I've been working a lot on accepting the parts of my body that are always going to be different than my "ideal", no matter how much weight I lose...my arms and my calves.
My arms just have a lot of looser skin on them now. I am still working on a way to reframe that.
My therapist gave me a body acceptance exercise to try out. What I did was try to think about how that particular part was good and where it came from. For my calves, this was easy...my thick calves come directly from my great grandmother. She had them, my mom has them, my sister has them, and I have them. They are just big. Its how it is.
Rather than saying "I hate my big calves", I'm trying to replace it whenever I think it with "My calves keep my Nana and family with me at all times" - because whenever I look at my calves, I'm connecting to all of the women in that side of the family. And insulting those calves is insulting the calves of all of the rest of them too.
Anyone else want to try reframing? Anyone have ideas for reframing the arms? Have any weird body parts coming from your genetic line?
I really like this idea. I need to find a happy balance between self-acceptance and self-improvement. Okay, my thighs. At any weight, even my lowest unhealthy weight, I never could get over my thighs. My mom had this weird way of saying "well that's from your fathers side". He took off when I was young. Personally, I think it's from her side, but the fact is I've always felt bad about that part of me. So what would I do? I've seriously planned to have lipo eventually. I really would rather learn to accept this than to feel so self conscious and insecure. Would I just try to come to terms with it? I saw these thighs on my grandmother. Maybe I would just say that's what makes us family?? Am I getting there?
See? they are how you keep your grandmother with you. Her strong thighs carried her through her days and life and they are doing the same for you.
Now whenever you think "I hate my thighs" while looking in the mirror, you have to sort of forceably replace it in your head with your new thinking. I know its odd, but it takes after a while. So the next time you think about your thighs negatively, say in your head: "No! I love my thighs because they connect me to previous generations and help carry me through my day".
If you are seriously sticking with doing this, your thinking really does start to shift.
I have the Fehr family chin. Kind of loose without being saggy--like a weak chin I guess. Everyone on the Fehr side of the family has it (dad, sister, brother--although he covers his with a beard, uncle, cousins). It is a way in which we can connect and commiserate.!
I do it, but more as a forward-thinking exercise. Thoughts of my family of origin are far from comforting and do not inspire feelings of happiness.
Rather, I think...yes, I have stretch marks on my belly, but I carried and birthed some amazing kids. My breasts are not what society would deem perfect, but they breastfed my children. My hands are large, but they comfort, cook, clean, type, prepare, hold, deliver babies, comb hair, and fold laundry. They are perfect.
I think it is a good exercise. I just need to personalize it a bit.
Midwife - the family thing is just my particular reframe. You can reframe to ANYTHING positive, as long as it is positive!
I've done this on other things - when I start telling myself certain bad things about myself I forceably replace it with something positive. It really does sink in after a bit. You feel silly for a while, but then its like...hey! I really DO like my calves!
My hands aren't quite man-hands, but I definitely inherited WIDE hands, LONG fingers, HUGE knuckles. Even at lower weights, I think I still took a 10 ring. They aren't pretty or dainty or feminine at all.
I have incredibly muscular calves! Actually I like them just fine even if they are kind of bulky. It's more the flabby area between, oh, my neck and my knees that's my bane!
I quite think I may have a vanity problem when I hit goal, if my tummy really does burn away and if I don't have folds of excess skin—ha, yeah, good chance of THAT.
My mother, my aunts and my grandmother have very small frames and are all thin, but have these little tummy "pooches". They are adorable, really. I always saw that as a source of life and beauty with them, but I struggle with that because mine always came with a larger everything else as well. My perception of it changes sometimes daily, but I hope to see mine as I saw theirs
Mandalinn, it's so weird (but cool) that you posted this now. Because I just realized the other day that I have changed my thinking about my body. A lot of it was simply because I take more after my Dad than my Mom, and I realized that by hating my body or face, I was being pretty darn insulting to his memory and our other family members. So now when I see my thick ankles, large hands, or anything else I used to think of as ugly or unfeminine, I just smile.
This is a wonderfully positive exercise. I'm going to work on things about my own body. The one thing it made me realize immediately is I have my father's blotchy skin but now that he's gone, it's a part of him I'll always have with me.
Even when I weighed 110 pounds ( once for about 6 weeks when I was in my twenties - 40 years ago ) I still had that little stomach "pooch" and thick ankles . . . both run in my family. Used to drive me crazy, but now, I'd just be happy to think that was all that might be wrong with my body.
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