Hi there! Sarah Herstich here body image and eating disorder therapist here in Horsham, PA.
Today I wanted to talk about self judgment and the many ways we judge ourselves, particularly the way we judge our bodies. So first, you have to accept the fact that you are actually judgmental. Accept the fact that you are a meaning making machine, looking around judging, helping with your fight or flight response. Judging doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you can acknowledge and accept it.
Owning that you are judgmental makes it easier to stop judging yourself for judging yourself. And owning that fact can allow your judgement to just be what they- observations. Thoughts. Descriptions.
That’s when you can make some movement and start to see how your judgments are impacting your day to day.
As you acknowledge that you are a judgmental person (because we all are!) start to look at all of the ways that you’re judging yourself. Especially your body. When you look at your body and you see that “flaw” that you just can’t stand, what is the meaning you’re making about that part of your body?
Get specific. Look at them all. Where are your hotspots? What does it mean to you that you have cellulite there? What does it mean to you that your pants no longer fit? What meaning are you making about it?
Are you thinking that you won’t be worthy until you’re in smaller jean size? Are you thinking that you won’t be lovable because your thighs have fat on them?
Get clear on the meaning behind your observations, thoughts and the judgements that you’re making.
Once you’re clear, I want you to zoom way out and take a macro view of everything you’ve noticed.
Now, pretend that you’re an alien.
You don’t know any judgemental words, all you have a descriptors.
Now, look in the mirror and look at those same areas and literally describe them. Get super objective. Look at your hotspots through the eyes of an alien.
Notice, ok… there’s a lump. My leg is large. My stomach is round.
Describe your hotspots in their most basic form.
Because aliens wouldn’t have any sort of basis to be judgmental. Things would just be what they are.
You want to retrain your brain and acknowledge that society has influenced you to view cellulite as “ugly” or your round stomach as “terrible” or your jiggly arms as “disgusting”.
Do you see the power that these types of words carry?
Get really clear on the fact that you weren’t born with these judgements. You were conditioned into believing them. And, if you can back off on that just a little bit and get really clear, really basic, really descriptive and specific things can just be what they are. Without the weight of judgment.
Getting descriptive and objective doesn’t have to send you into a tailspin of self-loathing and self-deprecation.
Because they’re just words. And you’re detaching from the meaning of them. You’re taking the power away from them by observing and being neutral about your observations.
As you acknowledge when you’re being judgmental, you have the opportunity to shift your thinking to
“I’m having the judgment that my thigh is really disgusting”
“Ok, that’s really interesting that I’m having that judgment.”
“Really, my thigh is actually just large. And there are lumps there”
“My stomach is hanging over my jeans today. It’s interesting that I think that’s the worst thing in the world. My jeans might just be a little tight.”
Notice your thoughts. Notice where your judgments are taking you and how they’re impacting you and change the language a little bit.
Change your mindset.
Notice. Be aware. Accept. Describe. Be neutral.
And you’ll start to find that your judgments have a little less power over you.
Talk to you soon!
I'm a self-love, body image and eating disorder therapist in Horsham, PA.
I help people make peace with their minds, bodies and food and learn how to see, appreciate and love all that they are.
I specialize in treating anxiety, binge eating and helping women learn how to stop dieting and really start living.
Questions? Get in touch here!