“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~ Diane Ackerman
“See your body as a trusted and treasured home for yourself to enjoy and use fully, rather than as an aesthetic object.” ~Susan Kano
Are you a “checker?” Do you constantly “check” your body to see if you look okay? For any sign of weight change? To see if your hair, make-up and clothes are perfect? To see if you are okay?
Constantly scrutinizing yourself is a guaranteed path to unhappiness. “Checking” yourself in this way means you are looking for, indeed seeking out, flaws and problems, whether real or perceived. Doing so has the impact of magnifying whatever is there, again whether real or perceived. You are actually teaching yourself to automatically look for and find problems. Eventually, the “flaws” become the only thing you see when you look at yourself.
Checking can also cause you to miss out on life. Do you hold yourself back because your body does not measure up? Do you avoid participating in certain aspects of life, waiting for the day your body passes the “check” test? Have you missed activities—like swimming—because you did not like the way you looked in the necessary outfit?
What would you be noticing or experiencing in life if you were not checking?
For just one day, decide to notice every time you “check” yourself (on the scale, in the mirror, by asking others’ opinions). Notice your self-talk and whether it is helpful or hurtful. Each time you do, counteract that by noticing and appreciating something your body has done for you within the preceding hour, no matter how seemingly inconsequential.
For instance, you “check” to see if your stomach looks flat. Immediately think back and say, “I appreciate that my body got me from my car to my front door.” Notice how this seemingly minor event is really not so minor when you notice and appreciate it!
Allow yourself to, however briefly, view your body as a trusted and treasured home that you appreciate and use fully.