Start Being Body Positive Today
In the spirit of full transparency, I am over this whole resolution thing. I’m sick of hearing about diets, new workout routines and seeing before and after pictures. I don’t want to talk about another detox or juice cleanse and could care less about the next lifestyle hack.
Since I’ve moved from focusing on my body to bettering my life, these messages are like nails on a chalk board. Plus, they just make me sad. I hate that so many men and women are at war with their bodies.
Instead of participating in body bashing, I go out of my way to tell my co-worker she is beautiful when she puts herself down. Encourage my girlfriend to buy a bigger pair of pants instead of consoling her about her body size. Lean into my own body discomfort, taking an inventory of my feelings and move on.
Since April 2017, I have made an effort to reduce stress, with the hope that my period would return. I work out a lot less, eat a lot more and try to be kinder to myself. Through this process, my body and mind have gone through a lot of changes.
I’ve gained some weight, lost muscle and replaced some smooth skin with cellulite and stretch marks. A lot of my clothes don’t fit. I’ve had to replace work pants, jeans, sweaters and leggings. I got rid of nice dresses, down vests and blouses.
Though this transition has not been easy, it has been worth it. I look at myself and see a totally different person looking back. Most of the time, I feel good about the changes and find strength in the progress I've made. Other times, I mourn my old life and body.
All of this to say, I don’t always practice what I preach. I am much nicer to my friends then I am to myself. If my pants are tighter than they once were, I struggle to rebound from the shame I feel deep inside. When I try on clothes and notice a new stretch mark or patch of cellulite, my mind moves to diets or workouts.
I know overtime, my internal chatter will change. It's soften a lot already. Instead of jumping back on the wagon, I shake it off and try to move on. But those thoughts still pop up. Especially now, as everyone around me seems to be on a diet or going through a ‘lifestyle change’.
And trust me , I get it. In years past, I was all abroad the resolution train. I hid my whims in goals, tied to physical achievements. Things like, qualify for Boston, get top 10 in the Hyde Park Blast, complete a Whole30, the list goes on and on.
I would indulge in body focused conversations, planning my next Whole30 or clean eating challenge. I was eager for a new year, fresh start and renewed energy. I lived for physical goals that pushed my body to the brink, This year, I’m so over it and it's ok if you are tired of fighting your body, too.
Join me in honoring bodies by changing the conversation. Try your best to change the conversation by moving away from diet talk.
Listen to your body. Eat when you're hungry. Sleep when you're tired. Drink when you are thirsty. Move in a way that feels good.
Reduce stress by choosing habits that honor your body. This means choosing activities that don't overtax your system.
Be kind to yourself and others.
Self-esteem matters but don’t tear yourself down to build yourself up. You are enough, right now.