Do you like who you see when you look in the mirror or step on the scale? Many of us tend to fixate on our shortcomings rather than celebrate what makes us unique. On this episode, you will learn how self-acceptance is formed, the importance of being comfortable in your own skin, and get four tips to help you increase your self-acceptance.
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Four Tips You Need To Be More Comfortable in Your Own Skin Now
In this episode, you will learn how being comfortable in your own skin will lead you to further self-acceptance. You will also get four tips on increasing your self-acceptance.
In this episode, we are going to be covering how to be comfortable in your own skin.
I know this is something that you wanted to talk about. Why do you feel that this topic is important?
It had to do with it being a January thing. A lot of people start focusing on their weight and appearance in January because it is something that, culturally, we are being fed like, “Everybody does all the things.” People start hitting the gym and doing other things. Let’s give some space for this conversation and talk about what it means to be comfortable in your skin and give people that opportunity to maybe be a little bit easier on themselves.
I know it is January but everybody was Like, “I have to do all the things.” We set ourselves up for failure. That is where I was coming from. One of the things that I’m starting to work on in therapy is this thing called radical acceptance. I’m still new at it. I’m not ready to talk fully about that. It is something that is part of this acceptance of thyself.
In a previous episode, you talked about your intention for 2022 being the word be but you had toyed with the word acceptance.
That is what I ended up with. For all of our readers, I ended up picking acceptance because acceptance had more of the essence of what I was trying to get. I want to accept myself exactly where I’m at and know that it is not perfect, it’s an evolving progression and accept the world where it is at. There are things you can influence and control but there are a lot of things you can’t. Accepting those things is a struggle and practice. It is something that I’m working on. That is what I’m dealing with. How do I have acceptance?
What we are focusing on in terms of being comfortable in your own skin is self-acceptance.
What is interesting is when I was doing the research, I found this blog by Christopher Peterson. He had written about how this was one of those cliches and he didn’t like it. He was like, “It is a positive message. It is undercut by how the media shows people being comfortable in their own skin.” That got me thinking about the body positivity movement and people saying, “Accept yourself for who you are.” That thought of it being a cliche, I was like, “Is it a cliche? It sounds like advice to me.” I’m having quotes everywhere and doing other things. Maybe I’m a little bit more susceptible. What do you think?
When I was putting together my show notes, they were talking about self-acceptance. Accepting the good and the bad. What concerned was for many people was that if you are accepting the bad, there is no push to change. It is like, “I have some of these toxic traits but that is Melissa.” That was a concern of people by accepting all of you. The concept is great but I also believe in this pursuit to continuously evolve into being a better person, not just for others but mostly for myself.
What you are touching on is that internal motivation. Are you improving because you feel like you are bad or you love yourself and you want to do it because you want to eat that healthier salad at lunch and treat your body better, as opposed to, I’m a giant fat cow? A lot of women and men do it too. The thought that is going in here was like, “I have to go to the gym because I don’t look XYZ. I don’t feel that.” Instead of, “I get to go to the gym, move and do these things.” Part of it is this reframing with this self-acceptance.
What happened with me is as soon as we decided on this episode, I was like, “How am I going to practice this?” This is TMI but I will tell you. Every single day, I weigh myself. Part of the reason I do this is I don’t need my pants to say, “You are getting a little bit chubby.” We have these videos. I also see my chin. I’m like, “That second chin is getting a little bit bigger.” Not that the scale is telling me anything new. I do it every single day and I have a journal. I write it down. I have done this for several years and I have been able to see the pattern of when this chin gets fluffy.
Do you log your weight or how you feel at that moment?
It is just a number. It is the only thing that I’m doing. Let me finish this part and hold you a thought. When we were talking about this episode, what I had been doing was there was a certain number that once you start adding another zero and you get closer to another zero, you were like, “Fuck that. I will stand on the scale and hold my breath. I’m naked every single time I do this. It is the first thing I do right after I go to the bathroom first thing in the morning.
I’m over here doing all these things to manipulate the scale from it, going over into another ten number. I was like, “If we are going to talk about acceptance, how about you fucking stand on the scale? Don’t do anything special. It is only a number.” It is one piece of information. It is not telling you anything else. You know some of the other stuff. I started my cycle and things like that to have an additional frame of reference for what is going on there.
I know if I go to book club and it is a nice book club with all of the fancy cheeses and the wine, I’m going to be holding extra weight that morning. I’m like, “Why am I doing this to myself?” Having this idea at the forefront of accepting that this is where you are at and you have the ability to change this, not because you hate yourself but because you love yourself into the best version of yourself.
If you have read past episodes, you know that my word for 2022 is focusing on me. That stemmed from this conversation I had with my husband. I broke down. You step in front of the mirror naked and I’m like, “I don’t like whom I see.” It perpetuates itself. I remember crying to my husband. I’m like, “I’m ugly and fat.” I feel disgusting. When I was younger, we were told what the perfect body looked like, especially in high school. It is so cruel. There were times in my younger self when I had destructive eating disorders. I would go on crash diets and there were pills that I would take because I wanted to embody this ideal image.
Hydroxycut, did you take that?
Yes, I did.
I could feel my heart rate go up.
I like that feeling. I’m always chasing that feeling. When you are talking about people at the gym, there are people of all shapes and sizes at the gym. Some of the people that go in there have this voluptuous body. They are wearing sports bras and yoga pants and they rock it. That is where I want to be. I want to get to a point where I love one that I’m alive and relatively healthy but I want to exude that confidence. I want to walk into the gym but I will never do that. You will never catch me at the gym wearing a sports bra and yoga pants but I want to have the option if I want to.
I want to have that in anything that I’m doing where I’m walking in. I am feeling my best self because I am doing things for my best self. If part of that is making different choices, part of what we talked about in the habits is you want to be casting a vote for whom you want to be in every single action that you are taking. That is what it is, even with our intro, talking about how every moment is a pivotal moment.You want to have that in anything that you’re doing right, where you’re walking in and feeling your best self because you are doing things for your best self. Click To Tweet
It is because you have the opportunity to move forward in a way that is in alignment with whom you want to be. It also means that you get to start fresh with every single decision. You don’t have to slash all four tires because one bad thing happened. A lot of us tend to do that. Getting back to that self-compassion and full acceptance of this self is a way to start helping you own your decisions.
We have talked about self-worth before and I know that was something even in therapy that I was working on. I’m still building on that. I came across this great little quote that talks about how your value is separate from your actions and qualities. That resonated with me because we have all made mistakes and flaws. Rather than beat ourselves up over them, understand that you may be needed to make these mistakes to have the opportunity to grow, evolve and be the person that you are now and be appreciative of those moments and your resiliency to overcome them.
In a capitalist society, your value from an early age is dependent on how good your grades are. How good of a worker are you? How many hours did you put in? How long did it take you to achieve your degree? We have all of these different markers but what you are saying here is it is separate. You are valuable, Melissa, because you are Melissa, not because of all the other things.
The other things are enhancing. Even if you didn’t have those things, you still have inherited value because you are here on this earth sharing this space with me. This is valuable because we got all of the things going on and we might have a little bit of an audience. No, we are valuable because you are deciding to share this space and be here for this at this moment.
Would it shock you if I told you that your level of self-acceptance is determined before you turn the age of eight?
I would be surprised by that. Tell me more.
They have done studies where your self-acceptance is entirely dependent on your guardians and all of this is formed before the tender age of eight. If your parents communicated verbally or non-verbally negatively, like you were talking about grades, that sticks with you. We may grow up to think of ourselves as only conditionally acceptable.
We are on TikTok and all the things but it reminded me of a story that Elyse Myers shared on TikTok. She talked about how in middle school, many people described her as round because she was a little heavier set. She said, “What would have been more appropriate ways to describe her would have included things like funny, cute, witty, smart, talented, determined, sarcastic and musical.”
That made me think that we are consumed with the image in society, magazines, television and social media. It put this image in our heads. It is all socially constructed. We need to remove ourselves and be kind not only to other people but to ourselves because there are other ways. It is going to take me a while to embrace my naked body but other things make me amazing. I need to focus on those.
This is why I came up with two tips for this episode. The first thing is practicing gratitude.
Why did I know that you were going to say that?
I’m big on gratitude. Gratitude is indeed a game changer. Here is what it does. This is my experience, and I have seen other people where it mirrors some of the things I’m going to say here. When you start the gratitude practice, you may start with the external and you might be like, “I’m grateful that I didn’t get a ticket because I was speeding. I’m grateful that the Starbucks person knows my drink.” There are external things, but what starts happening is that you start shifting. All of a sudden, I’m grateful for my brain and all of the knowledge that I have acquired over the years.Gratitude is a game changer. Click To Tweet
I started looking at myself in different ways. When I do this gratitude practice, I do try to find things external but also a mix of internal things in there because I’m having that self-appreciation. Starting the practice opens that door for you to start seeing the positive outside but also the positive that you have inside.
The second thing is I do think that this topic centers more around the physical than necessarily the internal is for the body’s urine, not for your future weight loss. This is a hard one for a lot of people because you don’t want to go buy new clothes. I get hung up on sizes too and figured out, “I’m getting rid of clothes that don’t fit anymore or that were never going to fit.”
For some reason, I was like, “Future me is going to be rocking that.” You will get that advice like, “Buy that bikini, throw it at your door and look at it.” I was like, “I don’t want to shame myself into fitting into that bikini.” I can wear one here with Melissa but out in public, let’s not do that. Those are going to be my two tips. Practice gratitude and dress for the body you are in now, not for a future one.
I’m going to add a few more tips. The first one is forgiving yourself. I talked about making mistakes. If you are like me, you are going back, rehashing and reliving that moment. It does no good for anyone. You beat yourself up over what you should have, could have and would have done differently. It can interfere with your self-worth and how you view yourself. Forgive yourself and sometimes you need to make that stake to grow.
The next one I will give is to stop comparing yourselves to others. I do this constantly. Social media is terrible about it. We all know that everyone posts something on social media, typically through five different filters. They have edited it. I shouldn’t say it is not real but you are looking at this picture-perfect family of five. I’m like, “I’m comparing my life to theirs.” Not giving weight to the fact that we are on two different pathways. There is beauty in every step. It is unhealthy to be comparing yourselves to other people.
I’m glad you brought it up because part of it, especially being in the solopreneur space, is that sometimes people compare themselves to the results of somebody who is ten years down the road from you. That gets frustrating for people. They were like, “I’m not seeing these results. Why am I not having this?” It is because nobody is talking about progress. You, all of a sudden, see it and you were like, “They were an overnight success.” No, they weren’t. It took a lot of time and effort for them to get to that place. That comparison can be harmful. I would also add comparing yourself to prior versions of yourself. That is hard. I have a picture of myself from high school where I was like, “I was looking pretty good.” I could tell you in that picture, I was probably like, “I’m so fat in this shirt.”
I’m not going to look at my body because my fat version was skinny. I read a journal of something that I wrote a few years ago and I’m proud of the growth that I did in reading what was going on in my life at the time. I’m so different. I can understand looking at previous pictures can break your heart but looking at where I have come emotionally makes me happy.
You are a Schitt’s Creek fan. Moira Rose, at some point, gives some advice about taking naked pictures of yourself. It is an audio that is pretty popular on socials. Part of the whole idea is you are going to look back at these when you are in your 60s, 70s, and 80s, and be like, “I wish I would have taken more pictures of myself.” I’m like, “I’ve got that hidden folder. I’ve got some sassiness. Everybody does it.”
Part of that is acceptance and being able to look at yourself. It isn’t you do it one time. It is a practice and it is going to take some time. There are going to be times when I get these cysts. Especially when I’m being unhealthy, something about what I’m eating triggers them, and they are painful. They will be in my inner thigh. It is this condition called hidradenitis suppurativa. I’m like, “What did I do to myself?”
I have gotten to a place where I’m trying to avoid those more than anything else because the pain, irritation, embarrassment and all of those things that come along with this condition are something that I don’t want to do. I know that I have somehow contributed to that. I’m trying to be more mindful and accepting this is something that my body does and I can’t entirely control but I know that I can impact it by the way that I’m doing this and be nicer to myself.
As you are talking about your cyst, it reminds me of when I had to have my partial hysterectomy because of the fibroids. That was hard for me to accept and I struggled. I mentioned in the episode that we recorded that I struggled with accepting my body. I felt less than a woman but I have come to accept and love my new role as an aunt, wife and sister. It is making those intentional reframes because you have to be kind to yourself and speak nicely to yourself.
You need to practice doing those things but it is not an easy thing, especially when you have spent your entire life and a lot of these messages are coming in before you are eight years old. You are getting them from outside. If you have spent a lot of time telling yourself, “I’m not good enough. I’m not skinny enough. My hair isn’t straight enough. It isn’t the current beauty standard.” It is going to be tough to do but not impossible because you start working on training that muscle and creating that neuro pathway where you see more of your good things instead of your flaws.
The challenge that I’m going to throw out to everybody is to record yourself on your phone, looking at yourself, because there is something about getting comfortable with looking at yourself that is powerful there. I notice a lot of things when we are on video. I have gotten much more comfortable with being in front of the camera. Most of the time, I don’t care. If I need to say something, I’m going to say it. I don’t have to have the stuff on.There's something about getting comfortable with looking at yourself that's really powerful. Click To Tweet
It is nice. It makes a difference sometimes with the socials. You all like a lipstick but it is not necessary. I can look at myself, especially in the lawyer group that I’m in, that is always a big challenge where people get nervous. They were like, “I don’t like the sound of my voice.” In coaching, we have to record our calls with the client’s consent. That is one of the things that people have feedback on where they were like, “I don’t like the way I sound.” It was like, “How do you want to sound? Why don’t you like it?” It is because you are not spending time with yourself to reflect.
My challenge to everybody is to post some videos. If you are a lurker on any of the socials, post something. Get used to that, even if it is for yourself. If you are recording things to help you, it is a good way to start seeing yourself and not picking the flaws. Take it all in because no one is going to be perfect. I got a pimple that is growing over here. That is what is happening and you roll with it. I’m not going for perfection. That is not my jam. Somebody else might like perfection a bit more.
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