Are you tired of hearing these common body image myths? Myth #1: You have to be thin to be beautiful. Myth #2: Having a perfect body will make you happy. Myth #3: You need to look like a certain celebrity to be attractive. But what if I told you that these myths are not only false but also harmful? Stay tuned to uncover the truth and discover a path towards self-love and acceptance.
Embracing your true self, even if or even when there are things you want to improve on, is the greatest gift you can give yourself. – Samantha Leith
Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, you will be able to:
- Discover the key to personal transformation and unlock a deep sense of self-love and acceptance.
- Explore the impact of societal expectations on body perception and learn to challenge harmful beauty standards.
- Learn how feeling good about yourself is more important than looking good to others.
- Embrace your physicality and develop a self-care routine that nourishes both your body and mind.
- Find practical strategies to improve body image and cultivate a positive relationship with yourself.
Discover Practical StrateEnhance self-confidence and self-awareness
Practical strategies for enhancing body image can be diverse and individualized. On the Samantha Leith Podcast, real-life experiences and applied strategies were discussed, which ranged from cultivating self-love to aligning lifestyle choices with personal values, displaying a clear commitment to self-improvement. These strategies are designed to enable listeners to manage their body image concerns and build self-acceptance, expanding their toolkit for navigating societal pressures.
The resources mentioned in this episode are:
- Try the mirror exercise: Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that you love or even just like. It could be your nose, your eyes, or anything else. Appreciate the small things.
- Embrace your true self: Even if there are things you want to improve on, love and accept yourself as you are. Understand that your worth is not determined by your appearance.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones: Instead of focusing on what you don’t like about your body, shift your mindset to positive affirmations. For example, instead of saying I hate my thighs, say I want to work on strengthening my legs.
- Prioritize your overall health and well-being: Focus on nourishing your body with healthy food and engaging in regular exercise because it makes you feel good, not because you want to change your appearance.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others: Recognize that everyone’s idea of looking good is subjective and influenced by societal standards. Embrace your uniqueness and celebrate your own beauty.
- Seek professional help if needed: If you’re struggling with body image issues, consider reaching out to a therapist or counselor who specializes in body positivity and self-acceptance.
Timestamped summary of this episode:
00:00:03 – Welcome to the Samantha Leith podcast. With me, Samantha Leith. I have a passion for exploring anything and everything that can help us to be extraordinary. Each week I’m going to dive into a topic and explore it extensively. Because if there’s something that makes for a better life, I want to learn about it and more importantly, share it.
00:00:23 – And hey, you may just get the OD song thrown in. There’ll be deep conversations, fun and travolta. Helpful tools for you to add to your life straight away. Random musings about anything from coffee to sex and information that may just blow your mind. This is a podcast for dreamers, believers, action takers and achievers it’s personal development, but not as you know it.
00:00:51 – Hello and welcome to episode 40 of the Samantha Leith Podcast, where I am going to talk about how you feel about the body you see in the mirror. Now, this can be really triggering for a lot of people. A lot of people feel great about it, a lot of people feel pretty crap about it. And this is actually a bit of a divergent from what I wanted to be talking about this week because I got massively triggered by listening to somebody on another podcast. Now, I’m not going to shame somebody else for what they say or what they think.
00:01:36 – What I am going to say is how what they said made me feel and what I then thought about and how I thought that messaging was in my mind, in my opinion, which is only my opinion, take it if you like it if you don’t, was really crap. So I was listening to this podcast and they were interviewing this woman. As a lot of podcast interviews go, tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do, blah, blah, blah. And this person said, I’m a coach. And they said, oh great, what do you coach on?
00:02:11 – And they said, I help woman I can’t even say it. I help women look good naked in the mirror. Not I help women feel good about how they look in the mirror. I help women look good in the mirror like they were the be all and end all of, I guess, deciding what looked good and who gets to decide that. And do we tell a baby, no matter what size or what color or if they’ve got a skin condition or anything else, do we tell them they don’t look good?
00:02:48 – It really, really bothered me. Now, I know for some of you you might go, well, yeah, I want to look good in the mirror. And I get that. I get that we want to be our best selves. However, the languaging for that I found really uncomfortable because my idea of looking good in a mirror, your idea of looking good in the mirror, somebody else’s idea of looking good in the mirror are all very, very different.
00:03:20 – And add to the bit look good naked. Now, if you’re tall, if you’re short, if you older, younger like, our bodies are all so different. So I’m like, Why are we still saying this these days? Now, yeah, I get to talk about this stuff because I have experienced yoyo, dieting, disordered eating heck when I was younger and a lot heavier, 140 OD kilos. I used to joke that I had reverse anorexia because I would look in the mirror and see someone tall, thin and glamorous.
00:04:05 – Now, I meant no disservice from that, and I meant no harm or anything bad by that because I didn’t actually understand what anorexia was. I didn’t understand what body dysmorphia was. So I was coming from a very ignorant place. However, I really did look in the mirror and see fabulous. And it wasn’t until people I would see photos and I’d be like, Am I that big?
00:04:35 – I didn’t see it until I was presented with that kind of photographic evidence, because I liked who I was and the way I dressed, all those kind of things. I was like, yeah, I got agat is going on. I got this going on. That’s not even a song, so let’s just ignore the fact that I did that. So I struggled with the fact that to a lot of the world, I was obscene.
00:05:04 – I was obese and obscene. And for some people, obesity isn’t obscene, but for others, it is. So some people might think that is looking good in a mirror, and some people would think it’s looking horrible in a mirror. It’s like, that we’re perfect. Who gets to decide what perfect is?
00:05:21 – It’s so intangible. Our choices, our ideas, we get to make those decisions for ourselves. Now, when I did lose the weight and had a gastric sleeve and lost 50 kilos, I did it for health reasons. And, yeah, I do feel better in my body now, 100%. And I have a different appreciation for fitness and health and all those kind of things, but I still look in a mirror and I kind of see the same person.
00:05:55 – I’ve got different scars. Yeah, the bits are in different pieces, bits and things like that. And then I can still look in a mirror and go, oh, my face is looking a bit puffy today because I had a late night or a boozy night. But I genuinely look in the mirror and like, yeah, it’s me. I love me.
00:06:11 – That’s okay. I love me. Are there things I want to improve? Well, if I did all the squats I want to be doing every week, some things would improve, but I don’t need that to love the body that I see in the mirror, because I love myself and not in an I’m so good kind of way. It is just who I am, and I appreciate all that my body’s gone through and what I’ve done.
00:06:34 – So if you’re at the point in your life at the moment where you don’t love the body that you see in the mirror and you’re listening to me and going, shut that up, Samantha. You’ve got no idea what you’re talking about. You don’t understand what it’s like. I do. I promise you I do.
00:06:52 – Because when I was younger, younger before I actually did the work on liking myself, I hated myself in all sorts of ways. I didn’t necessarily even look in the mirror when I was little little, because I got fed with all this stuff around me about weight being disgusting and me being naughty and terrible and didn’t look after myself and all. So I didn’t like myself. So I don’t even think I noticed what I saw in the mirror when I was a lot younger, I kind of ignored it. And then when I started to love who I was, I liked how I looked the majority of the time.
00:07:27 – And these days, I have a different relationship with my body and a different relationship with my mind and my heart, my soul and all that kind of stuff. And as you can tell from that little bit of a story of mine, we change throughout our life with society’s expectations, with what we’re seeing in the media, with the fashion trends that we’re following, with the lovers that we have, with the things our family are saying. All of those kind of things impact how we feel about what we see in a mirror. And I know I’ve mentioned this before, so forgive me for repeating myself, but I think it’s really important because I know I’ve done so much work, and that one sentence sent me into the spiral of I don’t have sam. What do you mean we all look in the mirror?
00:08:20 – Don’t I look good? Oh, my God. Don’t I look good? Do I need to do more work? What’s the problem?
00:08:24 – And I was like, the language and the drama that was going on my mind from just hearing that one sentence was crazy and only because of the words that were spoken. So the difference between feeling good about the body you see in the mirror and looking good in the mirror see how there’s just a little bit different? Oh, I’ve got to add the naked bit. Yeah. Although you talked about being naked, there’s just that little bit of difference how we feel.
00:08:59 – That’s on us. Okay. Whereas looking good yeah, we can say I look good, but most of the time that looking good is a decision, is kind of an idea that’s put on us from outside. So we want to feel about how we look. Okay.
00:09:18 – It’s just a slight tweak, but it really is what I think. It’s what I believe and has what helped me so much with all this kind of stuff. So the mirror exercise that I’ve spoken about lots is where we just want to look in a mirror and just find something about ourselves that we do love or that we do even like, I love my nose because it gets to sniff all those gorgeous spring flowers if you suffer from hay fever. You’re probably not going to say that, but sometimes it’s really hard if we don’t love what we see, to look in the mirror and go, is good, can’t jump that far, but you can find those little, little tiny things. And when we’re finding those little tiny things, it can kind of help us understand that that mirror is really only a reflection of a tiny, tiny piece of us.
00:10:16 – What we are externally is this tiniest piece of us. So why would we want to say it’s good or bad?
00:10:26 – We’ve all heard the saying, really love your peaches, want to shake my tree? Well, not everyone likes peaches. We know that not everybody likes vanilla. I love vanilla. Actually, funny story.
00:10:36 – I was at restaurant the other day for lunch with a few friends and we asked about one of the desserts and he said, oh, the waiter was like, no. And I wouldn’t go that one. I don’t like that one. It’s not the best. And to me it sounded great.
00:10:47 – It was vanilla and meringue and things. Ironically, I’m talking about cake when a episode about body confidence, see, life is crazy. Anyway, the cake arrived. We loved it. He didn’t like vanilla, but I really I respected the waiter for being honest with what his truth was.
00:11:04 – So, yes, we are all going to have a different truth about what looking good naked in a mirror is. But again, what you look like in the mirror is such a tiny, tiny part of you. And the way we get to our different stages of life in our different ages is by all these different things happening and experience and history and intergenerational stuff and other people’s idea of things. Growing up for me, I got told that you ate really healthily and exercised if you wanted to lose weight, not just because it made you feel better.
00:11:45 – I’m 50 next year now. I know I feel better inside. If I eat better, I feel better if I don’t have a lot of busy nights. It’s got nothing to do with a certain good or bad. No food is good or bad.
00:12:01 – Some of them are just ones that you don’t want to be eating that much of. And I’m most certainly not here to talk to you about diet or being healthy or any of that kind of stuff, because, again, that’s everybody else’s journey. That’s not what I’m here to help with. I want to help you go, this is me. I love me.
00:12:22 – And maybe there’s pieces of me that I want to do some work on or tweak, but that’s not the parts of me are good or bad or there’s things I want to grow and develop. It’s such a slight difference in how we talk about what we want and why we wanted. It has the power to make us feel fabulous or make us feel really awful. Okay. Embracing your true self, even if or even when there are things you want to improve on, is the greatest gift you can give yourself.
00:13:02 – I promise. Okay? So one of the things I talked about was the mirror exercise. Honestly, do it, do it, do it, do it. It’s so fantastic.
00:13:10 – I love my eyes and the window to my soul. Don’t love my ears at the moment, I got to say, because that tinnitus tinnitus, however you say it’s, driving me bonkers. Anyway, slight mindset shifts. Now I’m here every week talking about mindset shifts, but I’m going to mention it. So trying to replace a negative thought with a positive one.
00:13:29 – So instead of saying, I’ve got to go to the gym, I hate my thighs or my thighs are disgusting, something like that. How about really got to do some really want to do some exercise on my legs this week because it makes me feel strong and toned. You’re saying you want to do the same thing, just in a positive way. Okay. When you are looking in the mirror naked or you’re writing in your journal, feeling bad about how you showed up in a frock yesterday or you were in bed with your partner and you wanted to roll over because you didn’t really want their hand on those wobbly bits, maybe write something positive about those wobbly bits.
00:14:17 – Are those WOBLY bits the bits that stretched when you carried a baby? You got to love those. Try and surround yourself with people and with influence. So who you’re following on Facebook, Instagram, all those kind of things, people that will lift you up positively and will reaffirm positivity in your life now especially like, I’m perimenopausal going to be talking about that a lot more. And we really, really want to embrace our bodies.
00:14:55 – We need to there’s so many changes going on for us internally and externally that we need role models, and we need to feel inspired by people that are loving who they are inside and out. Again. Okay. So when you’re looking in a mirror and you’re going, yep, want to change something, try and tweak it into a positive. Try and find one thing every day that you really, really I want to say love, but okay, I’m just going to like about your physicality and build up to love, okay.
00:15:28 – And make some choices that will impact you more positively on these things. So if you’re making some lifestyle choices I mentioned earlier, drinking too much, whatever phases we all go through in life, if you’re feeling negative about your physicality and there’s a lifestyle choice that is really, really contributing to that, look at how your values align with that lifestyle choice. So if being social, we’ll just stick to the drinking thing because that’s what we’re talking about at the moment. It’s really hot in Sydney tonight. When I’m recording this.
00:16:06 – I’ve got to tell you, I’d love a cold glass of rose, but I’ve got water while I’m recording this, so maybe I’ve just got wine on my mind. But if your lifestyle choices are sorry, your values are about wanting to go out and be social and spend times with friends, but that lifestyle choice is then making you feel bad about your physicality in the morning. Maybe you need to readjust. So you want to be social with friends, but ask them if they can go for a walk or do something else. Play board games.
00:16:38 – I want to bring back the board game in my twenty s. I remember playing board games with friends for ages. Melissa went out and had a good time. But I think we need to bring back board games. And I want you to ask yourself, I was so sidetracked there.
00:16:53 – Sorry if I don’t have a lot of notes. I do tend to get a bit sidetracked. Might be the ADHD. And towards the end of the day and the medication is wearing off, I want you to think about how you can really I don’t want to use the word embrace, but not hate.
00:17:14 – Double negative. If you’re feeling really fearful about being rejected or judged, being judged because of your physicality. And I’m not necessarily just talking about weight here. I’m talking about it might be your hair. You’re embracing gray hair.
00:17:31 – It might be stopping to pluck your eyebrows. It might be the fact that you love getting Botox and you feel judged about that. It might be the fact that you’ve covered in tattoos and you feel judged about that, whatever it is. Okay, what do you fear about that judgment and the rejection? Like, what’s the worst that could happen?
00:17:51 – I remember thinking at one point when someone made a snarky comment about my weight when I was younger. Actually, it wasn’t that much younger. It was about 15 years ago. And I was just like it hit me. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but I felt like I was wrong.
00:18:10 – There was something terrible about me because of what they’d said, and I was clearly imperfect, disgusting. No one had ever liked me, blah, blah, blah, blah. I couldn’t even tell you what that person looked like now. Couldn’t. No idea they weren’t a friend was a random comment.
00:18:30 – But I let that rejection haunt me for a little while. Instead of actually facing that fear, which I would do now, is I’d face it or I’d face that judgment, I’d be thinking, well, are they important to me? Do I want their opinion. Do I need their opinion? Do I value their opinion?
00:18:48 – Okay. Because if you’re reading an article or listening to someone telling you who you should be or what you should look like, and you’re making your decisions based on that, not based on what you want, if you get there in the end, I clap you. But chances are, if you’re setting your goals and your motivation about that, it’s not going to work. You’ve got to be able to do it from your own desires. But if you are scared of rejection, ask yourself, is there something you don’t like about what you see?
00:19:21 – Because sometimes there is and we don’t want to admit it. Okay. Sometimes there is something we don’t like and we don’t want to want to admit it because to admit it means there’s this part of us that we’re not completely happy with, which is not a bad thing. If we’re doing it for our own reasons, to improve something, to work on something, to tweak something. If it’s for our own reasons, it’s okay.
00:19:50 – But to do it for external motivation, really, it’s not a way to live your life and look at what you truly desire about what you see in the mirror, about your physicality, about the connection you have to other people, about what do you want from other do you care about other people’s opinions? Because if you do, then tap into that for yourself. If that’s a really big thing to you, if you care what your hairdresser says when you go in and you really, really want their opinion, you’re not just being social, tap into that and use it to motivate you for whatever you want to go. Okay. Sorry.
00:20:35 – I feel like I’m having a bit of a rant today, but oh, Josh, it just bugged me. I help women look good naked in the mirror. Okay, well, I’m going to help you feel amazing about how you look in the mirror, and that’ll do. I just think it’s so much nicer and kinder and better for ourselves in so many ways. So I want you to practice every day, just something to enhance that little bit of self love, whether it’s meditation you do, your journaling, that little mirror exercise I talked about, celebrate small wins.
00:21:16 – Take a selfie every day for a week or a month, pick a date and go. And then look at that photo. Because what we see in a photo, as I mentioned earlier, and what we see in the mirror are often quite different. And I want you to nurture your body. So look after your physicality.
00:21:36 – Drink enough water, get enough sleep, do some exercise, eat the stuff that, you know, makes you feel better. Okay? Makes you feel good. Oh, I’m using the word good. We know what the stuff that makes us feel fantastic inside.
00:21:50 – And I want you to come back and let me know how this made you feel. Because maybe my take on looking good naked in a mirror and how that impacted me will be different for you. So I’m grateful for the messages and the thoughts I get from people about what I say. So let me know. Honestly, let me know.
00:22:15 – So whatever you do, take some small steps towards loving the unique body that you possess, okay? Love it no matter what. It’s the skin that holds you together and keeps you going and that keeps your lungs moving and your heart beating and your eyes and hey, you’re listening to a podcast. So it gets my mouth moving and my brain wheels clogging over. Okay?
00:22:44 – So remember, everybody is amazing, and you get to decide how you feel about yours. Your body is a testament to the journey and the resilience and the lessons and the strength and everything you’ve been through in life. So honor it, love it, and most importantly, really be kind to that beautiful, beautiful soul that’s lying within you, that extraordinary soul. Okay? Rant over.
00:23:17 – Have an incredible, extraordinary week, my friends, and I will see you next week on the Samantha Leith podcast. Ciao. Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and want to dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coach you need to be extraordinary.
00:23:47 – Head on over to Samanthaleith.com theclub for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.