Strike A Pose
I was talking to a friend recently who told me that she was feeling down. She had realized that her everyday happiness hinged on how she felt about her body, and lately it was not so good. She was unhappy with the way she looked and it made her feel less sure of herself – less sure about getting dressed in the morning, less confident about how others saw her, and just plain iffy.
It seemed to me that she was comparing herself to others, and it didn’t hurt that the Golden Globes was just on. (Seriously, how many of us can really wear a dress with a waist-plunging neckline?) So my advice to her was this: don’t compare yourself to others. It’s easy to be blue if you are comparing your body to that of anyone else, especially to those with different body types. Compare yourself to your best self. In other words, think about the times in your life when you have looked and felt the best about your body. That person, that you, is the one you should be comparing yourself to. You will find the inspiration to become that person again. Because you know that person is totally awesome.
We are imperfect and human after all so don’t be so tough on you. And of course you can guess what I will say next: exercise will make you happier in every way! It’s good for your brain and good for body, which is in turn, good for your brain.
First thing in the morning, on days when you are feeling low (and can’t get to your workout right away) stand up and stretch. And I mean super stretch, with arms up like you are trying to touch the ceiling with your fingertips. Arch your back, open your chest and take a few deep, long breaths. Now drop your arms and just stand really tall. Feel the space you just made – the space in between your bones and around your organs. And feel the space you made in your mind for the start of a new day.
This easy stretch and lift will take you out of your slump, make you feel a little taller, and even a little more confident in your clothes. It’s kind of like “power posing.” I love the idea of standing in front of a mirror, striking a post with chest puffed out like Superman. Or our ladyfriend Lynda Carter.
I really dislike the saying “fake it till you make it” so I’d like to revise that a bit. Because you’re not really fooling anyone, you’re working on feeling better about yourself, inside and out, with a tiny, gentle kick in the pants. Or tights. So "strike it till you like it".