All tagged body positivity
I didn’t set out to become an advocate for body positivity. It sort of just happened. I loved what I was feeling so much I had to share it with others. And so in May of 2017, I posted my first picture of myself in a swimsuit on Instagram. I started slow but I dreamed everyday for more than two years of starting a blog where I could share my stories and maybe inspire someone else. It took me a long time to work up the courage and belief in myself to start this blog, but now I’ve started I can’t go back. I can’t go back to being quiet. I can’t go back to hating myself.
I used to think that if I had a boyfriend or someone who loved me all my insecurities would go away, I would be filled with confidence from their love and finally stop hating my body. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have an awesome husband who truly loves me just the way I am and tells me regularly how beautiful I am, but his love and acceptance of me does absolutely nothing to help me love and accept myself.
No two people are exactly the same. We are all born with different eye colors, hair colors, heights, skin colors, nose shapes, personalities... the list goes on and on. Why then would weight and body shape be any different? Why are we constantly trying to force our bodies into sizes and shapes they weren’t meant to be?
Some days I am better at showing myself love than others, but over the past 3 years, I’ve found several ways that I can practice body positivity and self-love on a daily basis. Things that make me feel good and help remind me why I’m on this journey.
The mind is a powerful thing. The self-fulfilling prophecy is real, and the things we think about and say to ourselves matter. If you say it enough times, your brain will start to believe it is true. Maybe standing in front of the mirror and saying, “You are beautiful,” seems like a complete lie or makes you feel silly or stupid, but it doesn’t matter. Do it anyway.
There is no destination, there is no end point, and I certainly don’t have all the answers. What I do have are some tangible ways that have helped me learn to love and appreciate my body.
I’m not a dietitian, personal trainer, or any kind of health and fitness expert. I’m not a psychologist, although I do have a bachelor's degree in psychology, so that must mean something, right? But I do know a lot about body positivity simply because I’ve walked through the darkness of self-hatred and have come out the other side with a new perspective on body image, self-love, and what it means to have “body positivity.”
So here, in no particular order, are four things people get wrong about body positivity.
Growing a tiny human inside me and pushing him out into the world was the catalyst that helped me see my body in a whole new light. My body grew an entire human being, and I didn’t die when I pushed all nine pounds of him out. If that doesn’t make you appreciate your body, I don’t know what will
I’m not setting a weight loss goal for my 2019 resolutions because I don’t have to. For along time I felt like as an overweight person a desire to completely change my body was a requirement for new year’s resolutions. If you’re fat then naturally you should want to be skinny, and you should focus all your efforts on getting there. Yeah, no thanks.
When the people we love the most—the ones who have our best interests at heart—tell us something, we believe them. And all these things done and said over years and years of my life led me to believe one thing: I needed to change my body because there was something wrong with it.
I was always a big child, taller and bigger than everyone in my class by a pretty large margin. I was bullied and made fun of from the time I was in kindergarten up until I graduated from high school. I learned from a very young age that my body wasn’t as good as others, that I should do everything I could to become a smaller version of myself.
Here I am preaching (or planning to preach about) body positivity and loving yourself exactly the way you are, while at the same time actively trying to change my body. Does that make my message mean less? Am I going to seem disingenuous if I post transformation photos on my Instagram page in a few months?
How do you start something that has the power to change your life? To change other people’s lives? If it’s like anything else worth doing in life you close your eyes, say a prayer and jump into the unknown, hoping you’ll learn to fly or at least find a soft spot for landing.
Everything in my life, all the struggles and hard times, all the happy days and accomplishments, all the failures and tears have led me right here, to this point in life where I’m ready to share my story, to be vulnerable and open, and hopefully, make a positive impact on the world.
Body shaming is not okay. It's not okay to make fun of stars that will never hear (or even care about your opinions), it's not okay to hide behind the internet and make comments you would never say to someones face…