For instance, raise your hand (or better yet, shameless plug: “Like” this article on Facebook!) if you’ve ever done this: when getting ready to go out, instead of reaching for the sexy matching bra and panty set, you opt for the ugly stuff because “there’s no way anyone’s seeing you naked while you’re this bloated.”
And just like that, you shut the door on nookie. Your guy is left scratching his head wondering why you don’t want to have sex, when little does he know, that decision was made four hours ago, and it has nothing to do with him.
Would you be getting it on right now if you didn’t tell yourself how bad you look? Yes. Would he have even noticed you were “bloated”? Absolutely not.
If only we could just shut up, right? It would be so nice if we could compliment ourselves the way our men do and actually believe them when they say, “Your arms are not fat,” “You look beautiful,” and “Damn, you are so sexy.”
But it’s hard when we’re so used to putting ourselves down every day. We see it as motivation to get our butts to the gym, to pick the banana over the muffin, and to bond with our girl friends when we get together (you’re not going to be the one who sits there and has nothing to contribute when a round of “My thighs are huge,” starts).
We need to realize these “I hate my body” moments are toxic and damaging, not only to our sex lives, but to our relationships and our overall self-esteem. If we ever want to fully enjoy ourselves in bed—and in life—we have to learn to quiet those negative thoughts (Glamour offers some great tips on how to do just that).
I’ve been trying to cut down on my own “I hate my body” moments by working out (I’ve noticed it’s harder to think negatively afterwards), and by… wait for it… spending more time being naked! It sounds weird, but if I’m going to make friends with my body and stop being so mean to it, I should get to know it better (in the privacy of my apartment, of course). That way, when I’m naked with someone else, I’m very familiar with everything they’re seeing, and yes, I look pretty good!
Well, that’s the goal, at least. It’s hard to go from thirteen negative moments a day to none. Baby steps, ladies. Baby steps.
Tell us: What do you do to quiet your “I hate my body” thoughts?
Faye Brennan is assistant editor at BettyConfidential.