Be Your Own Best Friend

By Katie, 5:26 am

This is a pretty darn exciting week for those of us in the business of spreading the positive-body-image message. That’s because TODAY is the official release date of Caitlin‘s Operation Beautiful book. The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous, positive notes in public places for other women to find. The book highlights the best of these notes, and includes inspirational stories from all different types of women.

(Shameless plug: I’m featured in the book! My story is on pages 155-158 and my photos are on pages 53 and 157.)

To bring more attention to the issue, August 2-August 7 has been dubbed Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look Week. Bloggers everywhere are encouraged to discuss topics related to body image and self-acceptance.

In my opinion, the crux of the conversation about having a positive body image is the question of how to make it happen. Because we can probably all agree that the message of self-love and self-respect is a worthwhile one. But agreeing with that message is not the same as believing it every time you look in the mirror. Wanting to change the way you see isn’t the same as actually changing the way you see.

So I’d like to suggest one concrete way to turn wanting to have a healthy self-image into actually having a healthy self-image: BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND.

Think about it: your best friend would never tell you that your thighs are too big or your stomach is too jiggly (if she would, you need to find a new best friend!). She’d never say that you don’t deserve to go out on a Friday night because you’ve gained ten pounds, or that you should wait to buy nice clothes until you “lose the weight.” No, she’d call you up and say, “You’re gorgeous, I love you, now get your purse because we’re going shopping!” 8-)

Some more examples:

  • Your best friend would never call you or your body cruel names, and yet we do that all the time.
  • Your best friend would never advise overeating emotionally to the point of feeling sick, and yet we often think that’s an acceptable way to treat ourselves.
  • Your best friend would never tell you to put off living life to the fullest until your body is “perfect,” and yet we put our hopes and dreams on hold while we go to the gym…again.
  • Your best friend would never think less of you because of the way you look, so why do we think less of ourselves?

If we want to change the way we see ourselves, we need to take some concrete steps to get there. Just hoping our perspective will change simply isn’t enough. One way to challenge the negative self-talk is to ask yourself, “what would my best friend say to me in this moment?” Whatever the answer is – be it that you’re beautiful, that you are worth more than your physical appearance, that neither she nor anyone else is judging you based on an extra ten pounds – say that to yourself, and then make the choice to believe it. That is the first step. :-D

How can you be your own best friend today?

33 Responses to “Be Your Own Best Friend”

  1. the best thing i’ve done for myself today is encouraged myself to push through the hard parts on my run…and encouraged myself afterwards too! it’s amazing how my own praise really gets me going :)

  2. Interesting. It’s “Change the Way You See” week and World Breastfeeding Week?

    It’s no coincidence that the choice to breastfeed my son has forever changed the way I see my body, and allowed me to appreciate it in a way I never have before!

    There’s a lot to appreciate this week!

  3. Congrats on being featured in the book. I can’t wait to pick up my copy today! :D

    I’m going to be my own best friend today by going out and having some fun by myself!

  4. Katie says:

    I am so proud of Caitlin!!!!! I cant believe today is her big day and tomorrow she will be on the today show!!!!!!

    SO cool you are in the book, congrats on that girl!!!!!!!!

    Thx for the congrats on my recipe being on fitsugar, I was excited because I go on there everyday and it suprised me, lol

    I am going to be my own best friend by respecting and loving my self and body!

    xoxo

  5. I love that there are so many positive movements going on in the world right now. I can always use the reminder to be my own best friend. There really is no reason for me to be so hard on myself, I am a work in progress. I don’t have to be perfect. Congratulations on being in the book!

  6. Jessica says:

    It is always amazing what we see when we step outside of ourselves! Pretty cool.

    Congrats on being in the book! I look forward to checking it out : )

  7. How cool to be in such an inspiring book! Congrats to you!
    I can be my own best friend by being honest and not deluding myself. I will speak the truth in love (to myself)
    :)

  8. It’s so true, a best friend would never say to us the things we say to ourselves sometimes! That is so cool you are in her book!

  9. self love, self respect ,self worth are what makes one self best friend

  10. Katie, I love this post! How interesting that oftentimes we’d never treat our friends the way we treat ourselves.

    Congrats on being featured in the book. That’s so exciting!

    Today, I’m going to try not to be so hard on myself if I don’t check everything off my to-do list. :)

  11. As usual, great post! Keith always says that I am my own worst critic…but being my own best friends would definitely be a better option. :)

  12. Shawnee says:

    I love this! I have two best friends. One would tell me “suck it up” the other would say “aww you just need a hug.” I hope I am the middle ground here. I usually dish out a lot of advice…that usually just make my friends mad. Even though I mean well. But you’re right, I need to treat myself better.

  13. Yum Yucky says:

    I love the examples you give. Such an awesome way of looking at it.

  14. Love this post, and everything about the OP book, movement and week! This is a constant reminder for me. I always have daily checkins with my thoughts, the words I am using towards myself. Really important to take a step back & recognize what self talk we are feeding on a daily basis.

  15. Hope says:

    What a great post! I may have to participate with some body-loving posts this week! :)

    I’m going to be my own best friend today by doing everything I can do be healthy, as in eating well and doing my step class tonight, as well as treating myself to a haircut. Because a good haircut can make the worst day better.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Wow this is so true. I can honestly say that I have never thought of it like that before. I definitely need to work on being my own best friend. Because as of late, even I wouldn’t want to be my best friend.

  17. Completely agree! When I hear a friend bashing herself, I ask her, would you ever say that to me? Then don’t say it to yourself! That puts things in a different prespective. :) Great post!!

  18. Telling myself that I can make it through tough workouts and that I am strong always makes me feel good. It helps me feel great about myself and what I am do. What a great idea about being your best friend!

  19. [...] with all other sorts of inspiration through out the day! First I came across Katie’s post: Be Your Own Best Friend. It’s such a simple concept, but I’ve never really thought to support and encourage [...]

  20. Congrats on being in the Operation Beautiful book! That’s exciting!

  21. Congratulations on being featured in the book! That’s super exciting! :)

    I love the perspective of being your own best friend. It shouldn’t be as hard as it is. I definitely fall into the trap of being my own worst critic. And while I do think it’s good to hold ourselves to high standards, we can’t confuse that with putting ourselves down.

    The best thing I’ve done for myself today was to drag myself out of bed in the morning for a 6 mile run. It felt so good after I was finished. And now I’m going to be treating myself to a dessert date with some girlfriends…the perfect ways to start and end a day :)

  22. I love this post, and I love your blog, period! You always have such interesting, creative, and truly thought-provoking posts.
    To be my own best friend, I can tell myself that I am human. I can be kind to myself when I feel I have messed up or when I try to get down on myself for something. Not really related to body image, but definitely to self-acceptance.
    Congrats on being in the book! I can’t wait to go get my copy!

    • Katie says:

      Great comment! We should never underestimate the power of simply being kind to ourselves. :)

  23. Lisa says:

    This is totally what I needed to hear today. I’m on day 9 of trying to work towards “normal” eating. It’s rough. You would’ve thought I committed the biggest sin ever today for eating a kid’s meal at a fast food restaurant. I finally had to tell my “mean voice” to be quiet. Goodness!

  24. katie says:

    wow this is so true girl!!! we have to learn to LOVE OURSELVES before we can love OTHERS! thanks for addressing this katie!

  25. Your posts make me feel so happy :) Thanks for sending out love and good body vibes!

  26. Dorry says:

    Love this – really got me thinking. I need to be my own best friend more often. My sister and I build each other up b/c we tend to be very critical/hard on ourselves. I’m so thankful for her!

    Congrats on Operation Beautiful! I wish you were going to HLS – can I sneak you into my bag? :)

  27. [...] your own best friend! Read Katie’s post and put this concept into action! It’s only been two days since I read her post and I’m [...]

  28. Kate says:

    Awesome post – and so cool that you’re featured in the book! Today I AM going to be my own best friend – really listen to and love myself just like I would a friend. We’re kind of the best friend we can ever have…important to cultivate that relationship. ;)

  29. Jaime Runs says:

    I never thought about being my own best friend until you said it. I definitely agree that my best friend would never ever say the negative things I say to myself. All of it seems ridiculous when you think of it in those terms. Thanks for the insights! :)

    I think my best friend would be proud of me this week for not letting me be down in the dumps because of an injury, and for taking up yoga. Here’s to new challenges!

  30. [...] will be blunt: over the past few weeks I have really been struggling to be my own best friend. I’ve been saying horrible things to myself – about my weight, about my appearance in [...]

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