While this is not technically about books or tea (although I am enjoying a mug of Tazo Zen tea while I write this 😉 ), I think it belongs on my blog. This is something that I have seen countless people – not just women – struggle with. Whether or not they have eating disorders, disordered eating, or are chronic dieters, it seems that – especially in America – the focus is so much on “I need to change how my body looks” instead of “I need to love my body no matter its size.”
I’ll be honest. This is something I have struggled with since I can remember. It’s not an easy thing, to go against what society declares to be the “only” way of thinking, the only way of acting. People seem to put exercising, dieting, and losing weight up on a pedestal. There are countless posts on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter about how X amount of pounds need to come off after X holiday (usually Christmas and New Year’s). If you don’t exercise, you’re looked down upon. And if you say that you’re happy with your body the way that it is, you’re frowned upon even more, because how could that even be possible? Society truly is messed up in this way (and many other ways – don’t get me started on that one 😉 ).
So – being body positive. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things to learn while you live on this earth. If you can be happy with your body, no matter the size, and if you can be kind to yourself and others – and not judge based on size – then you have a lot of problems solved before they’ve begun. I’m not telling you that you should be okay with being overweight/underweight if it’s jeopardizing your health in any way. I am not at a healthy weight for my height, currently, but that doesn’t mean that accepting my body is impossible. I can accept it for what it is, and more importantly, for what it does for me – there are so many things that we take for granted when we go about our days. When was the last time you were consciously grateful for the ability to walk? to breathe? to digest food? to smile? I could continue listing, but you’ve gotten the idea, I hope.
But being body positive is more than just accepting your own body. It’s about rejecting society’s focus on weight. It’s about accepting other people and not creating first impressions based on their weight. It’s about saying that yes, there are people out there that could be called “fat,” or “obese,” and that they are still gorgeous. I have seen many a woman that would be considered lazy and fat by society at large, who is beautiful inside and out, who has self confidence that I can only dream of having one day, and who doesn’t care what society thinks of her.
You know the sad part, though? We are society. We make up society. Yes, the media has a lot to do with what we think is the ideal, but if no one in society bought into those magazines, ads, and commercials, then they’d be out of business. Yes, I know that is not realistic – but whether you like it or not, you are part of society as a whole. I am calling you to action. Take a stand for being body positive. Accept yourself the way that you are. Don’t let weight define you or anyone else.
And don’t be afraid to make a ripple in that ocean of weight obsessed people!! Speak out for what you believe is right, and stand up for what you know is healthy. Not society’s idea of “healthy” (overexercising, eating too little, eating only a certain type of food, etc.). The actual healthy, where you eat what you want, when you want it – in moderation of course, but who cares if you eat an extra serving of ice cream once in awhile, or have more than two Reese’s cups? The actual healthy where you exercise when you want to – if you like it, great!! but if you don’t, and if you don’t have doctor’s orders to exercise, then don’t worry about it. As a last thought – if you exercise regularly and find yourself panicking on days that you can’t… re-evaluate your exercising… because it is not healthy to become so obsessed with something that if you can’t do it, you become panicked.
Give yourself a hug for me today. Smile at yourself in the mirror, and tell yourself, “I am grateful for my body, no matter what size it may be, and I am thankful for all that it does for me. I reject society’s ideals for beauty and instead agree to work on finding beauty in everyone.”