Changing your body vs. changing how you feel about your body.
TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.
They can happen separately or simultaneously, but working on the ‘feelings’ bit is the only way to truly feel at peace in the body you have. There are tons of women who get to their goal weights, fit into the jean size they’ve decided is ‘good’ or hit other aesthetic related goals who love their bods no better than before they started. Many simply go from being obsessed about losing weight to being obsessed about maintaining it. Others find new flaws to focus on, other things to fix. And many find that promises like “OMG, weight loss gets rid of ALL your problems and brings on nothing but HAPPY SUNSHINE TIMES” were nothing but a bunch of lies.
Life doesn’t suddenly get perfect when you lose weight. Your issues are still your issues, your problems are still your problems, and some find themselves disappointed that the magic wand of weight loss didn’t magically fix everything.
Everyone deserves to feel at home in their own skin. Which is why working towards body acceptance - even if you’re working on changing some things - is SOOOO beneficial for both your progress and your overall happiness. If what you want is to be happier in your body, you need to confront the reasons you aren’t with a bit more ferociousness and more depth.
Most people find that those reasons are a bit deeper than simply reducing cellulite.
Being just a little kinder to your body is a step in the right direction, whether you still want to change it or not. Maybe start today?
If you could thank your body for ONE thing, what would it be? If you could give your body a high five for something, what would it be? If your body was more of a best friend to you, instead of an enemy, what would you say to cheer it up? How can you change your language and inner dialogue to make your body more of a valuable vessel instead of an obstacle?
Few people learn to love their bodies overnight, but all people who do end up loving their bodies start small. With a change in thinking, a tweak in language, positive peeps surrounding them etc.
If you’re not ready to scream “I love my body”, maybe work on “I’m kind to my body” instead.
Baby steps. :)
Just a little clarification, in case fitness marketing has SKEWED you over. :)
Some things you should know about ‘fitness’.
1. Fitness is about what your body can DO. Ability. Weight loss does not make you fitter.
2. Getting “fitter” is the process of challenging yourself over time with the end result of being able to do MORE. Being really fit does not make you a better person than anyone else. You’re just someone who can do a little more. That’s all.
3. Lacking physical fitness or losing fitness, usually means you’re limited in terms of what you can DO. For average people, it’s just about the basics: being able to walk around, shop, go to work, play with your kids, enjoy life, escape zombies etc. For those who were formerly “fit” or very physically active, losing their ‘fitness’ may mean noticeable drops in performance: what was once easy is hard or impossible.
Myth: body love is something that comes as a direct result of body change. The only way to love your body is to change what you hate about it. When you have the body you see in your head, you’ll stop feeling insecure, stop feeling bad about yourself, and stop comparing yourself to others.
False. False. FALSE.
Truth time: Loving your body isn’t a process that requires changing the physical. It’s ALL about a change in attitude.
Body love isn’t all or nothing: getting to a place of peace with your body doesn’t happen overnight, nor should body peace/love imply that you’ll never have negative thoughts, not so hot moments or unwavering confidence. Body love is a process, a journey and a progression. It’s something that you invest in, work on and try to get better at with time.
I LOVE the messages and takeaways in this book. Fabulous reading for many, MANY women out there!
Most of us have a nonstop chorus of criticism in our heads, voices not unlike those of the mean girls lurking in locker rooms of junior high schools everywhere. Amy Ahlers’s witty, wise, and cut-to-the-chase book will give you everything you need to take on those bullying Inner Mean Girls and Inner Critics and win. You’ll learn how to rewire the self-sabotaging lies you tell yourself into affirming truths that will increase self-respect, self-love, and self-compassion, transforming your inner and outer lives.
Read a snippet here!
Do you have any body loving books you’re in love with? Care to share?
Skinny Witch vs. Chubby Fairy
What our poll shows about the assumptions women hold…
Heavy women are pegged as…
- “lazy” 11 times as often as thin women;
- “sloppy” nine times;
- “undisciplined” seven times;
- “slow” six times as often.
While thin women are seen as…
- “conceited” or “superficial” about eight times as often as heavy women;
- “vain” or “self-centered” four times as often;
- “bitchy,” “mean,” or “controlling” more than twice as often.
Even the “good” labels are unfair. An overweight woman may be five times as likely to be perceived as “giving” as a skinny one.
“But it just fits into the stereotype that thin women are not that way,” explains Ann Kearney-Cooke, Ph.D. “It’s still putting women in a box based on their body size.”
One of the biggest eye openers I’ve had this year was the extent to which women hate their bodies.
Body hate is so much more pervasive than I thought. So much more destructive. So much more to do with WOMEN than with men, or society. And no woman is immune. Not a single one.
At first, I thought it was the size zero models. It’s not. I thought it was celebrity pressure, or the way we value thinness in our society. A little bit, maybe, but that’s only the TIP of the iceberg. It’s deeper than that. It’s so much deeper. Because whether we’re thin, fat, or anywhere in the middle: women will find something to hate about themselves. And we HATE on each other’s bodies in such brutal ways that it’s embarrassing. And yes, body hate comes in the form of comparison too. Whenever you compare yourself to someone else, you’re telling your body ‘you aren’t good enough’.
Every time I hear people comment on other people’s bodies, I cringe. It’s making the problem worse. And yes, while she might look too thin, she may be fine. Or stressed. Or healthy. Or sick. Who the fuck cares? When I hear people comment on how thin someone is, it’s almost always a sign that they hate themselves a little. We only put other people down to lift ourselves up. It’s projecting. (I’m talking about celebrities/models/magazine covers/tumblr photos mostly, but this happens with families & friends too).
Disclaimer: There IS a difference between commenting on someone’s body and WORRYING about their health: family members may be concerned if someone’s health is deteriorating or is showing signs of an eating disorder. The way someone looks is NOT the best indicator of health or a disorder, there are a lot of OTHER symptoms to look for (depression, withdrawal, attitude changes, health indicators aside from weight loss). It’s okay to be WORRIED about someone, but don’t comment on their body. Those dealing with eating disorders typically HATE their bodies already: telling them they’re disgusting? That’s about YOU. And that can add fuel to their ‘I’m already disgusting’ fire. Knock off the body talk all together: Do’s & Don’t’s of eating disorders: http://www.angelfire.com/bc/peacelovehope/rules.html
Same goes for those that are overweight. I watch women who are otherwise confident, hesistate to wear shorts or bikinis: NOT because they don’t want to but because they’re scared of being judged. BY OTHER WOMEN. Women worrying about being called sluts, while simultaneously trying to look sexy, knowing that at any moment they could be judged by other ladies. Women who un-tag themselves out of photos with their friends, cause they think their arms look fat, or they don’t like the way their chin looks.
WHAT A WHACKLOAD OF CRAZY.
I found a post today that I thought was important to share. And while it’s not the most ’ post-ful’ day I’ve had, I think this is an important way to cap it off.
I’ll be back, in full swing, tomorrow. But read this. Read it a few times. And take something away from it. Please.
And let’s make tomorrow a more accepting world for ladies to live in. Cause the extra hate just keeps us ALL down.
Much. Love. Read on.
The following was excerpted from Body Image: Feeling Like You’re Never Enough | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss