, such as: “I feel ____(feeling) when you ____(specific description) and what I want is ____(specific description).” My example is: I feel scared when you ask if I’ve lost weight and what I want is to not discuss it.

During the class this morning, I brought up something that I never tell anyone. It makes me extremely uncomfortable when people ask if I’ve lost weight or tell me I look good. I can honestly trace every weight gain from the last 10 years back to someone who made a comment on my body or weight. It dawned on me that I’ve used weight to make myself invisible.

This afternoon we had a Body Positivity class and learned that I can’t just focus on the “if’s” (like “If I was skinnier…”). I need to focus on what I am able to do right now in the body I have. Self-compassion is a completely foreign concept to me and is something I am going to have to work on every day (through affirmations and other techniques I’ve picked up). I also learnt that I can’t just ignore the negative self-talk and the first step to changing it is to acknowledge it. Perhaps saying to myself something like “Thank you. I’m going to experiment with a new way.” Then following up with a positive self-statement like “What’s one thing I appreciate about my body?” or an affirmation.

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