It’s no secret that I’m body positive. I think we should love and celebrate ourselves as we are. Fat, scrawny, or anything in between… Love yourself!
Of course, loving yourself doesn’t have to mean you love all your parts equally, and it doesn’t mean you have an unhealthy, romanticized view of yourself, it means that you accept yourself as you are. You can have parts you don’t adore (heck, if I could get rid of these “wings” quickly and easily, I would) but you can still celebrate and love yourself for who you are without focusing on some other persons view of who you “SHOULD” be. We need to be gentle with ourselves, and treat ourselves with kindness and love.
Recently I was talking with someone and was trying to celebrate with them on a weightless goal… This individual told me how they’d been several hundred pounds in their teens, and how even though they just celebrated losing another thirty pounds (and are, by many standards, very thin) they are still trying to lose more. When I asked why they were determined to lose even more weight, they explained how awesome it felt to go into stores to buy clothes and have things fit.
I’ll be honest, I felt this weird twinge of twisted self conscious, body awareness – like way back when I suffered from low self esteem and worried constantly about what others thought of me to the point where my assumptions about their views became how I defined myself. And this flash of “what must they think of me???” crossed my mind. It was very fleeting, but I felt it none the less. Looking back, I’m ashamed that it ever entered my consciousness… But it did.
Now as I look back on our conversation I truly feel sadness, not for that brief flicker of self doubt, but for this individual who at our age has such a warped sense of self. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be young, fragile, and to hate your body so very very much…. to the point where it makes you hate yourself. Then to have it further compounded by the inability to buy clothes at the teen trend stores… and to still be dealing with those same feelings of inadequacy now.
That high from dropping weight and the reward of buying new clothes from a favourite store or designer is huge… But when it gets to the point where it becomes an obsession, like any obsession, it can be dangerous and unhealthy. When are we going to learn to love ourselves? To accept our bodies and our many fabulous flaws?
I mentioned that I’d change my “wings” if I could. I love my body. I love my rolls, and my belly button that looks like an upward pointing arrow, my stretch marks…. My body is proof that I have lived and lived well. I have rocked this body, and I love the stories it has to tell. And while yes, if there was a fast, easy, healthy, and effective way to tame my wings (those hanging bits of skin under my upper arms) I’d do it, but I certainly don’t obsess on them. In fact, I rarely think of them at all, and when I do, they certainly don’t make me hate myself – ANY part of myself.
We really do need to learn to love ourselves, regardless of our shape. Embrace yourself. Treasure yourself. Honor yourself. Celebrate yourself. No matter your size or shape, treat yourself like the incredible being you are! Sure, there may be something you’d change if given the opportunity, but let that something be about YOU and not some seriously demented standard of beauty the media shoves on you. Shower yourself with love and affection!
For those of you still holding a mirror up to the world in search of your own personal self worth? Love yourself first. Know that you are amazing. Others will follow your lead.
I’m very “body positive”. I think bodies are beautiful. All sorts of bodies. I didn’t always though. Sometimes that’s the sort of wisdom that comes from living (not from age, but from experience, and making conscious decisions about the way we live).
I want my daughter to be body positive. I love how my post baby belly feels all warm and squishy, and I want her to love all her parts too – however they turn out. I tell her all the time how much I love her parts, every single part, because they are hers, and that makes them perfect.
I fear for our girls. The messages they receive from almost everywhere are that they aren’t good enough. They can always be more SOMETHING. More thin, more curvy, more youthful, more, more, more… But the fact of the matter is that they are PERFECT. They are perfect as they are. And that’s another reason for my Power of SHe project.
Now I’m rambling. I tend to do that when I get on topics of importance. Okay. Back to my story.
You never know if what you try to teach your children really gets through – until you KNOW it’s gotten through. One of those wonderful little moments happened tonight, and it made me grin a wonderfully large self-satisfied grin.
Lily-Ann was in the bathroom with her Daddy. I don’t remember specifically what they were doing, or the context of their discussion… but I do remember hearing Damon laugh before they made their way into the bedroom where I was doing some work on the computer – waiting to put the girl to bed.
“Do you know what Lily told me?”
I looked up from my work and gave my husband my attention, “What?”
“She said you love my parts.”
I laughed and the story spilled forth. Apparently the girl was educating her father, telling him that his parts are beautiful too. “Mommy loves ALL of our parts.” And she even made sure to let him know that I even love the stinky parts, because they’re perfect too.
It’s nice to know that sometimes you really do get through to them.