Holly Lowery
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach & Anti-Diet Advocate


Holly Lowery - Blog

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How to stop Should-ing all over yourself

Is body hate keeping you from doing all the sh*t you really care about?

The other day, while enjoying a few glasses of wine (sitting on the kitchen floor in my PJ’s, of course) it hit me... Lately I’ve been my own biggest hater and have been “should-ing” all over myself. It’s really easy to feel like the universe has it out against you; whether it's because your car breaks down or you shrunk your favorite slouchy sweater, sometimes all the little things stack up and topple over at the worst possible moment, leaving you feeling like a major screwup.

It’s easy to think everyone else in your life (let's be real- everyone on the internet too) has their shit together. It's also really easy to feel like everyone is watching you and if you mess up, you’re going to be an even bigger screwup)

But I want you to know something very important:

No one is watching as closely as you think they are... 99% of the time YOU are your own biggest hater

*and yeah- this came to me on my kitchen floor while enjoying a beverage or two, but I think if we’re being honest with ourselves, we already knew this.

Would you talk to a child the way you talk to yourself?

We tell ourselves such awful things all day long- You’re not thin enough to wear that If you didn’t eat those cookies after lunch you wouldn’t feel like such trash right now If you could just find enough willpower to lose the weight If you kept a cleaner house you wouldn’t feel so gross all the time If you woke up a little earlier to work out maybe you wouldn't be such a slob I honestly believe we tell ourselves these awful things because we’re afraid of feeling all the unfamiliar feelings that come along with taking a chance, or going against the mainstream.

We stomp all over our own intuitive desires before we’re even able to explore them, because deep down we’re too afraid of what might happen if, for a second, we lose control. Thus our inner-hater continues thriving on that fear, keeping us stuck in the same loop of negativity and we don’t get to experience all the good that could potentially come our way had we taken the new approach.

Whether we’re talking about career, body image, eating habits, home environment, relationships or your creative endeavors, I’m asking you to first, acknowledge that you have the permission and the freedom to go against the grain because no one is paying as much attention as you think. And second, start to bring some awareness into your day when it comes to how you’re talking to yourself.

Are you opening up to the possibility of the unknown?

Or are you squashing your chances of success before you even give yourself the chance to do the thing?

Here’s how to grant yourself permission + cultivate awareness (aka stop should-ing all over yourself)

*Get out your notebook, a Post-it note, a pencil and your favorite marker. In your notebook with the pencil, write down all the things you want to be doing. They don’t have to have a why or a how yet- just write them down. On the Post-it, take your marker and write something along these lines:

“you have permission” “you have the freedom to do it” “you don’t need someone else’s approval”

you have permission

Make it pretty and bold and permanent and personally inspiring. Now post it somewhere you’re going to see it every day. Whether it’s on your fridge, your night stand, on your computer monitor or on your dashboard, make sure it’s somewhere you’re going to look and acknowledge this freedom, awareness + permission you posses.

Now take those penciled notes, rip them out of your notebook and tuck them away. Do not hang them up on the wall or toss them just yet. This act of getting the “shoulds” out of our heads and out into your hands is more powerful than you might think; it allows you to stop re-tracing all the same negative thoughts over and over in your head but doesn’t dismiss them completely.

They’re there for some underlying reason.

Maybe you’re beating yourself up because you haven't been able to get back into your favorite pair of jeans in the last two years. First things first throw those jeans away, but then dig deeper into that Maybe you’re upset because you think you should be able to fit into them but you’re really upset because you want to be able to feel confident going out again after your recent breakup. Woah. That’s a lot deeper than just wanting to subscribe to a certain number on the scale. This physical act helps you differentiate between the negative loop of “shoulds” + “can’ts” and your real desire for some sort of deeper change.

In a nutshell- this exercise will help extract all the shoulds out of your brain to give you the freedom to explore your deeper desires, and the permission to follow through without obsessing about them.

Do this. Because it's time to stop giving so much power to the haters, whether they be internal or external. Do this because you know you’re so capable of reaching your goals without shoulding all over yourself. o this because you deserve permission + freedom to live and eat and exist in tune with your own gut instincts.


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