Body Image, Health, Moms

The Smallest Step Counts: Checking in on the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge

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Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at


It’s roughly halfway into the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge. So… how’s it going?

Did you give up? Hope not.

Are you working on it, but it’s going imperfectly? That’s perfect!

Does it feel weird? That’s OK. I wouldn’t expect anything different.

Whenever you try something new, it feels wonky at first.

Heck, even walking was hard at first, remember? Of course you don’t – you were a baby – but you get the idea. (My son, Liam, looked like a drunken sailor when he first learned to walk. It was mighty entertaining.)

If you’re someone who has a hard time trying new things because you won’t look pretty doing it, here’s my take on it: pretty is overrated.

I admit, there are some things I hesitate trying because I just “know” I will look un-pretty. For those of you who keep inviting me to wine and painting events, please stop. This is the one thing I will probably never try. Although the wine might keep me from caring about my painting… I guess that’s the point. It all goes back to kindergarten, but this is not the time or place to process my childhood art trauma.

I like to try other (non-painting) new things. As an adult, I took a French class. This was only slightly more successful than giving a cat a bath, but I tried.

As part of my training as a therapist, I learned hypnosis. Uncomfortable at first? Absolutely. It just felt right to announce to the other hypnosis students that I was comfortable with the suckishness I would feel until I got more experience.

Embrace your suckishness. Some discomfort with the new is part of the learning curve.

At some point, competence and confidence start to emerge. What felt so hard at first becomes second nature.

Remember learning to drive? When you first started, it took all your concentration to keep from crashing the car into a curb. Now you can probably drive, prepare a grocery list, sing the Dora the Explorer theme song, and hand a wet wipe to your preschooler all at the same time.

So back to the 30-Day Challenge…

Just becoming aware of your language is a beginning, even if different words haven’t come out of your mouth yet. Have you caught yourself (or others) saying negative things about their bodies? Even noticing it is a step in the right direction.Perfect blocks askew

Have you observed positive things about your body? It’s working hard for you. How about being able to hug your babies? That’s a good start.

Just start where you are, with the smallest step. If you haven’t done anything on the challenge yet, begin now. It’s not all-or-nothing. It’s okay if you didn’t join in until now. Perfection is also overrated.