Ep #11: Inhabit Yourself

Inhabit Yourself

Something that all of us experience as we become adults is the self-consciousness that comes along when we start looking outside of ourselves to know what is acceptable or what we should be. When it comes to weight loss, I speak to women day in and day out who tell me they are uncomfortable in their own skin, and what is interesting is that the actions they’re doing to temporarily escape their bodies are only making them feel worse.

Do you ever think about what it’s like to inhabit your body? Most of us don’t take the time to do this because it’s much easier to put your judgment lenses on and describe your body with words that make you feel even worse. Taking these lenses off, however, could be the path to stopping all your self-inflicted pain and putting an end to layering on more suffering on top of existing suffering.

Join me today as I show you how you can start inhabiting yourself. I’m sharing an exercise called an “I-am list” that you can practice to start loving yourself and the body you live in. Doing this will help you make different decisions about how you take care of yourself and show you how to find comfort in your own skin.

To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m giving away a few things I can’t live without to some lucky listeners: $100 Amazon gift cards, and a brand-new pair of AirPod Pros. Learn more about the giveaway and how you can enter by clicking here!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we have to see our bodies without a layer of added judgment.
  • How to change the way you feel about your body.
  • An exercise that will help you discover what inhabiting yourself means for you.
  • How you might be adding more suffering to your physical discomfort.

 

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

 

This is Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown, episode 11.

Welcome to Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you’re a successful woman who is ready to stop struggling with your weight, you’re in the right place. You’ll learn everything you need to know to lose weight for the last time in bitesize pieces. Here’s your host, certified life and weight coach Natalie Brown.

Hey everybody. The first winner from the launch giveaway will be announced at the end of this episode, so keep listening all the way to the end to see if it’s your lucky day. So excited to get started. I’m giving this stuff away.

Oh my goodness, you guys, my mom recently sent me a video she found on her phone of my little when she was three. She’s 10 now. She is like, fully decked out in her Elsa nightgown, putting on a show, which included her adorable rendition of Do You Want to Build a Snowman with her on the baby piano and lead vocals, of course.

Followed by a moving version of Let It Go, where she sang and danced. And the lights were all off, and she made my mom hold the flashlight on her as a spotlight and film her at the same time. And my mom had never seen it before, so it was just kind of all over the place. She didn’t know what was happening next.

My little had the cutest speech impediment where she couldn’t pronounce her Rs or her Ts, which she has since overcome and I have seriously watched it like, 100 times. I love it so much. It made me think about all of these other adorable snapshots I have in my mind of my kids when they were little.

Like when my middle daughter was obsessed with Punky Brewster at five years old and she would not only just watch the DVD of the show on loop, but she would dress like Punky, complete with two different shoes, jeans, one leg rolled up, a bandana tied around her leg, a vest, pigtails, the whole shebang.

And now just in our house but everywhere. The store, preschool, all the time for six months. And most people didn’t remember Punky Brewster since it was not current and was from my childhood, so they had no idea the context for her outfits most of the time.

And my son, when he was three years old, watching Nitro Circus DVDs on his little pushbike, with his Travis Pastrana pajamas on and his motorcycle boots and his helmet and his gloves, pretending to do tricks on the bike, just in my family room. I mean, so cute. I’m sure you guys all have memories like that if you’re moms.

It’s so fascinating to think about them trying on different identities as expressions of parts of who they are. No reservations about fully inhabiting their little bodies and discovering themselves. I’ve watched each of them since those moments become self-conscious at different points in their lives as they started looking outside of them to know what’s acceptable.

But going back to where they started, where we all started, before we had all the rules and the shoulds and the shame, it really got me thinking. I talk to women day in and day out who tell me that they are uncomfortable in their skin. As they tell me about their lives and their struggles, it’s so interesting and ironic to note how they are doing everything they can to avoid the discomfort of living in their skin by numbing with food.

But it’s only adding to the discomfort. Not actually taking it away. It’s causing weight gain, which adds to the physical discomfort, and all of our thoughts about our size and what our body looks like add emotional suffering to the physical discomfort.

So the word inhabit means live in or fill a space. Do you ever think about what it’s like to live in your body? Now, I know some of you are like, “Yes, I think about it every minute of every day and it’s horrible.” But I want you to take a minute to try to be in your body without language.

We’re going to close our eyes, not if you’re driving. Please keep them open, but at some point do this. And think about the physical sensation of your body. It’s probably easy for you to put on your judgment lenses and describe your body with all of the loaded words like fat and overweight and rolls and big and disgusting and gross and cellulite and jiggly, all those things.

But if you didn’t have the meaning behind the words, how would it feel to be you? Without using any judgment words, only observing, I want you to think about how your feet feel, how your thighs actually feel, how your arms feel, how your stomach feels, how your bottom feels. How your body feels is the reality of right now.

As Byron Katie so brilliantly and simply put it, “When we argue with reality, we only lose 100% of the time.” When we see our bodies through the lens of judgment, we deny reality. We increase our physical discomfort with the emotional pain of believing things should be different than what they are.

When we choose to take off those lenses and see our bodies as they are right now, we will change the way that we feel. When we choose to think, “I have legs,” instead of, “I hate my fat legs,” we will feel a different emotion. When we accept our stomach and our chin for what they are, not what we wish they could be, we stop causing ourselves so much pain.

The reality of my body is that I have air in my lungs. I have blood in my veins. I have eyes that can see. I have ears that can hear. I have a heart that beats. I can walk, run, hug, bend, clean, read, sing. I can feel the sunlight on my skin and the wind in my hair. I’m 5’3, I’m hazel-eyed, and so much more.

One big misconception I think we have around this topic is the idea that if we live in our bodies without denying the reality of them, that we will not be motivated to change them. That if we just accept them, we will stay where we are.

But when our reason for changing our body is so that we can escape it, you can see how well this is working for most of us, right? We think my body is overweight and unacceptable and I can’t stand being in it, and then we feel disappointment or disgust.

And when we are feeling disappointment and disgust, we typically try to escape these uncomfortable feelings by eating things and taking actions that punish our bodies instead of nurture them, and we feel terrible and we gain more weight, and in turn feel more uncomfortable in our skin.

Often, one of the punishing actions we take is to exercise. Now, don’t get me wrong. I value exercise. I do it myself. But for most of us, it’s not out of love. It’s a punishment to make up for some mistake we made or are. I recently had a revelation when it comes to exercise. I learned to walk. Just go on a walk for pleasure.

This is a revelation because I used to think walking was a waste. I thought if I was going to get my workout clothes on and make time to do anything, it had to be running. I had to be burning calories and focused on weight loss. Because my brain spent decades focused solely on weight loss.

Running was just a means to an end. Not an activity I did for pleasure. It definitely felt more like a punishment than pleasure, which is how most of my weight loss efforts were. Extreme, unforgiving, painful, miserable, and definitely not from a place of love and care for myself.

It’s really no wonder I never found lasting success with any of my previous methods. Because who can sustain self-inflicted misery for a lifetime in an effort to find acceptance? It really doesn’t make much sense if you think about it.

Who we are is not just defined by what our bodies look and feel like and do. To inhabit means to live in and to fill a space. So what fills the space of you? Who are you? Usually, we answer that question by describing our roles or what we do.

I’m a mom, I’m a wife, I’m a CEO, I’m a singer, I’m a reader, whatever. I want you to think about how you would describe yourself with adjectives only. I want you to challenge yourself to focus not on just what you aren’t, but what you are.

So make yourself an I-am list. I am loving, I am quiet, I am bold, I am strong, I am doubting, I am careful, I am wise, I am full of wonder, I’m hesitant, I’m thoughtful, I am open, I am learning, I am growing, I am human, and so much more.

When we choose to love ourselves and our bodies, when we can see and feel them for what they are instead of only what they are not, and start making different decisions about how we take care of them, that is fully inhabiting ourselves. That is how we find comfort in our skin.

I created a love me playlist for you that I will share in the show notes. Some of the songs are being sung by one person to another. But I want you to try my favorite exercise with those songs. Imagine you are singing it to you and see how the message hits you.

My kids would say that’s cringy and I would say I am cringy and I am proud. We can add that to my I-am list. Okay my friends, are you ready? Start the drumroll. The first winner of a $100 Amazon gift card goes to Tracy.

The name of her review is, “So much goodness.” And here is what she has to say about the podcast. “I love this, Natalie. I love all the examples you share. So creative exploring the different angles of the topic and tying it all together at the end, and all in 13 minutes. Thank you.”

Thank you, Tracy. Short and sweet and packed full of goodness is my goal, so I’m so glad you’re loving it. If you haven’t yet and you love this podcast like Tracy does, please leave me a review too and make sure you subscribe so you never miss a new episode. I’ll see you soon.

Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Weight Loss Success with Natalie Brown. If you want to learn more about how to lose weight for the last time, come on over to itbeginswithathought.com. We’ll see you here next week.

 

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Natalie brown certified life and weight loss coach

Meet Natalie

I spent over 2 decades battling my weight and hating my body, before I found a solution that worked FOR GOOD. I lost 50 pounds by changing not just what I eat, but WHY. Now I help other women like me get to the root of the issue and find their own realistic, permanent weight loss success. Change is possible and you can do it. I can help you.

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