Day 24: Thought diary

The way to change something, is to challenge it. Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Learn to challenge unrealistic expectations using a thought diary approach

You have probably already realised how many predictions related to body image, but also other predictions for situations where you fear being judged in some form or feel ashamed, are actually not based on reality or any evidence. Rather, they are based on the fear of something happening. Today the focus is on learning a highly effective way of dealing with such situations by using a Thought Diary [PDF]

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
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Day 23: Body image issues’ long term consequences

To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself. (Simone de Beauvoir) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about the long-term consequences of body image issues and how they can lead to cycle of shame and fear.

Over the last few days of the program you have already worked out a number of ways in which you are likely to respond to fearing judgement based on your appearance. You have also already

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 22: Body checking and assurance-seeking

Looking at you, you’ll always see what you want to see. Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about body-checking and assurance seeking

Thinking (and often over-thinking) about something you are worried about is perfectly human behaviour. Just think about how often do most people wonder if they have switched off the oven or locked the door at home. In such trivial situations, reassurance from a friend or someone who was there can often resolve the situation. But often, if nobody is around to give the reassurance, people worry about the situation unduly.

A similar pattern happens to many people when

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 21: Avoidance of body showing

Don’t allow your mind to bully your body! Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about and challenge the short-term consequences of body image issues

So what happens when you are confronted with a trigger for feeling negative about your appearance? You probably have already thought about some likely reactions as part of yesterday’s activity.

For most people, the immediate reactions range from feeling bad or preoccupied with their appearance to avoiding showing their body altogether. In other words, they focus particularly on the reason for the potentially hurtful judgement that may come their way. From an evolutionary perspective, such a behaviour makes a lot of sense: If you see something that may be hurtful or even dangerous, it is good for the mind to concentrate on the danger. For example,

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 20: Triggers

This image has been altered to sell unrealistic ideals. (Anonymous) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Identify the triggers of body image issues

Yesterday you already looked at some of the consequences of feeling bad about some parts of your body. So that you can tackle these issues successfully, it is useful to  think about what keeps these feelings going or makes them worse. This will help to put those ‘triggers’ into perspective and diminish their impact.

Identifying and challenging those triggers is an important part of overcoming them: As you’ll see,

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 19: Effects of Body Image Issues

If you talked to your friend the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left. (Marcia G.… Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Think about the consequences of a negative body image

Yesterday we explored the important difference between body image, the way we see ourselves, and actual appearance, how we actually and factually look like. You may think at this point that having a slightly negative body image isn’t really such a big deal – after all we all have something we don’t like about our bodies. And making changes to your appearance can be, after all, a very good thing: For example, taking up exercise is a brilliant thing to increase self-love (see day 15!).

And while it is true that making changes to your appearance can be beneficial in some cases, body image issues are a very different matter: Although body image

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

Day 18: Body Image

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. (Kahlil Gibran) Click To Tweet

Today’s objective: Understand the importance of body image and appearance to self-love.

Over the last 17 days we spend all of the time discussing inner happiness and self-love. Of course, achieving this is a major step towards all-round self-love. But it would be wrong to assume that only inner happiness is complete self love: ultimately self-love is made up of both inner and outer happiness. This means we need to address an often uncomfortable topic: body image. Why? Well… many studies have shown that gay men in particular suffer from negative body image. A whooping 80% of gay men in a recent survey in London reported that they are not happy with their bodies. Gay men are also 7 to 12 times more likely to suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder related problems, serious psychological issue related to a negative body image,  then their straight counter-parts.
There are many reasons for this staggering numbers – from unrealistic body images in the media, especially porn to an apparent focus on body image in the community at large. Whatever the reasons are, fact of the matter is, that even a fairly mildly negative body image can have a devastating, toxic and highly destructive influence on self-love. In turn, leading to sexual, relational and personal problems. This is the reason a significant portion of this workshop is related to body image.

Before going any further though, please stop reading here and complete the activity below. It should only take a few minutes. After you have completed the exercise, continue reading below.

End of the preview.

“I went from questioning myself and self doubting to
building love for myself. Thank you!”

The full workshop with all activities is available as a digital download directly from here


30 Days of self-loveor buy the book now from any good bookseller.
ISBN 978-1546592815 (soft cover)   978-1370141586 (eBook)
To order online – via bookfinder
Amazon:   US – UK – CADE – FRIT – IN – JP – BR
Amazon Kindle: USUKCADEFRITNLINJPBRAU

 

Meaningful Compliments

What do you say to someone to compliment them? You look great? I like your hair style? Wow… the training at the gym really shows?
All to often it seems we default, especially in the gay world to compliments related to appearance. Of course, this makes a lot of sense, as most people love to hear something about the way they look.

The problem is that it easily creates the impression that the most attractive feature of the person opposite is their appearance. In fact, in the absence of other compliments, it can easily lead to the idea that the most important aspect is their appearance, even if you love and/or respect them for everything else they do.

I recently tried to stay away from compliments about appearance: not because I don’t think that the people I compliment are indeed often very good looking, but because I think it is about time we celebrate not just the six pack and the chiselled chest… but, let us be honest, celebrate what most of us really love about a person: the way they act, their personality, wit or intellect or the way they make us feel (and yes, the latter also includes sexually).

Admittedly, I struggled a bit with this. Not least, because it is all to easy to make a comment about something obvious like “I love your eyes” than to think a little deeper and say something about the character of the person (and with meaningful compliments you really do have to look a lot deeper, as otherwise they are just hollow words and sound amazingly stupid!). So, if you want to show the superficial compliment culture a cold shoulder, I have a few suggestions below. Or maybe you have some really nice compliments that you have received, or given… then please share them here as an inspiration and to show that looks are really just “skin deep”.

Your kindness really shows.

You really make me laugh so much.

I love how passionate you are about XYZ

It’s great to have you in my life, because you …

Spending time with you is really always amazing.

The way you make me feel [when doing XYZ] is just amazing.

I really value your [skill/personality trait…]

Feeling you next to me makes me happy.

I just love when I wake up next to you.

… what is your favourite, meaningful compliment? Share it below!