Read This: Steve Reishus

Go read this now, then come on back: The Habit Experiment

I've been thinking about this for two days, and now I'm finally committing. What habit am I trying to change? It's a big one, for me:

Looking down at my belly and then immediately thinking negatively. 

Thoughts like "I'm still fat" or "I hate my belly" or "When the fuck will this fat be gone?!" blah blah blah, you know how your brain runs down those dark alleys of self-hate, so I'm not going to elaborate.

I know that I'm not fat and that I don't even register as overweight anymore. But I still hate my belly. It is the only body part that I am unsatisfied with. Everything else I either love (arms! shoulders! calves!) or at least tolerate (pancake ass) because I know I can hide it or make it look damn fine in clothes (Silver jeans: magical). But my belly? I hate it with a burning fucking passion.

Logically speaking, I know that it's not as bad as I think it is. Hence the habit change: the very reason I think it's so awful is because I'm always viewing it from above. From there, it looks huge, hiding half my damn feet. But when I use a mirror and view from the side, it's never as big as it is from above. I have also discovered that if I look down and then pull my head back just slightly, presto: like magic, the belly disappears. Instead, my chest blocks my feet, and what woman under DD is going to complain about that?

It's about perspective, just like so many other things in life - though usually it's a mental metaphor, whereas I'm talking purely physical in this regard!

So, here's my habit change: whenever I look down and see my belly blocking my feet, rather than letting my brain scamper down dark hateful alleys, I'm going to pull my head back so that I can't see my belly, and instead, think a positive thought (like "I am a beautiful beastly BQ Beans") - and then move on. Fixation over. Back to my day. Back to work or making supper or doing my eyeliner or whatever the fuck.

I can't even project how many negative thoughts will be avoided and how many positive ones will be generated instead. Probably two dozen per day, as pathetic as that may sound. In ten weeks that's 1680 thoughts! Say it's only a 10-second fixation...that's four hateful minutes a day...28 minutes per week...4 hours and 40 minutes in ten weeks. Of self-hate. Where does that get me? Furthermore, what the hell am I doing wasting all that time?

Think for a minute about how much time you (like most of us) spend hating on your body, staring and pinching and poking and twisting and wishing you looked like this. Think how many things you wish you had more time for (reading, relaxing, shopping, running, playing, sleeping) and consider what would happen if you swapped the two.

  • Side tangent: if you're a mother, which activity do you want to teach your daughter to have time for? You can tell her she's beautiful every single day, but if she hears you hating on your body every single day, which do you think is going to stick with her the most? I'm sure your parents told YOU that you were beautiful...do you still believe them?

Come join with me as I join Steve's experiment.

Figure out ONE THING you can do every day to make the rest of your life better.

Commit to it.

Write it down.

Share it with others.

Then go forth and do it. See where it takes you.

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