The things we think about have a lot of power, they inform our experience of life, and our emotions.

Mid-2014 I began working on my own self-talk, I began by accepting certain facts about myself – for instance I’ve weighed more than 200 pounds for my entire adult life. For most of those years I told myself that I could have things, relationships, happiness, etc. when I was thin. Please imagine for a moment how that thought process informed my life. Just think about spending 26 years in a self-made prison of “you must be thin”.

I have very few photos of myself from most of my life because of my concerns about my size. I shrouded myself in baggy clothing and always felt like I needed to apologize for my looks. I’m certain my introversion and anxiety grew worse because of the unfounded belief that others were judging me the same way I was judging myself.

So, I chose to stop judging myself based on something that is likely not going to change. That meant no longer looking in the mirror and calling myself fat in a derogatory way, and to stop using the phrase “when I lose weight” as a stopper for my hopes and dreams. It meant focusing on how I feel in the moment, and how I actually look and not comparing myself to current beauty standards.

Let’s be real, current beauty standards aren’t real – they’re photoshopped, starved, over worked, and unreal. Even movie stars don’t look like movie stars when they haven’t had a crew of people to put them together for an awards show or photoshoot.

I also had to stop putting anyone else’s opinions or standards before my own. I had to thoughtfully stop myself in the act of allowing others judgements (real or perceived) to affect me. A by product of these thoughts were to stop myself from judging other women against those false standards as well.

Changing how you think is work. You have to practice self-awareness to catch yourself in the act of thinking the things you want to change, and then choose to replace that thought with a positive one instead. It’s work, but it’s been worth it. I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin, I spend a lot less time worrying about others opinions, and I am able to feel more positive because I don’t have those negative thoughts cluttering my psyche.