Are you one of those individuals that finds it hard to stay body positive when the world keeps giving you reasons to be negative? If you aren't, power to you! If you are, I struggle with it too so please don't feel like you're the only one. In this post, I am going to walk you through my journey to body positivity and give you some of the truths I have tried to include in my life and the lies I have tried to forgo.
WHAT IS BODY POSITIVITY?
First, let's go over what it means to be body positive and why we should all strive for this goal. If you are body positive, then you have a positive self-body image regardless of how society and popular culture views ideal shape, size, and appearance. We all deserve to have this healthy image of our body. This doesn't mean that you should let your body go and quit your group fitness membership or training plan. Exercising is healthy and good for you, in more ways than one. A positive body image is coming to terms with your body as it is right now, and knowing that yours is unique to you, so comparing to others is futile.
We are only worthy of love and attention if we are conventionally attractive (for men - strong and muscular, for women - toned and thin)
Losing fat/weight is the key to happiness
If you look "perfect" and fix all your flaws, then you will be happy and not feel vulnerable anymore
Everyone judges you for your body
You can control what people think of you
These are some of the biggest lies society can tell you or that you can tell yourself. Our body doesn't qualify or quantify us in any way. If someone judges the person you are based on your body type they aren't worthy of your attention or concern. We are all unique individuals and our heart/personality should hold more weight than our appearance. The one I personally struggle with the most is the part about being happy if I "fix all my flaws". Have you ever noticed that people who struggle with body image, especially females, all look completely different? That's because no matter how thin or lean you become, if you can't be happy with your body when it's less "perfect", then there will always be a sense of unrest and anxiety with your body image, even when it's more "perfect".
You are authentically and uniquely you
If you allow your body type to control they way you see yourself then you'll never be good enough
Your body does incredible things for you everyday (it carries you places, fights infection, if you're female - brought life into the world)
Your body type is probably someone else's goal
You are stronger than you know
You really DON'T know how other people see you
I get in trouble with my boyfriend a lot for tearing my body apart when I see myself in the mirror. It is something I have always struggled with and one past bad relationship years ago made it worse. He always tells me "if only you saw yourself the way I see you", which I will never be able to. However, as the days go by I am becoming more and more willing to accept my body as it is, and allow my disappointment to drive me towards becoming stronger and faster. Even those visible "beauty blemishes" tell stories of my life thus far; such as the callouses on my feet from years of distance running, or the scars around my knees from wiping out playing tag as a child. The point is, I am a work in progress and I have a daily battle with myself to be body positive, but it gets a little easier everyday.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
Hating your body is not a walk in the park; it's lonely, depressing, and painful. So why not listen to the truths instead of the lies? At least a journey towards body positivity has positive outcomes and isn't hurtful to you, it'll just be a challenge.