1. Visual: how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind.
2. Mental: what you believe about your appearance.
3. Emotional: how you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
4. Kinesthetic: how you sense and control your body as you move.
Women experience significant physical changes during midlife, menopause being a major one. Then there is normal weight gain of 5-10 Ibs, skin changes, such as sagging, spotting and wrinkling. These can have a negative emotional impact, particularly when combined with a major life change, such as divorce, illness or children leaving home.
These real life, human experiences can affect our self-esteem, which in turn fuels that pesky self-criticizing gremlin. In fact, daily stacking of what seems like trivial negative thoughts add up over time and it unconsciously seeps into our body and affects the way we see ourselves. It starts like this...
We wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and think “Oh crap…!”
Then we pick up our smart phone to distract ourselves from feeling inadequate and start scrolling on social media seeing images of vibrant, beautiful women reminding us of the things we lack or once were.
We resign ourselves to staying single, not happy with our figure, now that midlife hormones are playing havoc with every part of our body.
Or if we are in a relationship, our belly fat is THE reason we think we haven’t received attention from our husbands.
And then we ask ourselves:
“Will I ever feel beautiful again? If only I can turn back time!”
All of this because we stood in front of a mirror.
I’ve gone down that road a few times in my life. And I’ve learned to not get frustrated by my Gremlin Greta because being annoyed with her, only fuels her.
I instead zoom out, become aware of her (notice her insecurity) and then immediately shift what I do with my body so that my mind can release the hold Gremlin Greta (negative thought) has on my wellbeing.
Next week, I’ll share my first steps of dealing with self-doubt.