Body Image and Beyond!

Well I’ve done it!  I’m offering a workshop!  It’s 6 weeks long, starting September 14th, and runs every Thursday until October 19th.  But what is being Body Positive all about?  And what is it not?

There’s a nasty belief that Body Positivity is all about promoting obesity.  It’s not.  Trust me.  Am I Body Positive?  Yes!  Am I obese?  Yup!  Do I have to be obese to be body positive? Nope! Am I telling others to be obese, or stay obese, or eat the whole tray of cupcakes?  No.  You should be sharing those cupcakes with me 😉 lol.

Body Positive means loving your body no matter what shape or size you’re in at every stage in your life.  Another myth about the body positive movement is that because you’re happy with your body, you’re not allowed to change it. Some people think if you change your body on purpose, then you never loved your body to begin with, or you were lying, or now you hate yourself, or now you’ve seen the light and know that you need to be thinner/look younger/have more muscles/less muscles.  No.  This is not how it works.  Because I love my obese body, does that mean I’m not allowed to lose weight?  No, I’m allowed to change it how I want to and still love it.  Right now, I love my arms.  I giggle when I put them in those air blade hand dryers and watch my flab flap around ridiculously.  But when I was smaller and worked out a lot, I loved the muscles in my arms and the enjoyed every step of muscle definition.  The love of my body in one stage of life, does not negate the love of my body in other, past or future, stages in life.  You can simultaneously love your body AND want to change it.  It is possible.

Body Positivity is about not berating yourself for what state your body is in, whether it’s in your control or not.  Fat? Love the jiggle in your wiggle.  Muscular? Take pride in the power in your body. Thin?  Dance like the dancing royalty you are.  Missing an arm?  Raise the other arm in the air like you just don’t care.  Use a traditional wheelchair?  Celebrate the muscles that you build that most others don’t get to, and rock that parking spot.  Got wrinkles?  Remember all the laughter that created those wrinkles.

If you’re having trouble loving all of your glorious self, start small and focus on what you do love.  And not “I love this part of me, but that part is horrid”.  No no no no.  No “but”, unless it’s your butt you love.  Focus on what you like about yourself.  I started with the obvious, my hair.  I have nice hair.  It’s curly, frizzy, and bright red.  Love it.  Then I started to focus on other parts until I started to learn to accept myself as a whole.  It takes time.  Don’t worry if you don’t love all yourself right away.  Patience, be kind and compassionate to yourself, and be passionate about yourself.

Surround yourself with positive people too.  It’s really really really hard to love yourself when you’re around people who put you down all the time.  That’s not cool.  And it’s not your fault.  Them being mean and saying nasty things, is all on them.  Something is going on with them to make them focus on tearing you down.  Find people who build you up.

Having a good Body Image can change the way you move through life.  If you feel confident about how you look and who you are, then more positive people will be drawn to you, more opportunities will open up to you, and you’ll start challenging yourself to do things you never thought you’d do.  I highly encourage you to take steps towards building your body image.  It’s an awesome and liberating feeling.

 

Jennifer