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Wellness
Published Thursday Nov 21, 2019 by Sara Lesher

How I Learned to Love My Appearance By Ditching Negative Talk

Personal Growth
Motivation
Perspective

I have always been guilty of negative self-talk. I constantly make little comments about my physical appearance—the way my pants are fitting, the extra frizz in my hair today. The list goes on and on. I think this is something we’ve all been guilty of, maybe without even realizing it. 

I used to live in an apartment with three other girls, and I began to notice we were all continually putting ourselves down. I thought, I hate hearing my roommates speak negatively about their physical appearance, so why do I do the same? When our comments reached an all-time high, we decided we wanted to change.

So here’s what we did... 

We came up with a simple game. Each time one of us would speak negatively about her physical appearance, she would receive a tally under her name on a list. The person with the least amount of points at the end of three months would win a prize. Simple.

And here’s what we learned...
We used negative self-talk a lot more than we realized.

I knew I spoke badly about myself pretty often. We all did. That’s why we chose to do this experiment. But, I don’t think any of us realized how bad it truly was until we started seeing the “numbers” add up. Having a visual representation of our negativity was powerful, leading to an even greater desire for change. 

1
We used negative self-talk a lot more than we realized.

I knew I spoke badly about myself pretty often. We all did. That’s why we chose to do this experiment. But, I don’t think any of us realized how bad it truly was until we started seeing the “numbers” add up. Having a visual representation of our negativity was powerful, leading to an even greater desire for change. 

Humor is a powerful substitute.

When we caught ourselves saying something negative, we’d laugh and replace it with something opposite. For example, if I were about to say my pants were too tight, I’d catch myself and say, “Wow, my ass is just too great for these jeans!” Our self-love sarcasm method not only helped us cut back on our tallies, but it also helped create a more positive feeling in our apartment. Rather than being upset over the way we looked, we’d find ourselves laughing hysterically at each other. Instead of individually putting ourselves down in the mirror, we all yelled compliments about ourselves across the apartment. It was actually fun.

2
Humor is a powerful substitute.

When we caught ourselves saying something negative, we’d laugh and replace it with something opposite. For example, if I were about to say my pants were too tight, I’d catch myself and say, “Wow, my ass is just too great for these jeans!” Our self-love sarcasm method not only helped us cut back on our tallies, but it also helped create a more positive feeling in our apartment. Rather than being upset over the way we looked, we’d find ourselves laughing hysterically at each other. Instead of individually putting ourselves down in the mirror, we all yelled compliments about ourselves across the apartment. It was actually fun.

My words affect others.

My roommates and I didn’t realize how much our words affected one another. Our comparison skewed our visions of ourselves. On a night when I was feeling particularly unattractive and thought my roommate looked amazing, her negative self-talk only made me feel worse about myself and vice versa. By eliminating it altogether, I not only helped myself, but the people around me as well. 

3
My words affect others.

My roommates and I didn’t realize how much our words affected one another. Our comparison skewed our visions of ourselves. On a night when I was feeling particularly unattractive and thought my roommate looked amazing, her negative self-talk only made me feel worse about myself and vice versa. By eliminating it altogether, I not only helped myself, but the people around me as well. 

Our negative talk was just a bad habit.

By the end of the three months, we would naturally catch ourselves before making any self-hating comments, virtually eliminating them from our home. I realized when I didn’t hear my roommates hating on themselves, I automatically felt better about my own appearance. Before long, the humor was no longer a coping mechanism, but a powerful tool for self-love. Of course, we all have our days. However, my overall view of myself has improved a ton since then. Negative self-talk is just a habit, and breaking it can change your life.

4
Our negative talk was just a bad habit.

By the end of the three months, we would naturally catch ourselves before making any self-hating comments, virtually eliminating them from our home. I realized when I didn’t hear my roommates hating on themselves, I automatically felt better about my own appearance. Before long, the humor was no longer a coping mechanism, but a powerful tool for self-love. Of course, we all have our days. However, my overall view of myself has improved a ton since then. Negative self-talk is just a habit, and breaking it can change your life.

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Lifecycle Program Manager
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. A former English major, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
surfer catching wave in ocean olympics
Fitness
Published Friday Jul 23, 2021 by Bailey Clark

Why I’m Stoked Surfing Will Debut in the Olympics

Fitness

For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.

This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal. 

You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.

As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.

The magic of surfing

Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.

The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.

A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.

The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.

The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.

Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.

Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th. 

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About the author
Bailey Clark is a serial optimist whose passion for marketing lies within creating authentic connections to make the world happier and healthier. As a San Diego native, her favorite pastimes are surfing, F45, practicing yoga, meditation, and really any opportunity to soak up the sun.