It’s funny how things comes together as we gather our thoughts on a topic or issue. I have had Brené Brown’s video sitting in a draft post for many, many months mulling over the best way to talk about her powerful message. I collected links that I think are related (mentioned below) and I started a variety of different posts, but ended up deleting them because they weren’t quite right.
It was a comment thread on Facebook, of all things, that got me so frustrated that I realized what I needed to say.
What set me off, you ask? Well, a woman sent a question in to the popular fitness page owner asking for advice and insights on how to stick to a clean eating plan which the page owner then posted to have the community provide their thoughts. The problem, the woman explained, was that even though she was buying the right foods for herself, she still had snack stuff in the house for her kids and found herself munching. The woman went on to say that she was an emotional eater and therefore was having a hard time making the right choices.
One community member’s answer?
‘Every time you go to eat junk food, make yourself eat it naked in front of a mirror. That will stop you.’
Go ahead, pick your chin up off the floor. I’ll wait.
I’m still stunned just rereading that line. Apparently all we have to do is shame ourselves into submission? How does anyone find happiness in a place filled with so much self-hate?
Here’s an obvious statement for you: Everyone makes mistakes. And I mean EVERYONE. What’s not so obvious? Not everyone talks about them. Even the “cleanest eater” or the most dedicated athlete/fitness junkie makes poor choices at times – but it’s typically an occasion, not a habit.
Why not focus on that instead? Work toward making the good choices a habit and the poor choices an occasion. No one can succeed in reaching her healthy living goals if she keeps telling herself she can do nothing right.
Because that’s what standing in front of the mirror naked criticizing your body and your eating will do – it annihilates your self-esteem.
It’s time to tell self-shaming to take a hike so I will leave you with three posts that do a beautiful job talking about that very concept:
1. Marci Warhaft-Nadler at Fit vs. Fiction’s reminds us that there will always be times of question, but falling back into a place of shame isn’t the answer. Sometimes it just means you don’t feel OK all the time.
2. Hanne Blank decides to throw down and remind us all about what constitutes a “real woman”. One of the best lines? Her quote from Glenn Marla explaining that, “there is no wrong way to have a body.” Think on that concept next time you think your arms are too big or your thighs aren’t toned enough. Channel your inner teen and ask yourself, “says who?”
3. Stacy over at Paleo Parents not only gives us a up close and personal look at what losing 135 lbs looks like, but the more important message in the post is that of self-acceptance. With just one look at her heartfelt smile in her pictures and you know she’s walking the walk, not just saying what she thinks we want to hear.