Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

From the day I said my first word to the last word I spoke aloud, I have known one thing about words: they hold power. My parents (and probably yours too) have taught me something about words; keep them soft, keep them sweet. And if you don’t have something nice to say… don’t say it at all.

From kindergarten to college we are taught to be kind to one another. We compliment people when we like what they are wearing. We encourage good with uplifting words. This concept of relating kindness by kind words has been taught to us since birth:

  • When our mom’s held us in the hospital and said “I love you”
  • When our older brother’s stood up for us in school by saying “I’ve got you”
  • When our grandparent’s celebrated our school and sport performances by saying “You did awesome!”

Through words of others we are validated in our actions and feelings about ourselves. We know we are loved because of the kind words and actions our love ones use to expresses their love.

Not too long ago I sat with a friend who was struggling with self-image and self-worth. She told me all the things she hated about herself and she cried as she expressed her powerlessness upon these thoughts. Her soul was aching, her mind was defeated, and her heart was broke. And as she continued to spout off negative phases about herself, I came to a divine understanding. We cannot heal the thing which is broken with negativity. We cannot learn to like ourselves by constantly talking ourselves down. I am convinced thoroughly that we will never find self-love and self-acceptance while simultaneously telling ourselves that we are less.

So I started an experiment. I stopped giving my negative thoughts words. A simple concept but a tedious task. I tried to crowd every negative thought about myself with positive, uplifting, and encouraging words. I went throughout the day speaking kindly to myself, forgiving myself easily, and complimenting my spirit on things it was getting right. I noticed my capabilities, my strengths, and my progress.

I used the power of words on myself. And it has changed my life. Every negative word we say about ourself, to others, or in the mirror has an affect. These negative words hold weight in our hearts. We remember them. And if we are not careful, we believe them. Every single time you look in the mirror and say something negative, you are planting the weight of negative words in your soul. Every time you call yourself “fat”, every time you call yourself “ugly”, every time you talk yourself down and refuse to believe in yourself, those words stick with your soul. And it changes us.

I have entirely changed my way of speaking to myself. I refuse to ever negatively comment on myself or my body out loud. I avoid conversations of weight and appearance issues. I speak kindly to myself. Always. When I think something negative – I say 3 things I like about myself…out loud. And the positive words stick with me.

I have banished the words “hate”, “weight”, “ugly”, from my vocabulary. I have replaced them with words like “misunderstood”, “energy”, and “features”. I have replaced my negative words with positive words and it has changed how I talk to people. It has changed how I feel about myself. The more I tell myself I am “capable”, “smart”, “strong”, “beautiful”, “healthy” the more I believe it. And even better – the more I become it.

Listen to your words Pay close attention to the words you speak to yourself. Keep them soft, keep them kind, and forever keep them positive. This does not mean that you will never think another negative thought about yourself or your body. But it does mean that you will never give those thoughts words. You will never tell those words to yourself. Instead, you will challenge the negative thoughts with positive words. You will tell those words to yourself. And you will gradually begin to believe those words.And eventually, those words WILL become your thoughts.

Learning to love yourself can be as simple as saying only kind things about yourself to you and to others.

So be more gentle.

Treat YOURSELF as you would treat others.

Written By: Allie
Care Tech