Almost everyone has done it. Sometimes we get so “good” at it, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. Self-deprecating behavior. That thing we do where we say out loud to no one in particular; “I hate my body”; “my thighs are so fat”; “I look ridiculous in these pants”. Or how about when someone compliments you and you turn it around to insult yourself. “Oh, you look great today!” Instead of replying with a simple thank you, you respond with, “Oh my gosh, you must be kidding?! Look how tight this shirt is today. I feel so gross. I really need to get back in the gym.”
Thinking and speaking to yourself in that way is damaging enough to your own psyche. However, that doesn’t seem to be enough to break the bad habit for some. Oh who am I kidding? Most people fail to break this bad habit. So, how about this? The next time you catch yourself with an insult swirling in your head, think about the people who look up to you. Particularly, any little ones you may have in your life.
If you have kids (or nieces, nephews, etc), think about how confused they must be to hear you mutter, “I am SO fat!” You know what? They think you are beautiful. They look at you as a hero. But if their hero is telling them that the image they view as beautiful isn’t, what does that say about them?
Take glasses for example. If you constantly say you hate the way you look in glasses, but then your child ends up having to get glasses how will they feel? Most likely, they will think there is something wrong with wearing glasses. After all, if you hate the way you look in glasses, you probably hate the way they look in glasses too. However, if you wear your glasses confidently and your child also ends up wearing glasses, you’ve been a fantastic role model.
If you look in the mirror and tear your body apart, what do you think your children will do when they look at themselves? “If mom thinks she looks fat with her belly, then I MUST be fat with mine.” My youngest daughter had the most precious budha belly of all time when she was around 3 years old. She thought it was awesome. She would rub it and say, “look at my belly!” She would run around lifting her shirt to expose that beautiful, round belly to anyone who would look in her direction. But what if I rubbed my belly in the mirror and proclaimed how fat it was? Would that change how my baby looked at herself? I wasn’t willing to take that chance.
I hope you aren’t anymore either.