Grab a piece of paper and pen. Jot down some general traits about your self and your body that you believe to be true (for example; strong, weak, skinny, fat). Go ahead, do it. I’ll wait…
Good, now look at this list…This is your body image. This is a conscious perception of your body and it is subject to change. Believe it or not body image is a learned attitude about your body. That means it’s a habit, a memory stored in your “predictive memory” bank and has the absolute capacity to change.
In order foster this change we need to recognize that we are really fucking hard on ourselves. I know this because I too am unforgiving of myself. I too get frustrated with myself for not being exactly where I want to be RIGHT NOW. Frustration is a totally valid feeling to have when success seems so far away.
As I watch people go through physical transformations, achieve great feats of strength, hit goals and also fail, I am reminded of a very important lesson that radiates over and over in success—acceptance. The ability to accept where you are right now and love that fucking place like it’s going to be the last place you will ever see is the seed for success.
Accepting where you are doesn’t mean settling. It doesn’t mean giving up and it doesn’t mean failure. Acceptance is an attitude that allows you to love the journey and love yourself. Where you are going, what you want to achieve and who you want to be are all subjective goals that grow and change. Sometimes they come easier than expected and sometimes they never come. Acceptance is the attitude that allows you to feel good about where you are no matter what. It allows you to spend energy on achieving your goals rather than worrying that you haven’t achieved them yet. Acceptance is the anesthesia to the pain of frustration (TWEET THAT SHIT!)
Train Your Brain
Having this attitude is the tool that physically allows you to change what you believe about yourself and what you are capable of. Beliefs become patterns created by physical networks in our brains made up of neurons. These networks literally fire in response to the expectations that you have created, strengthening your beliefs, including the beliefs you have about your body. Since our expectations and predictions are all based on past beliefs, this just keeps going on forever and ever. So you see, in order to change what you believe, you have to change what is expected, and in order to change what is expected you have to change your attitude.
Look at that piece of paper that you wrote the traits you believe about yourself. There may be things on there that are very nice, but there also may be things on there that aren’t. Grab another piece of paper and re-write your list, replacing the not-so-nice things with their opposite. Write “I-am” at the top and hang this note somewhere you can see and say it to your self every day. Even if you don’t believe them now, you will.
Things wont get better once you get to where you’re going; they get better when you accept where you are. Love where you are. Love what your doing and most importantly love yourself.