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The Only Way Out Is Through

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The only way out of feeling badly about your body is through it.

I don't mean wallowing in your negative feelings about yourself, but rather interrogating them with the intention of disproving those beliefs that have become hard-coded into your mindset.

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Photo by Elina Khachaturyan, hair by Christine Poindexter, clothing by Fabletics.

Beliefs like:

"I'm not disciplined enough"
"I'm too lazy"
"I can't be happy at this weight"
"My thighs are too big"
"Fat girls don't get to have happy relationships"
"If I work out, that means I don't love my body as it is"
"I'm too fat to do yoga"
"Change is too hard for me"
"I don't finish things"

Most of us have a never-ending track of negative thoughts that play on loop in our heads. We're not always conscious of it, but the minute we decide that we want to start transforming how we feel about ourselves, we can start to become more aware of these thoughts and where they came from.

Maybe it was a family member, or a teacher, or a friend, or a bully. Maybe it was a coach, or a teammate, or a gym teacher. Maybe it's your current boss, colleague, or judgy neighbor who looks askance at you when you're putting your empty pizza box in the recycling bin the day after a binge. Or the convenience store clerk who sighs as he's ringing up your purchase and you hear, "Should you really be buying that?".

It's not about digging up old conflicts or wounds, or putting rifts in your relationships. If you actually did go through the process of tracking down each person that's left a scar on your psyche and pulled the thread on that with them, you would probably find that they never meant you any harm. The damage happens in how you hear and experience things, and then how those experiences become imprinted in your beliefs about yourself.

The way to purge your mind of negative beliefs about yourself is to acknowledge how you're feeling and why you're feeling that way, and then choosing to move on and let it go. When you catch yourself thinking negatively about your body, try to pin that thought down--where did it come from? Why is it coming up now? What belief about myself does it represent, and how can I replace this with a more positive truth about myself?

The truth is that you're perfect, just as you are. The truth is that your body is an incredible thing, regardless of whatever "limitations" you might perceive, or what you have or haven't done in the past. You are alive and empowered, and you can make the choice to embrace your body as it is and start taking amazing care of it. Your body is beautiful and capable of incredible things. When you choose to take amazing care of yourself, that is the first step in ushering other amazing things into all aspects of your life. THAT is the truth!

It might not always feel like it, but you do have the power to work your way through the beliefs that are holding you back and transform your relationship with your body so that you can live at full amplitude.

Check out the #healthyatanysize community to find support and connect with other women who are working on this, too!