There’s little I love more than exploring empowering topics with kick-ass folks who have not only learned to embrace their bodies and selves, but pay it forward by inspiring the same in others.
The other week on Girl Boner® Radio, I had such chats with two fabulous ladies: Emily Nolan of My Kind of Life, who moved past a decade of disordered eating and now inspires women worldwide with her activism, and sex and relationship expert Dr. Megan Fleming, who’s been featured on the OWN Network, Anderson Cooper, Cosmo Radio and more. She’s also Girl Boner®’s current relationship expert, answering listeners’ questions with warmth, wit and grace.
Dr. Megan was kind enough to answer a few follow-up questions for this post. I love that she not only speaks as an experienced clinician, but as a real woman who knows these trials (and how to move past them) herself.
To stream the episode on cultivating “belly-out” self-confidence, click one of these links:
Body Image Language, Changes and High Heels:
An After-Chat with Dr. Megan Fleming
August: Why is the language we use about our bodies so important?
Dr. Megan: It’s simple. What we focus on expands. What we resist persists. If you choose to focus on your belly or butt and how you want them to be smaller, it will feel very different than if you practice saying with warmth and loving energy, “I love my belly, I love my butt!” Or as Madonna so aptly put in her song 4 Minutes, “If you thought it, it better be what you want.”
We invite energy that’s constricting or expanding with our thoughts. Constricting energy is stress and not healthy for you or your body. Accept your body as it is in this moment. Know that as you pair loving, expansive energy with positive thoughts and small behavioral changes, you will be inviting and creating more of what you most desire.
August: I loved what you shared in our interview about deciding what you want to be known and respected for—your appearance, or your work (helping people)—and that you chose the latter. What does such a decision require work-wise? Is simply deciding enough?
Dr. Megan: Wow…great question. I don’t think there’s a simple or one-size-fits-all answer, except that we first need to know what we truly want, then envision and invite it. Then we need to make a commitment to move toward that picture through our thoughts and actions. We should all slow down and ask ourselves what we really desire. We have to give ourselves permission to cultivate the answer and really show up in our lives, staying fully present and, with the best of ourselves, take action on behalf of that vision.
August: Height and how our legs appear are sensitive areas for many women. How can we tell if we’re wearing heels for our own enjoyment or something negative, like insecurity?
Dr. Megan: Love… To me, the question we all need to ask ourselves is who are we wearing the high heels for? Yourself and how it makes you feel? Or to be noticed, get attention or impact how we imagine others might feel about us? If it’s for you, is it to feel as though you’re enough? Or because they make you feel sexy and you pick shoes that are high but also comfortable? I’m not sure how anyone feels sexy in shoes that feel like sticking your feet into a torture chamber. Honestly, some of the most exclusive brands feel that way to me. It’s not worth it to me, but I think it’s a question every woman must honestly ask herself to make her own decisions.
Maybe you love the sexiness and choose on special occasions to suck up a little torture (wearing comfortable shoes to and from the event that you carry in your bag) or maybe you decide to go #HeelFree. Learning to love yourself and your body without any accessories—shoes, bags, clothes, etc.—is something I wish every woman everywhere could experience.
We are enough. We were born enough and whole. I think it’s time we reclaim our sexy wholeness exactly as we are!
To learn diet don’ts that can damage your sex life and body image, check out my blog post on LIVESTRONG.com.
What struck you most about Dr. Megan’s thoughts? What’s helped improved your body image?Any questions about sex or relationships you’d like answered on Girl Boner® Radio? I love hearing from you! ♥