Imagine that the negative body image implanted in your brain has suddenly been removed. You wake up one morning, look in the mirror, and don’t have any reactions at all. You know how you used to react and why, but realize that all those old feelings and thoughts weren’t yours. Imagine that you’re very determined not to let them back in again. What are your real feelings and thoughts about your body? Take some time to look yourself over thoroughly, touch your skin, move around, notice all the sensations you’re experiencing, and so on. Spend a few days going through your regular routines—getting dressed, eating, working, exercising, and all the other things you do—paying close attention to what your body is doing at each moment and how it feels. Take notes, if you want to.
After a few days, sit down and try to express in words how you feel about your body. What can it do, or not do? Which of those things make you feel good and give you pleasure, and which don’t? Are there any things you’d like to be doing more or less of, based on how they make you feel?
By completing an exercise like this, you will discover the feelings, thoughts and beliefs that will provide the best fuel to keep your motivational fire burning. You will get out of your head (and away from its “programmed” image of your body), and into your actual body with an open mind. You will learn what your body needs and wants, what it is capable of doing, and what it can tell you about how to make choices and take actions that are satisfying and rewarding.
You may be surprised to find out how easy it becomes to exercise regularly, eat well, and reach a healthy weight when you stop treating your amazing body as the problem, and start using it as the solution.