Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Screening Your Messages

A while back I collaborated with Tayler on a post about loving your body. One of the suggestions I made to show and develop love for your body was to Screen Your Messages.

This is the second thing (exercising for enjoyment/to celebrate my body was first) I started doing and it took me a long time to make that change. It started with ditching a workout buddy and slowly moved itself to removing people or influences from my life that weren't allowing me to make the change I needed.

It wasn't them (necessarily), it was me.

surround yourself with positive people

And that's the truth and that's what took me so long to make those changes. I would tell myself, "If it's bothering me that's a problem with me and I need to suck it up and deal." 

True...and false. Yes, it is absolutely a problem with me, but I also can't just "deal" I need to change and I need to remove any obstacles that might be hindering that progress--for now at least.

I've really taken to turning to prayer and scripture study to help me with my journey (more on that later) and I have dedicated a few Fast Sundays to the cause. One Sunday I was fasting for guidance for the next step for me in making improvements. I felt the impression to unfollow any social media accounts that were negatively impacting me. 

And as I browsed through my feed I realized that some of the very uplifting/encouraging accounts about healthy living were actually some of the ones that resulted in negative thoughts. Whatever I'm struggling with, they weren't helping. So I deleted them and immediately felt a sense of relief. That way I wasn't going to be hit abruptly with a message that made me feel like a bad person because I wasn't adhering to a super regimented diet program, counting calories on my phone, or any other number of things. Those accounts weren't allowing me to progress because I needed to start sending myself differing messages that conflict from the constant stream of messages I've received for the past 30 years. 

After I did that, it was actually amazing how much more discerning I became about the other forms of messages I receive. I started to really recognize when something was being sold to me that wasn't really true. Magazine headlines, comments from people, and even messages on my favorite workout videos. Interestingly, I realized that all along these things have been bothering me but I dismissed it as jealousy or worry that I wasn't tough enough or disciplined enough--but now I truly believe that my spirit has known all along that these aren't the types of messages my Heavenly Father wants me to take to heart.

I noticed that the workout videos I do at home sometimes send messages I don't like. Things like, 

"You give me 30 minutes and I'm gonna give you the body you've always wanted."

"If you need a little motivation, just picture yourself jeans shopping." 

"Nobody likes grandma arms."

I think I might dedicate an entire post to my rebukes to these statements, but here's what I think about these kinds of things now: 

My body is just fine--it does everything I could ever dream. It made the most amazing little girl and it allows me to still feed her, hold her, comfort her, and play with her. I'll give you 30 minutes to focus on all that my body can do, not to focus on wanting something different or "better." 

I would never ever want my daughter to hear that statement-I would never want her to think that there is a certain way to look in order to make jeans shopping enjoyable. Instead, I want her to celebrate finding clothes that make her feel good-no matter what size or shape she is.

Nobody likes grandma arms? Nobody except a little girl who can't understand what those are and only knows that they are what hold and comfort her. 

It's so important to be able to discern the things you're hearing and really figure out what is untrue about what you're hearing. It's important to make sure that you surround yourself with messages that make you feel good about yourself, encourage healthy living, and don't shame you into change. Screening my messages is by far one of the best decisions I've made. Just the simple act of cutting back and honoring my feelings and my need for progress has resulted in a improved way of taking in the things I hear and read on a daily basis. 

Have you noticed that you get tense/uneasy with certain social media accounts? What are your reasons for unfollowing? 

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