Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?
What do you see when you look in the mirror? What is the first feeling or thought that pops up?
Ugly, fat, yuck, rolls, not good enough.
Now, take all of the stories you have about your body and just look at yourself. Yeah, take a good look. If she was your best friend what would you see? I am sure you wouldn’t point out all her flaws, would you? You would automatically point out all her amazing qualities.
So, look again. What do you see as if you were looking at your best friend, you?
Let me start of by telling you something that happened last night, I happened to see my butt in the mirror. To find these cute little dimples and I noticed my butt looked more square than round. (is that even a thing? LOL)
My first reaction was to pick out all my other flaws (fat thighs, my stomach sticks out, cellulite on the back of my legs, my arms look big...you get the pic).
But, instead of letting my thoughts get the best of me.
🚫 I STOPPED! 🚫
Yes, I just stopped going down that road and I stood there naked in front of the mirror...
I stood there until I started seeing the beauty, the things I liked or appreciated about my body. 👈 This is how we improve body image.
I consciously removed each judgment, one by one because they don't make me feel any better about myself..
The reality is our body is how it is in this moment. Yes, we can definitely change it, but right now your shape is what it is. How can we rewrite how we see it, NOW.
The BIGGEST reason I decided to stop attacking myself is because when we attack ourselves with negative self talk, we are creating a stress response in the body. We all know how destructive stress is, right? Let me remind you...
On a physiological level, negative body image:
↠Shuts down our digestive system
↠Slows down our metabolism
↠Insulin and cortisol increases, which is linked to weight gain, diabetes, high blood sugar
↠Decreases our capacity to burn calories
↠Decreases nutrient absorption
↠Decreases our ability to build muscle, which helps burn more calories
Basically, we are working against the natural flow of our body.
Is this what you really want or do you want to turn up the volume on calorie burning, metabolism and digestion?
That’s what I thought.
Finally, let's get to the WORK and I am talking mirror work.
In order, to heal our relationship with our body we have to look at it. By doing this we are actually getting back into our body and this is exactly where healing begins. IN THE BODY.
How to Use the Mirror for Healing
Carve out 5 to 10 minutes
2 - 5 times a week
Take off all your clothes. Yes, everything and stand in front of the mirror naked. You can turn down the lights, turn on some music or light a candle.
Look at yourself and observe what thoughts comes up. Keep staring. Don’t attach to the stories or judge yourself, just observe.
Gaze at each part of the body from head to toe. Spend at least 15 seconds on each area. Again, no judgement.
As you go from area to area, start acknowledging what you like about your body. You can write it down or think it. This can be your eyes, hands, eyebrows (just find something big or small you like)
Dance, move, turn around and explore your body
At first, this may be extremely difficult to find anything you like about yourself. Keep doing this practice. Remember, you have to look at your body to get in your body. I will say it again, in order to heal your relationship with your body you MUST BE IN IT. Stop avoiding.
I know this might sound dreadful, but start small. If you are having a hard time looking at yourself naked start with a bra and underwear on. Set a timer and, spend at least 1 minute in front of the mirror and add 30 seconds every time you do this practice, until you reach 5 minutes.
Have compassion for yourself. Take away all the stories or perceptions you have about your body and look deeper.
Take long slow breaths. Soften and relax your body as you gaze at it.
Be aware of your thoughts and feelings.
When we love, appreciate or admire our body we:
❥Turn on digestion and assimilation
❥Increase calorie burning capacity
❥Increase our metabolism
❥Increase nutrient absorption
❥Increase weight lose
❥Decrease survival mode
We want to work with our body instead of always fighting it. Our body is not misbehaving, our thoughts are.
Relax...Don’t take yourself too seriously and give yourself compassion, time and space to create more LOVE. It won’t happen overnight, but consistent practice will create long lasting results.
Keep at it...Keep at it….Keep at it…
The body you want is already available to you...You just have to open your eyes and see it. Wink. wink.
If you love your body as it is NOW...You will love it in the future. Stop waiting to love your body when you lose weight, fit in your clothes, look different. Do it now!
Mirror work is HOW you do it.
Let me know if this was helpful and I want to hear your challenges, successes and comments. I am always happy to hear from you.
Lot’s of love,
P.S Want more? Grab your free guide, 3 Steps to a Body you Love. Take a few more steps toward a body you love! Click Guide below.
Hannah Hipps is an Eating Psychology Coach, Yoga Instructor and mom to 1.
She was a collegiate athlete and had her ups and downs with her diet and body. After having her son she had a slow recovery and her body changed (physically and mentally).
Creating more self love and care has become her mission because we all deserve to be in a body we love.