HAWMC: Stream of consciousness

For the month of April, I'm participating in the Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge from Wego Health. Each day I'll be writing a health-related post based on the HAWMC prompts, aiming to challenge myself as a writer and health activist. Thanks for following!

This morning I looked in the mirror...

...and did that thing all girls do (and boys too) where I focused on the negative. It was as though my eyeballs were programmed to zoom in on what I consider my flaws. I noticed the imperfections, explored my face and let my eyes settle on the parts I wish I could improve. "If only..." - those frustrated thoughts that you could spend hours thinking and still get nowhere. Falling deeper into those negative thought traps, making it harder to dig your way out of, never leads to anything positive. And I know that really. I'm completely aware of what this kind of thought pattern does to me. Yet I continue to do it.

And then I remembered something my Mom told me recently when I was complaining to her on the phone about how I was having a fat day... "No more Molly-bashing!" she said. And it knocked me back up to earth, out of that deep tunnel of self-criticism. I wouldn't say these things about my family, my friends, or even a perfect stranger, so why would I say them about myself? It's destructive.

So I stopped the "Molly-bashing" and started focusing on the positives. I'd highly recommend it next time you're zooming in on your flaws (and we all have flaws). What do you love about your face? Instead of thinking about how I needed to pluck my eyebrows or that my skin was bad or that I had a double chin, I thought about my eyes - a feature I feel confident about. It's so easy to forget that even ONE thing we enjoy about our appearances.

What's the solution? Write it down. It may look cheesy and lame to you (I'm gonna be honest, I thought that too the first time I saw this) but giving yourself a visual message taped to your mirror is an easy way to stop the You-bashing and focus on what's great about you! Operation Beautiful has been getting people to do this for the past couple of years throughout the healthy blog community. Who wouldn't smile and feel good when they saw this in the mirror first thing in the morning?

How about we all get super cheesy and embrace it? I'm going to draw on a Post-it note right now and will post the results on Twitter. Please do the same and show me your self-lovin' message! Negative thoughts are no way to start the day, especially when you look at your reflection in the mirror. We just need a little reminding sometimes...

(Up at the top there, that's my old cat Benny - I have tons of photos of him and they always bring a smile to my face. So on the occasion that Post-it notes won't do it, Benny certainly will!)