How much time do you spend every day thinking about your body and how you look? You might say not that much, there could be a fleeting negative thought here and there, but that it’s not taking over your life. But what if I offered that whether you see it or not, it’s consuming so much more energy than you realize?
I’m going to throw it out there that as women, most of us have dealt with body image issues at one point or another. We have body ideals plastered absolutely everywhere, and when infertility is added into the mix, it’s no surprise if you struggle to see your body in anything but a completely negative light.
Listen in this week as I show you how your body image is impacting every aspect of your life, and how to start the process of loving your body. Finally freeing myself from my negative body image has given me back time and energy that can now be channeled into serving all of you, and this is why I know there is so much more possible when you stop wishing you looked different, or focusing on what isn’t working.
Hi, friends. Welcome to Fearless Infertility a podcast for women struggling with the mental anguish that comes with infertility. My name is Jenica and after suffering in silence for too long I was able to pull myself out of the dark, take control over my mind, and create joy during my infertility experience. I’m here to help you do the same, sister. Let’s dive into today’s show.
Hey friends, welcome back to Fearless Infertility. Today's episode is Better Body Image. Whether you see it or not your body image affects your relationships, your goals, and your dreams. It affects the way you show up in the world. It affects your energy levels. In today's episode I am showing you how your body image is impacting you. And three beliefs that I have that help me love and appreciate my body, and how you can start to have a better body image too. Let's get started.
Hello, my friends. And welcome back to the Fearless Infertility podcast. My name is Jenica and I'm so glad that you are here today. And I'm really proud of you for taking the time out of your precious day, whether you're on a bike ride right now, whether you're doing laundry, whether you're in the car, and really taking some time to bring in some light into your day and learn tools that will genuinely uplift you. And I promise you won't regret this time. So, so excited to have you here.
To start out I wanted to share with you a couple reviews that were left about the podcast. It's really important to me that reviews are left because on Apple Podcasts when there are more reviews when people are looking for podcasts about infertility, my Fearless Infertility podcast will pop up. And they'll be able to get these tools in their hands, which is really what I'm all about. It's not about me, it's about these amazing tools that have genuinely changed my life. And I feel like anyone that applies them in their life will be happier and live a more full human experience.
So a couple of these reviews. I had to give away two pairs of pajamas and sock sets today because I just love these reviews, they make me so happy. And I'm so glad that these tools that I'm sharing on this podcast are helping you so much.
So the first winner today is AuntieJay93. She says, “It feels great knowing I'm not alone.” She said, “I have never felt so connected to something more in my life. I was hesitant to start a podcast, just because it's been emotional. This is just what I needed. I feel more relaxed and calm about what I am going into. Thank you for shining a light on my journey and helping me without even being present in my life physically.”
Thank you so much. I am so incredibly happy that you're here and that you've stumbled upon this podcast. And please email [email protected] with your name and address and size and I'll get a pair of PJs and socks sent out to you.
The second winner of today because I couldn't help myself, I'm just feeling great today, you know. I created these incredible pajamas and socks for women to wear during infertility so they feel the love of this incredible group of women. And I give them away if you leave a review on Apple Podcasts. So normally I just give away one but today I'm just feeling extra excited about just being alive. I'm so excited you guys, I'm going to tell you about my infertility coaching membership here in a minute.
But the second winner of today, before I do that, is Littlemisskent. She said, “There is hope, there is joy.” Her review says, “Just beginning the process to finding answers and solutions to our infertility journey. With all the unknowns and fear I've been facing I was searching for something to give me hope. I started listening to this podcast last week and listen to multiple episodes every day, never wanting the podcast to end.
Jenica has helped bring so much peace to this experience with her encouraging and realistic outlook on such a difficult trial to face. She has reminded me to give myself grace and find joy in the struggle. So grateful to know I have a whole community of women going through the same challenges as me.”
This one literally makes me want to cry, you guys, because it’s exactly what I hope that all of you find here. And I know that we're in this together, and yeah, it's really hard some days. But it's about embracing ourselves and loving ourselves through the hard days and through the good days. And learning the tools so that we can manage our minds through this crazy journey.
So if you could email me as well that would be amazing, we’ll get you your PJs and socks sent out. And to anybody else, just rate, review, and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and I will pick a new winner every week and make sure to listen to each episode to see if you've won.
So I think the reason why I'm so excited today is because I've been working really hard this week on the infertility coaching membership. And I will be opening up the spots for our founding members here in the next few weeks. So if you are interested, sign up for the newsletter and you'll be the first to know. I'm only taking 50 people to start. And it's going to be a program where we will actually apply all of the tools that I'm teaching you.
So you can look at it as a difference between listening to someone tell you how to paint and actually creating a piece of art yourself. What we do is we apply what we learn so that we can change our thoughts about infertility and truly be in control of our experience in infertility and in life. And I will really help walk you through so you can truly take back your power. Your power has been there all along but it's hard to see sometimes and sometimes we forget along the way.
So I will be coaching you through infertility and through challenges in your life, and we will apply it together. So sign up for the newsletter, there will be a link in the show notes here on the podcast, as well as on thesliceofsun.com. And I'm really excited to get to know you guys better.
This week I am going to be talking about body image. And this is something I've been wanting to talk about for a while. And it's actually interesting too, because I've seen a lot of you bring it up in the private Facebook group, Fertility Family by The Slice Of Sun.
And it's interesting because back in January of this year, before I even started the podcast, I reached out to one of my friends, Amanda. And I had seen her health experience because she had shared it online. And she had quit flour and sugar. And for me, at that point in my life I felt like I had gotten control of my Epstein-Barr virus by eating super healthy, and by taking herbs, and supplements, and really getting control of my health.
So I had done that the whole year of 2020, really worked hard to get my energy back and I was feeling good physically. But mentally, I was struggling a lot still with not feeling good about my body. And I realized one day and was very observant about my thoughts and how much energy was being completely sucked into me just being hard on my body.
And I thought to myself, “This is a problem that I need to get control of, because if I don't, I won't be able to help women with infertility like I would be able to otherwise. All of my energy is being drained into looking in the mirror and wanting to change.” And I was like, “I've got to get help on this. Like that's not okay with me.”
And that realization led me to call my friend Amanda. She picked up right away and she told me about her experience a little bit. And I just said, “Hey, I know you got off flour and sugar, I just really want to feel better about myself. Like help me.”
And she was amazing. And it was so interesting, it was such a God moment in my life that he was there. Because Amanda and I had actually met on Instagram about seven years ago when she was experiencing infertility as well. And we were with each other through our first rounds of IVF. And we've stayed in touch ever since and been friends.
And I love it because looking back I know for a fact that God introduced me to Amanda at that time in my life, because He knew that I would need her now. In January of 2021 He knew that I would need her experience with her health and body image issues to help me. And that is such a beautiful moment because I know that God's always looking out for me and He's always looking out for you.
So I talked with her about it and she agreed to help coach me on the health experience that I wanted. And she had quit flour and sugar and she's like, “Honestly though, Jenica,” she's like, “I do feel good physically, but it's mostly mental.”
And I didn't really understand that at the time. And through working with her weekly I have, I mean, it's like 95% mental and like 5% what you actually look like in the mirror. And she has helped me to love myself so that all of that energy that I was just dumping into wanting to change my body, so I could pour this into the infertility coaching membership that I'm creating for you.
And I'm so incredibly glad that she has used her experience to help me with that so that I can be launching this program here in the next couple of weeks. And I wanted to talk about this with you in detail. I've mentioned it before, but I know that all of us as women, I mean, you know, I guess I'm taking kind of a little guess. But I would bet that most of us as women in general have had body image issues at one point or another.
Now, I believe that in life we have two tools that each of us have been given. We have our mind and we have our body and that's it. We can't carry anything else with us. All of the things that we physically have in our houses, our car, our possessions, they're just temporary. They're just loaned to us while we're here on this earth. But our minds and our bodies are ours.
And as women in general, body image is a hard thing that most of us have dealt with at one point or another. We have ideals that we've seen plastered everywhere our whole lives in magazines, on TV, in social media as we've gotten older. And I remember the first time that I thought about my body, because when we’re little kids it's beautiful, right? We don't even think about it. We don't even connect the fact that our body is different from our minds, right? It's just not even a thought that crosses our mind.
But I remember when I was in third grade was one of the first times that I had ever thought about my body. And I started comparing it because I was bigger and taller than a lot of my friends. I just developed a lot earlier, I've just been a little bit bigger. And I was in third grade, and it would look in the mirror and say like, “My body is bigger.” And I was making it mean that wasn't good. I was making it mean that since it was so different than a lot of my friends that that was not a good thing.
And it's so sad to look back on it. I mean such a young age, I didn't really realize it was happening, it just felt very normal to me. And I carried that with me for a lot of years. And I refuse to do it now because of what I've learned. And I absolutely refuse to disrespect God's perfect creation that he created for me that houses my spirit. And I'll tell you how I got here.
So as women it's more common, I think, to struggle with body image. I've talked with Tyler about this. And some of the things I've shared with him it kind of opened my eyes a little bit because I didn't realize how bad it had gotten.
And when I told him that every time I looked in the mirror, I was having thoughts that I wanted to change. He was like, “Oh, really?” And I mean, yeah, he wants to be healthy. He exercises, he eats healthy, but I mean, every time it wasn't consuming his thoughts. And I think when I shared that with him, I realized how bad it had gotten for me.
So we struggle with body image just because of society, I think. And then on top of that, you add infertility and it just kind of feels like a lost cause sometimes. You might be thinking like a lot of my clients that I've talked with, or that I've seen in the private Facebook group talk about with each other. That your body just isn't working like it should and that causes issues because you're mad at your body.
And while it might not be working according to how you think it should be working, I'm going to paint you a picture of what results you're actually getting from thinking that. Because for a long time I fooled myself into thinking that that was going to get me a result of loving the body that I had and appreciating what I had.
And it's very deceptive because that thought that your body needs to change and that you don't like your body is never going to get you that result. And I'm going to paint that picture for you here so you can kind of see what that looks like.
So picture this, I wake up in the morning and I look in the mirror and look immediately at the parts of my body that I want to change. I say to myself, “I can do it, I've got this, I just need to work a little harder at the gym and be better at eating a little healthier.” But I feel awful. It feels like that thought should be hopeful and give me hope, but it just feels awful because I feel like I'm coming up short. I just want my body to change now.
I go to my gym class; I work out with my friends. But I can see in the mirror that my legs look different than the legs of the girl next to me. And it's hard for me to focus on anything else, I just want them to change and look like I want them to look. I'm mad at my body for not looking like hers. My thoughts constantly end up there, it's draining my energy.
I come home, I get showered, I get dressed, and I don't really love the way my pants fit. If only I weighed X number of pounds less, I would be happy then. I know I can do it; I can get there.
I eat my meals the rest of the day, I have my snacks. And I feel guilty because I don't know if what I'm eating is the right thing. My thoughts are completely consumed with my body. I wish it would make a baby like all of my friends, there is something wrong with it, it's not doing what it's supposed to be doing. I end the day exhausted. I hate my body and my energy is drained.
Okay, so that's one option. That's where you're going to get when you think that thought, “I don't like my body.” You think deceptively that if you think that thought then you're going to be so determined and you're going to change it. But our results are always every single time determined by our thoughts. Every time your thought and your result is tied together.
Okay, so here's a different option. I decide that my body is made perfectly by God and He doesn't make mistakes. It is a decision that I make for myself. I wake up and my thoughts want to go to what's wrong with my body. But instead I steer them to focus my energy on the parts of my body that I like.
My thoughts keep wanting to go to the parts of my body that I don't like, but it's a habit that I know that I need to break. And I've thought those thoughts so many times that my brain is just trying to help me out. My brain just thinks I want to automate those thoughts and will constantly back up my thoughts with evidence. So I gently steer my brain and say, “You know what brain? We don't do that anymore. Not here.”
I go to the gym because I'm grateful that I can move. I'm grateful that I can walk. There are so many things I couldn't do without my body. I can drive. I can hug. I can serve others. I choose to exercise because I love my body and want to help it be strong. When I eat my meals that day, I am grateful that my body uses what I give to make energy so I can do the things I want. I dress myself in clothes that fit comfortably and help me to feel as beautiful as I am.
And what I'm telling you right now is all of this is a choice. You allow what thoughts come into your mind. And yes, it will be difficult at first because our brains have pathways and automations to make our lives easier. And there are so many things that our brains do automatically, which is a good thing for us, we don't really have to think much about it. But this is something that's worth working on changing.
Your brain thinks you want to hate your body because that's what you've told it for so many years. But you're the one that's in control. And you can choose and you can rewire those pathways to look for the evidence that your body is incredible.
The more that I practice, the better I get at choosing thoughts that make me feel grateful for my body. And you know what's best about the whole thing and it literally makes me want to cry because I feel like I'm free, you guys. I feel like I'm free.
For so many years, my thoughts were drained into what needed to be changed. And one day my life coach or health coach, Amanda, asked me, she said, “Is it true? Do you need to lose weight?” She said, “I can't answer that for you. But I want you to think about it from a nonjudgmental place. Is it true? Do you have to lose weight?”
And from working with her week by week, suddenly I realized I could choose. It was my choice all along. And it has nothing to do with how much I actually weigh. It has nothing to do with how I look. Now, when I feel better about my body because I choose to, I want to take care of it. I feel better and I feel like my body functions better when I exercise and when I eat healthy foods. But I'm doing it from a place of love.
And suddenly that day, when she asked me that, it was like I had been woken from a fog. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I get to choose. I get to choose; this is a decision. It's not a right or wrong. It's not a fact on whether I should lose weight or not. I literally get to choose that for myself.” What an absolute freeing gift.
And you guys, I cannot begin to express to you how much of my energy has been freed to do the things that I want to do because I decided that day that that thought was no longer true for me. I can now be a better friend. I can now be a better mother. I can now be a better wife. And I can be a better coach for women with infertility. Because all of that energy is free to serve in my life and fulfill God's plan for me.
And you're not going to be perfect at it. And you're going to have ups and downs, and you won't always eat the right things, right? You won't always exercise. I don't. But you bounce back and much more quickly because you love yourself through it.
And you're not going to be perfect and you’ll love yourself and give yourself grace in the imperfection. You take care of your body because you love it. And then you're free to use all of your mental energy on things that actually matter to you.
My energy was completely being sucked down a drain and I am a different person than I was back in January, so I know that it is possible for you. I called in for help because I knew this was interfering with how much energy I could use to create an infertility coaching membership and I am so proud of myself because it's a work worth doing.
And also, I want to mention that it doesn't matter what you look like. You
can look like what others would deem as 100% ideal, and you could be hating your body. There are supermodels who the world deems as perfect, who are so unhappy with how they look. It's always your thoughts and you always have a choice. And I promise you that you will reach your health goals of exercising and eating healthy, if that's what you want, much more quickly by loving yourself through it.
Because for me, now I love my body. Yes people, I love a good cookie every now and then. I love popcorn, I still have my desserts and I enjoy them. And I also exercise and eat really healthy regularly because I know that's what's best for my body and my mind to be able to function at my highest capacity. And because I love myself so much.
There are truths that I fall back on to confirm my beliefs. And just so we have the same definition of a belief, a belief for me is just a thought that you know is true for you. So I will list out three beliefs that always help bring me back to that truth of loving my body and appreciating it.
The first one is the thought that I've talked about before, and that I always go back to during infertility. And that thought is that everyone has trials. If it wasn't this trial for me right now, it would be something else. My body helps me experience my trials and my joy. It's a tool I have. And if infertility is a trial I need to experience, I am grateful that I have a body to experience it with so that my soul can learn and grow.
The second belief that I know is true for me is that I was created in the image of God. This also means that I am a daughter of God. And because He is my father and He is a creator, I am also a creator. And that means that I can create a life that I want. And I know that every result in life comes from a thought that I create. I created that thought.
I am capable of creating thoughts that give me results that I want, which is to love myself and live a full human experience. And I am also capable of creating thoughts that give me the results of an unfulfilled life. And it's my choice because I am a creator. We are all created in the image of God.
The third is I have two things in life to accomplish my purpose here. Those two things are my mind and my body. If the adversary can make me feel like garbage about my body, then I can't fulfill my mission in life. If he occupies my mind, I mean, think about it, he's attacking the two things that we have to create. Don't you think that his number one goal would be to make you feel like crap about your body. He's got you then. He's got your mind draining energy into hating your body. It is his biggest lie, I think.
We all have reasons why we are alive. We all have purposes here in life. And for me, one of them is helping women with infertility, and one of them is being a mother. And I felt like until I really grasped this concept of loving my body, I wasn't able to do both of those things that were so incredibly important to me, that are so incredibly important to me to their fullest, highest, best level. If I'm so caught up in picking myself apart then I don't have any energy left for inspiration to create tools to help women see how they can create whatever experience they want in infertility and in life. You are powerful.
I was riding my bike the other day and I just got the chills thinking about all of you. And thinking about the power that women have. We are creators. The adversary wants you to be mad at your body so you won't see how powerful you are because he does. He is absolutely terrified because he sees what a powerful force for good you are. And he is going to the ends of the earth and back to make sure that you don't see it.
What will you decide today? Think about it. You have your mind and your body and that's it. So that's what he's going to attack. Fight back. As your coach, I want you to know that I think you are exactly where you should be. You and only you know what thoughts are right for you. And you are in control of choosing the thoughts that will give you the results that you want.
I am never here to tell you what to think. I am never here to tell you what thoughts should be or shouldn't be thought. I am here only to remind you that only you have that power and then to provide suggestions on what thoughts have been helpful for myself and others that I have coached.
You are such a powerful woman and I hope that when you look in the mirror today, that you won't believe the lie that your body isn't good enough. Your body is providing you the experience in life that you were supposed to have all along. Your body is providing you the experience in life to help your soul grow, and expand, and be even more powerful. And you'll be able to use these experiences with your body to help others.
You are powerful beyond measure and there are forces that don't want you to see that. But I do. I've got you. I love you guys. I will see you here next week. Please be sure to sign up for the newsletter if you are interested in the coaching membership and we can apply these tools together. I can't wait to get to know you better. Bye guys, take care.
To celebrate the launch of the show I'm going to be giving away pajama and sock sets from The Slice of Sun that I have personally designed. They are the most buttery, soft, delightful things you'll ever put on your body. And I'm going to be giving away five bundles to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review the show on Apple Podcasts. It doesn't have to be a five star review, although I sure hope you love the show. I genuinely want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides tons of value to you who are experiencing infertility.
Visit thesliceofsun.com/podcast launch to learn more about the contest and how to enter and I'll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.
Thank you for listening to Fearless Infertility. If you want more tools and resources to help you during your infertility experience visit thesliceofsun.com. See you next week.