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The 5-Minute Journal Exercise to Improve Your Self-Worth and Body Image Starting TODAY

March 19, 2024

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

Today is going to be a fun and really hands-on episode. In fact, it comes with a worksheet that you’re going to be able to use to do the journaling exercise that I’m going to teach you, so you don’t even need to worry about taking notes. 

We’re going to be talking about your self-worth and how it’s related to your body image. We have been taught in so many ways, over and over again, that we are only worthy if we are thin. And even if we’re thin, we still tend to feel like it’s not good enough – we’re not thin enough, not toned enough, we have too many wrinkles, we need to be more tan…it’s this never ending barrage of ways that we are told we need to fix ourselves. And heaven forbid you exist in a larger body or you gain weight, because we’re taught that this means we have failed, we aren’t trying hard enough, we don’t care about our health, we are lazy, we lack discipline, and all these other awful judgments and assumptions that aren’t true – yet we’ve internalized them, and society has internalized them. There’s tons of research on weight stigma, fatpbobia, and anti-fat bias that shows it’s everywhere. It’s hard to find a person living in our society today who doesn’t have some level of anti-fat bias, and especially internalized fatphobia related to ourselves and our own bodies. 

We carry around so much body shame that we feel as though we aren’t worthy of doing things like going on vacation, buying new clothes (especially if we need to go up a size or two from where we were before). We feel like we’re not worthy of being in photos, or applying for the job we want, or of signing up for that online dating site to try and meet someone. We opt out of social events, and attending class reunions and weddings – because we don’t want to be seen at our current weight. 

Negative body image is obliterating our self-worth, and it’s time that we do something about this. Because I’m here to tell you that you are the exact same wonderful, incredible person, no matter what your body looks like, and no matter what the number on the scale says, no matter the size of your pants, and no matter how many wrinkles or rolls you have. You’re the same wonderful person whether you can run a marathon or if you get short of breath walking to your mailbox. You’re the same wonderful person if you have a disability or if you suffer from mental health issues or medical issues. Your worthiness is not defined by these characteristics. And today I’m going to help you start to believe that. 

The Daily 3: A Body Kindness Journal Practice

Let’s get into the 5-minute journal exercise. I’ve got all the steps written out for you AND blank worksheets that you can print off to do this exercise, all for free here

The intention behind this is to cultivate and PRACTICE 3 things (and practice is the operative word here – you have to do this repeatedly for it to work, which is why I created this as a daily journaling practice that you can do quickly and easily each morning): 

  • Inner peace: A deep sense of contentment and worthiness within yourself – starting to believe that you are enough, just as you are. 
  • Self-compassion: Treating yourself and your body with the same loving kindness that you would a friend, no matter what you’re going through. 
  • Body acceptance: Embracing your body in its natural state, even on the days you don’t particularly like it.

STEP 1: Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. 

STEP 2: Put both hands over your heart and tell yourself, “I am safe. I am calm. My body deserves kindness and compassion today.”

What we have done here in these first 2 steps is we’ve activated your parasympathetic nervous system and your vagus nerve. This has a calming effect. Most of us are walking around tense and stressed, or we’re disconnected or dissociated from our bodies and our feelings. By doing this act of deep breathing, the action of hands over your heart and your body feeling the warmth and compassion of your touch, and saying those words to yourself, we are creating a felt sense of compassion and connection with your body. 

(If you have a history of trauma and this doesn’t feel safe, full permission to modify this in whatever ways makes most sense for you.)

STEP 3: Check in with our senses. Ask yourself:

  • What do I see?
  • What do I hear?
  • What do I smell?
  • What do I touch or feel?

STEP 4: Do a quick body scan, and ask yourself, “How does my body feel physically today?” 

STEP 5: Check in with yourself emotionally and write down ONE word for how you’re feeling emotionally.

STEP 6: Now that you’ve checked in with yourself physically and emotionally, it’s time to choose your 3 things that you can do to be kind to your body that day. 

The purpose of these 3 things is to intentionally choose acts of body kindness. So instead of looking in the mirror and picking yourself apart, or getting on the scale and using it to gauge what you deserve to eat that day, you’re going to ask yourself what your body needs from you, and what kindness could look like that day.

Some days it might mean drinking plenty of water, and other days it might mean taking a nap or getting to bed early if you’re feeling tired. 

Some days it might mean wearing something comfy and cozy, and other days it might mean putting on a stylish outfit that makes you feel fun and cute. 

Perhaps it means skipping your hair and makeup routine that day, and embracing your natural beauty. Or maybe it means doing your hair and makeup that day because you know it will make you feel like you did something nice for yourself. 

You see, body kindness will look different on different days, depending on how you’re feeling, what you’ve got going on that day, and what options are available to you. I’m one of those people who would take a nap every day if I could, but that’s not always a viable option for me, so I might choose to prioritize going to bed earlier that night if my body tells me I’m tired. 

Body kindness can also be things like stretching, doing some movement, listening to music and engaging that sense of enjoyable sound, getting fresh air outside, putting lotion on your skin, curling up under a soft blanket, eating a delicious meal, having more fiber…the possibilities are endless!

Wrapping Up

And as you choose your daily 3 body kindness actions, don’t overcomplicate or overthink it. These things are not meant to be time consuming. The point is the psychological act of choosing to do something kind towards your body and wiring those neural pathways over and over again. The body hatred neural pathways have gotten enough air time in your head, and we need to create and strengthen new ones.

You don’t have to choose different things each day. It’s ok to repeat them. The goal is to base your acts of body kindness off the check in you did with your body to directly address what your body needs that day based on what your body is communicating to you. This is so powerful. 

Here is a summary of WHY this 5-minute journal exercise will help you improve your self-worth and body image:

  • It’s helping you slow down and connect with your body in a way that is curious, calming and compassionate. Think how rarely we do that, vs how much time we spend being critical of ourselves and our bodies.
  • By doing this journal exercise each morning you’re letting your body guide you and lead you and communicate with you what it needs
  • And then you’re taking the step of responding to those needs intentionally and with compassion when you identify your daily 3 actions. 

Don’t forget to grab the journal guide and worksheets that you can use to try this 5-minute body kindness journaling practice yourself. Do it for a few days, and then shoot me a DM on IG and let me know how it went!

Resources Mentioned in Episode:

Download the Body Kindness Journal Pages Here

Watch the 50 People, 1 Question Video

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Search for Episode 121-The 5-Minute Journal Exercise to Improve Your Self-Worth and Body Image Starting TODAY

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