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All About The Bass! 7 Amazing Things Happen When You Stop Worrying About Body Size

All About The Bass! 7 Amazing Things Happen When You Stop Worrying About Body Size

I am woman, therefore I complain about my body. It’s innate. It’s a genetic predisposition. It started in middle school, when shit got real. It got worse in high school because that’s when my body began to change. That’s also when boys became interested in bodies that belonged to Victoria’s Secret models, or Sports Illustrated models, or girls without names in calendars or posters or magazines.

To be fair, they were interested in my body, but mainly because my body was realistically within their reach. At least more than, say, one of Victoria’s girls. College was no better, especially living in Southern California. The girls at my college were STUNNING. And skinny. I was thin because I worked my ass off running several miles a day, hitting the gym several times a week, and eating so little I developed an eating disorder. All this because I wanted (needed) to look the way society said I should look in a bikini.

I was killing myself in the process. Mentally, emotionally and physically. It affected my relationship before and after I got married. It got so bad, I was scared to get pregnant because I knew I’d get fat.

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But then something happened. Years later, myself and my two children were diagnosed with serious heart conditions and I was forced to give up control. My body size was the least of my concerns. I was busy worrying about keeping myself and my two children alive. Ironically, it gave me incredible freedom. This is what happens when you finally stop worrying about your body size and start to live your life.

1. You stop comparing yourself to others.

When you’re not obsessed with the size of your body, you won’t compare yours to other bodies. Often, body size is only the beginning. We compete with others when it comes to looks, wallets and assets. We forget about inner beauty and life happiness. The minute you stop comparing yourself to others, you begin to enjoy people for who they are, not what they look like or what they have. It’s not easy to do, but worth it in the long run. No one was meant to be the same.

2. You allow yourself to experience more by giving up control.

Once you give up the control, you’re free. You’re able to experience things you’ve never allowed yourself to do in the past. You’re no longer a slave to the scale; you’re no longer identified by a number (weight, BMI, body fat). You’re free to eat the dessert, stay in bed all day, or play with the kids instead of counting calories, dieting and hitting the gym. Spontaneity is doable when you relax and allow yourself to live.

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3. You learn to look beyond the mirror.

You have so much more to offer this world besides what you see (or don’t see) in the mirror. Once you figure out the important stuff in life, you realize people are important for who they are, not what they look like. That includes you. None of your dreams, hopes or goals should be stifled by your body size. Unless you have a magic mirror that shows your inner beauty, stop judging yourself solely by what you see in the mirror.

4. You change your relationship status.

When you forget about an ideal body size, you immediately have a new relationship with food. It’s no longer the enemy. It’s okay to sample that molten chocolate lava cake because you no longer need to restrict yourself. You don’t need to punish yourself for eating something “bad” because nothing is taboo anymore. Once you free yourself of the food/hate/body size trap, there’s no more guilt or self-hate. You learn to love yourself, no matter what your body size.

Before anyone else, you’re in a relationship with yourself. Make it a good one. Make it a healthy one.

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5. You won’t be afraid to wear clothes (or not wear them).

Once you forget about your body size, clothes won’t scare you. Go ahead and wear that dress. Get out your bathing suit. Put on those dance shoes. Better yet, get *cough* naked. Sex is better when you’re not freaking out about your body or being embarrassed by it. Let go and enjoy. Turn the damn lights ON. It’s likely your partner is happy with your body, with clothes and without.

6. Your partner will thank you.

He or she has been waiting for you. The real you. Someone to eat with, laugh with, play with, and enjoy life with. Someone to touch who doesn’t recoil from worry or embarrassment. Someone who doesn’t try to control them, what they do or don’t do, what they eat, drink, etc. Someone who doesn’t spend all day hating herself or asking, “Does this make me look fat?” because we all know that’s a loaded question. Someone who can look at a magazine picture and not be fazed by a good-looking, highly photoshopped model, because she knows she is beautiful, too.

 7. You learn what’s really important in life.

Here’s a hint: it’s not how big your body is; it’s how big YOUR LIFE is.

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I have a heart condition. It’s serious. I also live in Southern California, which means I’m at the beach. A lot. What do these have to do with each other? Nothing, except how I look in my bathing suit is no longer my priority. The fact that I’m alive and well and able to get in the ocean or get on that surfboard with my child is now more important than my appearance. Trust me, some days I feel too big to be in my bikini. Other days, I couldn’t care less. Those are the good days. It’s still a battle, but for the most part, I’m free.

I’m beautiful.

So is a Victoria’s Secret model, and that’s okay.

Featured photo credit: rooftop pool/Whatsername? via flickr.com

More by this author

Missy Mitchell

Author, Artist, Advocate

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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