Three Exercises To Reclaim Your Body - It Begins With A Thought Coaching

Three Exercises To Reclaim Your Body

If you haven’t read or listened to More Than a Body, I strongly recommend doing it. This practice I want to share with you comes from this book and the work of the authors, Lindsay and Lexie Kite. 

The book shares brilliant and groundbreaking ideas on the concept of the objectification of our bodies that is, I think, really important and actually, maybe kind of necessary for every woman to be familiar with, understand, and earn more about. 

So read their book, and follow them on Instagram at Beauty Redefined. Lots of gems there, lots of learning for you.

 

Discounting our body’s experience

We have been unknowingly separated from ourselves by an idea that we’ve been sold that as women, our bodies are our value, and our body’s value is in how it looks. 

When we are only or mainly focused on what it’s like to look like we do and we spend little time focused on how we FEEL walking around in our bodies, we have disconnected from a critical part of what makes up who we are. 

We’ve discounted the actual experience of being us in our bodies, and we’ve instead put on the lens of others.

As the Kite sisters say, there is you, and there is the you that’s being looked at. It’s separation. We’re looking through the lens of others to view, judge, and conceive of ourselves. 

How could this be? Well, think about it – who experiences our body’s appearance? Other people. 

We only experience our appearance when we see our reflection in a mirror or in a photo. But that’s still us seeing ourselves from the outside as others do. 

It’s kind of mind-bending, I know. You’ve got to think about it a little bit. But in that case, you’re experiencing the you that’s being looked at rather than just being you. 

 

Evidence of disconnection

Have you ever heard or even repeated the common phrase, beauty is pain? Perhaps as you walked around in uncomfortable footwear deemed ‘work appropriate’ or as you waxed your eyebrows or squeezed into some Spanx? 

That is evidence to me of that disconnection. You are doing something to yourself and how you experience your body to facilitate the experience of looking a certain way for others viewing pleasure. 

When you put on too tight pants that don’t fit, high heels, or even a big sweatshirt in the summer and you look in the mirror, you’re probably not thinking about the waistband cutting into you, or your feet or ankles hurting, or how hot you’re going to be.

You are most likely thinking, does my butt look too big? Do my calves look good? Is this hiding my tummy well enough? 

Now, I’m not against any of these things I just mentioned, nor do I think they are problematic, wrong, or anything else. I simply want to emphasize that we often put our physical bodies through pain and discomfort in service of how we look. 

That encourages that separation from our bodies for appearance’s sake. It encourages us to identify as the one that is being looked at.

This is a part of what leads us to overeat and to use food to numb and avoid discomfort. 

We are so used to disconnecting from the physical experience of our bodies and so focused on the importance of our bodies looking ‘right’ that we ignore how food feels in our bodies and how much food our bodies need. 

 

Three ways to reconnect with your body

So how do we reconnect? How do we remind ourselves to come back home to our bodies? How do we prioritize our physical lived experience over the externally perceived one? 

There are many ways, but I’m just going to mention two simple ways today.

 

1 – Talk yourself back into your body

When you notice are being split, you are focused on how you look to others rather than how you feel about yourself. Have a compassionate conversation with yourself.

Here is an example from the book:

“Wait, I can feel that I’m picturing myself being looked at instead of just living. It’s so easy to do, but I deserve more than this. It does not matter how I look right now.

I deserve to look out and see the sky, the people walking past, and feel the air on my skin. I deserve to breathe for a moment and think about other aspects of my life.”

You can find a mantra of a few sentences that bring you back to your body.

 

2 – Tap into your senses

This is my favorite way of getting present.

I love to pause, put my hand on my heart and just take in what I’m hearing, smelling, seeing, feeling, etc. I check in with each one of my senses.

That brings me right back to this moment, to my body, to what it’s like to be in my body, and I can center and get focused on what’s next.

So, when you notice you are caught up in thoughts about how you look right now or, in general, tap into your senses.

If you’re walking or out and about, notice the rhythm of your feet taking step after step. 

Notice the colors around you. Notice how the trees move or what the car tires sound like as they move across the pavement. Put your hands in your pockets or let them swing by your sides, or even squeeze them together. Look at other people and notice their expressions or the color of their clothes rather than imagining what they think about how you look.

Even just five breaths can get you centered, to step back into your body and experience what it’s like to be in your body instead of looking at your body or being looked at.

Another way to do this is to stretch. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. We don’t have to do some big long, elaborate 15-minute stretching session. 

Your focus will be on the present, your body, what it feels like to be in it – that’s our goal. 

 

3 – Practice gratitude for your body

Find gratitude for each part of your body. Feel the strength of your muscles. Do some lunges, squats, and even rise up onto your toes a few times. Focus on how it feels to use your muscles and the strength of each fiber at work.

I like to keep this neutral because I know sometimes, for some of you, it’s going to be really difficult to find gratitude for your stomach, or your backside, or whatever part of you that you don’t like. 

But you can think about different parts of your body, even inside parts and what they do for you, or make possible for you, like what your eyes have seen lately, where your feet and legs have taken you. Think about your heart beating nonstop without a single rest for all of your life.

Concentrate on your body individually and as a whole, what a miracle it is, and how amazing it is in all the ways you can think of. Generate some gratitude for the parts. 

 

Your body is not wrong!

When you notice you’re separating, get back into your body. Connecting to our bodies is one of the most powerful steps we can take on our health and weight loss journey.

Treating your body as an object, as an ornament, ignoring its nuance, its preferences, and its power, keeps us disconnected and repeating the cycle of disrespecting it and punishing it over and over and over again. 

Focusing on how our bodies look and how it’s ‘wrong’ often holds us back from showing up in the world the way we want to.

The Kite sisters say:

“We’ve all been taught that our bodies are a problem. So, we opt out of opportunities and experiences to fix ourselves so that we can qualify to show up next time. We prioritize the life of an imaginary, idealized version of ourselves who is designed to be unattainable. 

The myth that life begins once you fix your body is powerful, escapable, and ruining our lives. It hurts our body image. It hurts our self-worth, our collective progress as people who deserve to live and lead right now.

You don’t have to feel good about your body to qualify to do the things you want to do once you feel better about yourself. Even when you feel self-conscious, showing up improves your body image. 

You will feel better about your body as you use it, and it gets easier with time and practice. It’s time to reclaim your life and your body as your own.”

 

What would it look like to reclaim YOUR body?

I want you to ponder this last sentence. What would it look like for you to reclaim your life and body as your own?

What would it be like for you to spend more time in your body and less time thinking about how it looks to other people? 

I want you to try it on this week.

Notice when you’re separating, disconnecting, and thinking more about how your body looks than how it feels. 

Try some of these exercises to step back into your body, and reclaim it as your own.

 

Change is possible 

I want more than anything for every single woman to be able to love her body and stand fully in it as the miracle that it is. 

I want every woman struggling with her weight and health, wondering how she can love herself and want to change, to know that it is altogether possible if you work from the inside out.

I want to provide a place for any woman to feel safe to learn, feel, explore, and understand herself with some expert guidance and a community of support. 

If that’s what you’re looking for, I’ve got you. 

Head to itbeginswithathought.com/apply. 

 

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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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