From body hatred to "I look great" in a month
for women everywhere
Rachel says: I feel better when I go out, and I've even started looking in the mirror with my daughter and saying "Hey good lookin'!"
The Body Confidence Project is about gaining real body confidence and shedding the I must be size 0 mentality that is ruining your life and stealing your happiness.
At its heart is a fundamental question: Can you learn to accept your body in the space of a month?
It is also about reducing your stress on a very fundamental level, deep self acceptance, preparing to shed the protective fat suit and being the role model you want to be for others, if that is one of your desires.
This is a one month experiment. In fact it is more than that: it is a Rumspringa.
Lynn says: I have never taken my 3-year-old swimming because I was so self-conscious, but after a few weeks of doing this work I made a pact with myself that I wouldn't let any sort of insecurity stop me making these memories with her when we go on holiday this week. Before, I would have just let her Dad take her in the water. I'm really looking forward to it, and I have already tried my swimming togs on and told myself: You look great!"
What Is a Rumspringa?
This concept comes from the Amish, a very anti-technological religious group who live as if it were 200 or 300 years ago.
Every Amish teenager, when they are 16, has the opportunity to live like their 21st century counterparts for two years. It is a chance to try out life as a modern teenager. The idea is that at the end of this time is that they can make a fully informed decision whether to stay in their communities or not.
I love the concept of Rumspringa, because we can borrow it for trying out ideas that may feel unusual, ideas that people around you are NOT doing.
I have laid out this work within the limits of a month. You can reduce that if it feels too challenging. At the end you can continue if you are getting – as I hope – a lot out of it.
I am not saying this work is over in four weeks. The month is to give you time to see if the transformative ideas in this project time can work with (not for) you. If they do, you can (and should) carry on.
This is very internal work. There is an important physical dimension (no mad gym workouts required) and body acceptance is at the heart of it - but everything physical you will do has a specific psychological foundation. There is no talk of “just love yourself and your body” - this is much more interesting than that!
How The Body Confidence Project Works
The Body Confidence Project (BCP) is a 30 day experience. It consists of 30 daily emails with links to video, audio and written content. There is a mix of reflective, journalling exercises and practical activities.
If you have chosen the check in option, you will get a message from me sometime during the morning (UK time) every weekday (Monday to Friday) of the 30 days. Please note there are no check ins Wed 28/Thurs 29 August.
Each activity is a date. Yes, you are going to have 30 dates with yourself in the coming month! Some will be thought-provoking and provide some A-Ha! moments, some will be super relaxing and some will make you laugh! I don’t know about you, but to me, a date that can offer any of those things is worth going on.
Most of the dates should take about 20 minutes or less.
Once you sign up, you will get the introductory materials straight away and date number one 24 hours later.
I welcome feedback - so please tell me if anything is not clear or any other thoughts you have - the good, bad and the ugly!
The Philosophy Behind This Rumspringa
After coaching clients for over 6 years and doing lots of work on my own body hatred, I have come to the conclusion that for so many people (but especially women), to really reduce stress, shed that protective fat suit, accept yourself and be the role model for others (especially young people), the key is...
Cavebrain The Bouncer
Cavebrain is the very ancient part of the mind. It was developed way before our modern neo-cortex and it has one goal: to keep you alive and help you deal with an environment full of sabre-toothed tigers and hostile neighbouring tribes. This is why I call it Cavebrain - because it was designed for our cavedwelling ancestors. Human evolution has not yet developed a 21st century upgrade. You can submit a request to Apple, but don’t hold your breath!
I want you to imagine that Cavebrain is your obligatory internal bouncer and it is always asking these two questions:
#1 Are you in immediate danger?
#2 Is your place in the tribe secure?
Why these two questions?
Because first of all immediate danger could happen at any time to our cavedwelling ancestors: not just the tigers and the other tribes, but freak weather events and indeed conflict within tribes.
And secondly, in those days every individual was dead without their tribe. Social cohesion wasn’t just desirable - it saved lives. We lived in much simpler communities and we had much simpler goals in life - to stay alive, basically.
Now, modern life is choc full of things that set Cavebrain’s alarm bells ringing. Any stress at all, be it
The overbearing boss
The credit card bill
The crashed computer
Or the skinny jeans that don’t fit so well
...all these things make Cavebrain think that either you are in immediate danger or that your place in the tribe is at risk.
The great news is that while Cavebrain is powerful and unfortunately gets the wrong end of the stick all the time, there are lots of things we can do to influence and control Cavebrain.
This is what we are going to do in The Rumspringa - change the messages we are giving Cavebrain.