• When you work to accept your body, that does not mean that you're "giving up" on your body or being healthy....
  • It makes me sad that our society has this idea that to accept your body means to throw in the towel and not care about yourself. I find that offensive, not to mention grossly damaging to all of us. I understand why it exists, though, because without it, how or why would we spend billions of dollars on diets, beauty products and whatever else we're sold in an effort to become a supposedly better version of ourselves?
  • Here's the real truth, though: there's absolutely nothing passive about accepting your body. Because to truly accept your body means to be attuned to its ever-changing needs. You don't just figure out your body's needs one day and then, check!, mark that off the list.
  • Pretty much the opposite, actually.
  • Accepting your body means being in conversation with your body. And as in any relationship, that only really works when you're willing to listen on a deep and regular basis. To be responsive to changing needs. ... And it also means knowing that, of course, sometimes the conversation will be one-sided, or you won't talk for a while. ... {T}hat doesn't mean the relationship is over or that either of you failed -- just that it might be nice to pick back up again. This is not a relationship that's dependent on you or your body being, looking, feeling or acting any way other than what's true in this moment.
  • I have never ... taken better care of my body than I do now, after years of working with body acceptance, and hopefully plenty more (AKA the rest of my life) to go.
  • In my pre-body accepting days, I didn't care about what my body was telling me, what my body needed or anything except weight loss. That was the only thing I cared about AT ALL. So if my diet consisted solely of carrots and broth, and I wasn't getting any nutrients, and I couldn't sleep, and I was the crankiest cranker that ever did live, I didn't care. ... And goodness knows I truly couldn't have cared less about how I felt. I considered that a completely meaningless piece of information. ... ALL I cared about was knocking the number on that scale down another tenth of a pound.
  • But these days? I do care about how I feel. Quite a bit actually. I care that I do movement I enjoy, that gets my heart pumping sometimes and is as much for my mental health as my physical health. ... I never even knew how much better I could feel mentally and emotionally when I moved my body until body acceptance became part of my life, even in a tiny way, because up until then it had only been about discipline and "working off" times that "I was bad" and, you know, ate food. Was a human.
  • I also care about what I eat: that I eat a diversity of foods. And that I don't throw myself into the gutter when I don't. I care that I don't eat things that give me migraines, drain my energy or otherwise make me feel unwell. And that when I do eat something that doesn't make my body happy, I make a loving note; I don't decide that I might as well give up on trying to accept my body because clearly it's pointless since I messed it up so bad. I care that I don't become so obsessed with what I eat that I can't enjoy a piece of cake at a friend's party. I care that food can be what it is: nourishment, community, joy, sustenance. And not what it isn't: an arbiter of whether or not I'm a good person.
  • I believe body acceptance is about discerning and supporting yourself in what health means for you on an intimate, daily level. It is weight neutral, meaning that your weight just does what it does. Neither weight gain, weight loss nor weight stability are demonized or lionized. Because weight isn't the point. Feeling as good as is currently possible, living in your body, nourishing yourself in the way that is appropriate for you, prioritizing whatever gives you more mental and emotional freedom is. Whatever your weight does from there is up to it. No matter what happens to your weight, it is never something that you have to apologize for, justify or even talk about, ever.
  • For those of you who may be reading this and thinking, "Sure, that sounds fine for other people, but I still need to lose weight," I get it. I really do. What helps me when that thought pops up is this question: "What can I do to feel my best today?" Because even if I buy into the idea that I have to lose weight, my starting point for health can't be when the weight is gone (which, as research from things like Health at Every Size points out, is unlikely to happen and/or last when the sole focus is weight). The starting point is now, with how you feel and what you need today. Research from brilliant people like Drs. Brene Brown and Kristin Neff ... tells us that while we think what makes us into the people we want to be is buckling down, getting strict with ourselves, that the opposite is actually true. That the real root of the life we want starts with self-compassion. Which, conveniently, is also where body acceptance starts.
  • I believe this is also where lasting (meaning, the conversation never ends) body acceptance comes from. It's living in and loving the body you have, and not making either of those dependent on something as mutable (again: because we're humans) as a number on a scale.
  • Bodies change. Weight changes. That is the process called life that we're all in. So instead of a number, let the constant in your life be the sometimes lively, sometimes blah, sometimes mundane, sometimes transformative dialogue with yourself and your body.
  • Because nothing says "not giving up" like being willing to stay with yourself and be on your own side, applying kindness as often as possible.

From Curvy Yoga newsletter.

may 9 2016 ∞
may 9 2016 +