Body Positivity - Am I just delusional?
I have been thinking a lot about this recently.
I’m going to lay my cards on the table here because well, I tend to overshare. Remember though that what you are about to read is coming from the woman who preaches Body Positivity, who runs Body Love Challenge’s and gets paid to help people get healthy.
My body has changed in the past few months and I'm not thrilled about it.
I assume I have put on weight but I don’t actually know because I ditched my scales a long time ago. I have had this internal dialogue going on that I am a total hypocrite, have no idea what I am talking about and should just apply for that walking postie job that I have always thought would be pretty cool. Needless to say it has had me in a bit of a spin.
I like all of us, can get swept up in my own thought process and dive down the rabbit hole of the dark side. I preach Body Love and Body Positivity to anyone who will listen, and yet I have still been questioning the way my own body looks. Unhappy with its recently changing shape.
Instantly, the changes I have noticed in my body have had me internalising those feelings of not being good enough, not having anything decent to say, wondering why I am bothering with any of this Wonder Woman Method jazz.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being a Health Coach. I love seeing the penny drop with my gorgeous clients and seeing them make all kinds of incredible leaps and bounds towards true health. But everything else about the business is a challenge for me.
I don’t love all the behind the scenes stuff, I don’t love having to sell my services and the constant hustle that is having a very new small business.
Health has always been my jam, but business is hard, really, really hard. In the 14 months I have had Wonder Woman Method, I have been out of my comfort zone for 13.75 of them.
I ran my first online course earlier in the year and it stressed me the F*#! out. I was up late finishing workbooks and content that was time critical to my paying clients. I wanted to give them exactly what they needed and had asked from me, so I was creating the course based on their needs as we moved along the 6 weeks.
My self care took a hit, and I compensated by having a glass or 2 or 3 of wine every night to self sooth. I don’t drink everyday normally because I don’t sleep very well if I have been drinking and find my stress and anxiety sky rocket which I ease by….you guessed it, more wine. I’ve also been studying, being a mum, a wife, a sister a daughter and a friend. In the last few months I have had various family members die, get sick, be born and I kinda felt like I was letting everyone down a bit. This coupled with seeing those changes in my body, changes that I didn’t like made me question everything.
Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this after all. I love the coaching part of my biz but everything else always seems so hard.
Is it really worth it?
Do you know what body positivity has taught me though?
It absolutely IS worth it.
It has taught me that even if I don’t like my body in this moment, I still love it. Not once since this dark cloud floated over my body image did I declare I was digusting, or should be ashamed of myself or to just hide away like I regularly did a few years ago.
I need to get the BoPo message out and with my hypothetical loud speaker shout it from the rooftops. I need my baby girl who is 4 and my little man who is 6 to love the shit out of themselves so they are not at war with their body every day of their lives. I need to plant the seed that you don’t have to hate your body to the point of recluse.
I am not immune to negative self-talk and I am not unaffected by the constant messages fed to us by Diet Culture. Now though, as I think about the last few months, it is all suddenly clear to me, again.
Body Positivity is a journey. There is no destination Body Love. It’s something you need to work on little bit by little bit and then you surprise yourself one day by how far you have come. Being body neutral is part of body positivity and knowing I will have days where I feel like a supermodel interspersed with days I feel frumpy is just part of the adventure.
All while not letting my body image dictate my decisions or speaking up when I need to have a voice.
I knew that before this dark little cloud, but had a temporary lapse of my frontal lobe function, and needed a little pity party to remind me that pity parties are shit and I should stop RSVPing to them.
I can’t change Diet Culture overnight or on my own, but I can chip away at it little by little and get people to start thinking about things with a different lens. A lens that isn’t blacked out by being defined by our body shape.
I can challenge the diet ads and #fitspo posts that make me feel like my body is not ‘right’. I can mutter to myself in the supermarket how ridiculous the marketing is around ‘guilt free foods’ and how I will be happy when I just lose the weight. I can do that because I know the impact food guilt has. I know when I was at my lightest weight I was more critical of my body than ever. I hated my body because I was always striving to look like something that genetically was impossible for me.
Body positivity lets you put things into perspective and see those awful thoughts for exactly what they are….awful thoughts. Bodies are supposed to change, that is one of the many reasons they are so extraordinary. My body can get bigger and smaller and it’s still wonderful and inspiring and loving and kind.
Now I am focusing on getting lots of sleep, being aware that I don’t feel amazing when I drink every day and making choices based on what my body really wants not what I think it wants. My mind isn’t a broken record of what I ‘should’ be doing but rather what feels good for my body. I am going back to basics and writing my body gratitude journal, saying at least 1 nice thing about myself whenever I look in the mirror and my body is thanking me for it.
I will keep up the good fight because I know how important this is.
I will remind myself that I too am not immune to Diet Culture, but man have I come leaps and bounds in the last few years. Body Positivity is about so much more than being happy in the way I look. It’s about nourishing my body, not just with food and exercise but with all the elements my body wants and needs.
I will show myself a little self-compassion when I feel like a phony and think of the amazing things I have helped my clients work through. Because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter one little bit how my body looks or how your body looks. It doesn’t determine health and it doesn’t determine how amazing I am as a Health Coach or the importance of my message.
So is Body Positivity really possible? When even the preacher questions it?
It’s what has pulled me out of my pity party and helped me get a little more determined that we all need more Body Love.
And I am certainly no exception.
Have you been struggling to let go of diets and restriction and your negative self talk? Grab yourself a FREE copy of my Diet Freedom Guide with my 8 strategies to make peace with food today.