It makes us genuinely devastated to observe the huge amount of pressure and unrealistic expectations we see women putting on themselves and food. No wonder really, as society keeps telling us everything we AREN’T: “aren’t ‘slim’ enough”, “aren’t eating ‘healthy’ enough”, “aren’t working out enough”! This can quickly become our internal self talk.
So, how do we shift this self talk?
But we at WIRL believe in the mantra – Talk to yourself, the way you talk to your best friend. Or… self compassion, giving ourselves the same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend. Kirsten Neff (expert in Self Compassion, for more: https://self-compassion.org/) nails it: “instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect?”
Noticing our internal self talk when it arises, and each time trying to shift the focus to our strengths, including qualities that are outside of our physical self, for example our kindness, cleverness, wit or humour!
It might feel like a big shift for some, identifying our strengths in the world we live in today isn’t always easy, we hear you, we’re listening, literally… We asked 10 fabulous women, spanning the age of 20 to 60, “what woman do they admire?”. There are no words for these responses, just goose-bumps. It’s amazing to notice how none of what these women say is about the other’s physical bodies but about EVERYTHING else that makes up a person! Everything that women ARE! If we can identify it in others, we have the ability to identify it in ourselves! We hope the below leaves you feeling inspired…
“One of my colleagues is 40 and a mother of 2. She’s very fit, a hard worker and a great mother. I find her and a lot of other ‘every day people’ inspiration.”
“Celeste Barber – I love her attitude. She’s funny as hell, works hard, and gives zero fucks.”
“Haha I don’t know! Maggie Beer?! She’s driven, passionate about food and her family, she is kind, smart and humble and makes great ice cream :)”
“Deborah Francis White from the Guilty Feminist is fabulously inspiring, hilarious and continually keeps me and my privilege in check. Dr Trish Davidson is a very well respected paediatric surgeon who has pioneered many changes to promote females entering specialty training. She spoke at our local Women in Medicine ebent and her perspective on driving change as a female leader was awe-inspiring”
“My grandmother, she was amazing. Beautiful, caring & loving lady.”
“My mum – she’s loving, hard working, resilient, independent, self sacrificing and continues to work on all of these things through communicating effectively”
“My supervisor at work? She’s a mum of two and killing it in her career.”
“Any women that are pursuing their passion, striving to be independent, strong and being the best version of themselves. Probably the women I look up to most are my closest girlfriends who I choose to surround myself with. They are real, vulnerable and independent women.”
“I look up to many women in my life for a multitude of different reasons. I admire every woman that strives to be true to herself and not to whatever external pressures suggest a woman should ‘be'”
“My amazing mum because of her bravery, strength and kind heart”