If you missed Part 1, I encourage you to head over and read about Marsha’s profound approach, Body Neutrality™. Here she expounds on how to move away from body hatred and negativity. In case you haven’t been introduced, Marsha Hudnall is an incredible dietitian doing remarkable work as the president and co-owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run, the women’s healthy weight retreat in Vermont that pioneered the non-diet approach to healthy weights in 1973. Her mission is to, “help participants learn to enjoy food and eating while successfully managing their weight and health”. Marsha is active on Twitter and blogs at A Weight Lifted.
A typical response we hear at Green Mountain when we mention affirmations is that they seem phony. So it’s important to start with an affirmation that feels natural to you and isn’t negative. The idea of progressive affirmations is to start neutral and eventually move toward a more positive one when you can believe the statement you are working on.
An example of a place to start might be by comparing how you care for your body to how you care for your car. Of course, this is assuming you take care of your car!
“I can maintain my body like I maintain my car.”
Practice this affirmation for a while, and when you feel ready, move to one that adds value to how you feel about your body. Here’s how this affirmation might progress.
“It is important to maintain my body.”
“My body is worth maintaining.”
“By maintaining my body, I am caring for it and me.”
“My body deserves good care.”
“I am worth caring for.”
Along the way, you might go one step forward and then two steps back. Go back to the affirmation that feels believable and stay there a while longer. As you replace negative thoughts, they begin to diminish, and you can progress.
If progressive affirmations don’t speak to you at all, or feel too corny, consider “just the facts.” Make a list of facts about who you are – dancer, swimmer, friend, singer, rebel, punk, cook, mom, lover – and say each one with a punch. “I am a (fill in the blank)!”
Excerpted from the forthcoming book Eating Happy: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Emotional Overeating by Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD and Darla Breckenridge, MS. © 2014, Green Mountain at Fox Run. Hudnall is president and co-owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run, the women’s healthy weight retreat in Vermont that pioneered the non-diet approach to healthy weights in 1973.