How do you feel about your body? In Episode 61 of #WYFWTY: Body Image! Why are we so hard on ourselves and how we look? Shannon reveals what she did recently that has brought up some insecurities. The tools to stopping the negative self-talk, raising daughters with a healthy body image and the uncomfortable thing Shannon says we need to be doing every day.
How do you feel about your body? In Episode 61 of #WYFWTY: Body Image! Why are we so hard on ourselves and how we look? Shannon reveals what she did recently that has brought up some insecurities. The tools to stopping the negative self-talk, raising daughters with a healthy body image and the uncomfortable thing Shannon says we need to be doing every day. (And it includes getting naked!!!!) 😳
Posted by What Your Friends Won't Tell You on Saturday, April 27, 2019
SUZANNE: We’re talking about female body issues, because men don’t typically have body issues.
SHANNON: Research shows that when men are looking at attractiveness to women, that men’s brains are working hard to find a baby making machine. To find fertility, to find somebody who can pass it on. It’s subconscious. They’re drawn to somebody who has good genes, who looks like they would have babies well, and easily someone who’s youthful and can be a mom, right? That’s what they’re drawn to. So they’re drawn more to those physical characteristics, whereas women are more drawn to attractiveness and if he has a job. Women are looking for stability. We might be out of work for six weeks, or eight weeks or 12 weeks or six months. Women want to know a man can take care of them. So that’s actually where it originates from. Then it went to hell in a hand basket. Guys are just like “Hey, I have money in my pocket.” So women went to the extreme of having to be perfect. Fake everything. Alter everything to be thin, to be at the gym six days a week. I was at a plaza the other day and there was a salon, hair salon, a place doing Botox, and a gym. It’s filled with women.
SUZANNE: A lot of maintenance going on. I never saw myself as someone who has body issues, but I noticed once I left CBS12 I kept telling people I’m going to be so thin, but the opposite happened. I gained a ton of weight.
SHANNON: I would have thought the opposite.
SUZANNE: I think I had a lot of anxiety. I was probably drinking more wine. I probably had more time to eat and I’m an emotional eater. I was still working out and going to yoga, but still. Then I got to the point were it was really bothering me. I was really starting to feel like this wasn’t me. It didn’t feel good. I didn’t feel good so I made a decision. I realized this is where I am right now. Just accept it.
SHANNON: I love that. That’s such a beautiful place to be. Loving yourself is what allows you to say “I love myself too much too much to have this extra glass of wine. I love myself too much to have dessert.” It’s only the self love that allows you to change in a positive way. Self talk is so important. I don’t think we realize how much we’re telling ourselves how much we hate ourselves.
SUZANNE: When I’m out and I hear women say “Oh, I’m so bad. Oh, I’m so ugly” it literally hurts my heart. You’re short changing yourself basing yourself on one of 18 things and you’re looking at one aspect. I don’t think people realize how much pain they’re inflicting, and how much they’re setting themselves up for so much other negative stuff when they’re in that mode of putting themselves down. I see people post these Throwback Thursday pictures and the captions are “I was so hot.” And it’s like no, you’re still hot. You did stupid things back then. You’re so much wiser, so much smarter.
SHANNON: I will tell you a little secret. This is so true.What we had back then we don’t have anymore, but we also have life experience, wisdom, grace and so many other things.
SUZANNE: I feel like that body issues there’s no age limit. I have friends in their 20’s who struggle, have serious body struggles then friends my age who have serious body struggles.
I don’t think that even if when you were hot you didn’t have body issues. I feel like mine were worse when I was young.
SHANNON: I don’t think you even you were hot until you’re 40. Looking at the throwback picture— those are the only times people say they were hot as in comparison to when they were 40 and 50. Like, wow, I really miss them. But in your 20’s you’re typically the most miserable. As we get older we tend to accept more. No matter what age, weight, whatever you are, you have to make a decision to fall in love with yourself. I think young people might think well, when I’m 30 I’ll feel confident, but if you don’t do those techniques of positive affirmations, like one of the things I tell people, if you hate your body, when you wake up in the morning, go in the shower, and you’re completely naked look in the mirror and pick your favorite body part and make a statement about that.
SUZANNE: Having a daughter, they are paying attention to you. They are paying attention to you. When I left CBS12 and I was talking about my weight like “Oh, my gosh, I’ve gained so much weight.” I would say that in front of my kids and all of the sudden they started saying stuff back to me like, “Mom, are you going on that diet?” I need to watch what I’m saying around them because they’re listening. I don’t want my daughter to think that she’s not enough that it has to do with you know how much you weigh.
SHANNON: They are little baby ducklings, and especially girls are following Mama and boys are following Daddy. If you have girls in the house, whatever you’re saying they are going to be saying. You can’t love your daughter and hate yourself and have her love herself.
SUZANNE: Loving yourself is really hard for a lot of people to grasp. What are some other techniques to help us love ourselves.
SHANNON: The first thing is, you have to stop the negative self talk. If you don’t want to say the positive things, okay, but you have to stop staying the negative things.
One of the things I do is we all have hair bands. Put one on your arm and every time you say something negative about yourself pop the hair band so it stings a bit. You have to replace the negative with a positive and you have to stop saying the negative. Input equals output. If you put in that you’re awful and you’re ugly, you’re going to feel awful and feel ugly. There’s no getting around that. Obviously, new data input information is really, really important. So here’s my challenge for all of you guys. Get up in the morning, take your clothes off, stand infant of a mirror and do your hair. Do your makeup. I bet you 50 bucks, you couldn’t even tell me where a freckle was at that point because you’re not looking. We don’t even look at ourselves. So when you’re talking about body image and falling in love with your body and accepting your body, you need to look at your body. I’ll tell you why this is like choking me up a little bit and resonating for me is because I am not one of those people who alters their body a lot. I don’t Botox, and I don’t fill her lips and I I don’t do a lot of stuff to myself, but I do have pretty good self esteem. I recently made a decision to remove my breast implants. That was definitely an alteration. I was fine up until I had kids and I was fine nursing my kids, I was great. After I stopped nursing my kids, I looked like the wall behind me straight up and down with two dots. I decided to go reconstruct. Recently, I chose to remove my breast implants and upon doing that, I’m looking in the mirror for maybe the first time in a long time and I’m looking where the scars are because I have had a loss. I’ve been looking for all kinds of fun reasons, waiting for something to happen and it’s not happening, but what is happening is that I’m accepting them.
If you get into the negative self talk, that’s a pathway and if you stop it, the pathway will go away overtime.
SUZANNE: I mean, I’m 45 and some of the yoga poses I can do I’m pretty impressed with myself. I may not be my ideal weight or whatever the heck that is, but I can do some amazing things.
SHANNON: So that’s another layer of confidence is having confidence in your yoga and what your body can do. For the people out there that won’t stand in front of their mirror just add those positive expressions like “my body does amazing things. I’m really strong.” I recently saw this woman and she was a big woman and she was solid muscle and I just wanted to stop and be like, “wow, like, you’re amazing.” I bet you money, she probably would have been like, “Well, no, but I need to lose weight.” But she was working out, she was fit, she was muscular. It isn’t necessarily just the weight it’s the things that you do with your body.
SUZANNE: We kind of already talked about the kid angle, and especially daughters, but what if you have a daughter that is starting to say mean things about herself? It’s so difficult now because of social media because you see what the “perfect” body image is. How do you start the conversation when you begin to see that stuff in your daughter?
SHANNON: I knew where you were going with this question. As you were asking, I was thinking, what did I do with Hannah? The one thing I did that I’m questioning whether it was a negative or positive, but I didn’t focus a lot on her body. I focused a lot on other stuff. “You’re so smart. You’ve got the best sense of humor. Did you draw that? Did you did you write that? That’s an amazing poem.” I don’t want you to never say anything, because I think they understand it as “Oh, I’m just not pretty.” But I just never wanted to focus on a body. Learn from my mistake, because I think they can interpret or assume that they’re not pretty if you never say that. But I would really balance that with the feedback you’re giving about them. So when they come in and say “Look at Susie, she has 700 likes, she’s so skinny.” Parents should say, “What do you like about yourself? Tell me what you like about you that’s different than Susie?” It’s not just about what we look like, I think we have to have those conversations with our kids, “Hey, you’re getting sucked into that lie, but no one can take away your education. You’re funny. You’re a good friend.” So that’s what I did with Hannah.
SUZANNE: It bothers me when I hear people tell my daughter “you’re just getting so beautiful.” That’s the only compliment you have for her? It bothers me because she’s so much more than that.
SHANNON: I think the other piece of this too is it’s not just for kids, but also for ourselves. It’s what we input. If you’re following every skinny Instagram model on Instagram, I think maybe you should unfollow some of those people. That’s just not something you need to be putting in your brain every single day when you’re scrolling through your feed.
SUZANNE: We could talk all day about body issues. If you’re on instagram go follow, Jameela Jamil. She’s an actress. Her page is people talking about what they weigh, but it’s never about their weight. It’s “I weigh two kids. I weigh my own business. I weigh a healthy body.” I think that’s a really brilliant thing, because she’s always about talking about body issues and how we bombard young women.
SHANNON: You know what just popped up for me, as you were talking about that is, and we’ve kind of said this, but I just want to say it in a different way, that your kids are listening. So share your stories and experiences when you were young. Your kids may roll their eyes, but they’re listening.
SUZANNE: They roll their eyes especially at 13. Don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube and sign up for our mailing list. We also have a podcast. We’re on Twitter. We’re on Instagram. We’re everywhere!