Hi guys and happy Monday! Hope you all enjoyed your weekends. Going to be linking up with Julia today for another Mental Health Monday!
Our internal critic. You know, that voice in our head that tells us we aren’t good enough. That voice that screams mean things about ourselves. The voice that tells us our body isn’t thin enough and we aren’t as pretty as so and so. It is incredibly mean. It is critical– of everything.
We talked about our internal critics on my yoga retreat. How we all have them and how some are louder than others. How they were so loud during the times when we were trapped in our eating disorder, and how they really never go away- we just learn to quiet them down and we learn to turn them off. But they are always there, and it is normal to have them there throughout our lives.
And yesterday morning I was reminded that our internal critic is always there, and sometimes it just flat out sucks. Because being bombarded with negative thoughts is never fun, we all know that. On Saturday, I spent the day with my friends from college at the beach. I never have worries or anxieties going to the beach anymore and what I looked like really never crossed my mind that day. I was happy and smiling and laughing, and life just felt so good. But after we took pictures, I felt the internal critic come out at full-force. And it just went a mile a minute. I know that every girl out there regardless of if they struggled with an eating disorder gets self-conscious and critical of their body. Unfortunately with our society and the thin body type being idolized it is inevitable for someone (girl or boy) to have struggled with these thoughts at one point or another. But yesterday after looking through these pictures, I fell victim of the comparison game, and I fell victim of talking poorly about my body. I tell you these things and am completely open about my little battles to show you that I am NOT perfect. I am human. I have ups and downs, and I had a little down in regards to the mental aspect of things yesterday.
From left to right: Tim, me, Jillian, Jimmy, Meg, Katie, Jen, Danny
It’s kinda funny how our internal critics can be so loud and mean sometimes. The things they tell us are awful. But we would never, ever say those things to our close friends and family. Yet we say them to ourselves. “My stomach looks so big. I look bigger than the other girls in this picture. Was I thinner last summer? I am no longer the skinniest girl. Well what about my legs. I don’t know how I feel about those either.” You see, we would never make these comments about someone else’s body. Yet we make them about our own. That’s just how our internal critic works- it works to tear us down and make us feel weak. It makes us feel insignificant and powerless.
I had an amazing time this weekend. My best friend Jillian visited from college and we started our day Saturday with bagels and almond milk lattes before a day at the beach in Rhode Island. Reuniting with my friends was amazing. Eating grapes and gold fish on the beach without a worry in the world felt pretty dang good. I look back to this time last year, and I would have definitely had a bit more anxiety surrounding these types of situations. The progress I have made is incredible. I swam and laughed with my friends, tanned and played beach games, and really felt present in the moment. I had delicious food prepped by my friend’s dad for dinner and even taught my friends some yoga. On Sunday, Jillian and I got acai bowls for breakfast (bc those are our faveeee) and I talked to her about what I was feeling. Because she’s been there. She has had her own struggles, and she totally gets it. She’s an amazing and one of a kind gal, and I am so thankful to have her in my life. One thing we talked about is how much happier I am now. My friend Meg said this too, that I just seem happier. And isn’t that an amazing thing? Sure, my stomach my not be flat, but my smile is a whole lot brighter. Another thing Jillian and I talked about is how we both are not going to give up days with bagels and goldfish and chips by the beach with some pretty fantastic people just to be skinnier. We both tried that. It wasn’t worth it- at ALL. And it brought us nothing but misery.
One huge shift I have noticed as I do consider myself recovered from my eating disorder is that it doesn’t even cross my mind to restrict my intake or exercise more to compensate for what I’m feeling. I just reach out to others and let myself get sad over it. And then I know that I will beat the internal critic, I know that I will get over it. It’s just temporary, NOT permanent how it used to be.
Yesterday I had to work, and I was kinda wishin’ prior to it that I just had the day off. You know that “ughhh I gotta go to work feeling. We’ve all been there. But later on in my shift, something happened that I feel like God wanted to happen. A guy and his mother came in and I helped them find some vitamin chews. After, they both left but a few minutes after the guy came back in. He said I was really pretty and asked for my number ( lol I know, one of these stories). He didn’t have his phone on him so he wrote it down for me. I probably won’t end up texting him (sorry dude) but it was like that scenario was meant to happen that day. In NO way shape or form am I saying that we need other people’s validation to quiet down our internal critic or to feel better about ourselves or our bodies, I am using this as an example because I really did feel like that was supposed to happen for some sort of reason. I had no makeup on, a pink and slightly sunburned face, all black clothes, and my hair up in a pony-tail. That was it. And it was like God was telling me- “Lyss! Turn off that internal critic. You are so much stronger than that. See this guy? He thinks your beautiful with no makeup on. You are beautiful just the way I created you!” So after that I took a deep breath. I reevaluated the whole situation, and I totally knew what set off the bad body image, I accepted what happened instead of being frustrated for myself for having bad body image thoughts and reminded myself that I am only human, and I ended my day reminding myself that God made me fearlessly authentic, beautiful, and unique. Life is too short to let our internal critic rule our minds. WE have the power to turn them off.
No questions for today, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Have a lovely Monday friends! Thank you for reading as always <3
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