Body Positivity – my thoughts

Since I’ve been researching links on this for a friend, I’ve been giving some thought to the movement and how I feel about it. I will say this (and hope I don’t get flamed all to hell) I have mixed feelings about it.

Allow me to clarify what I mean by ‘mixed’. I am 100% behind loving your body and your self and not trying to fit any mold or perception placed before you. But my issue with a lot of the sites and blogs I see about this is that they don’t emphasize being healthy as an important factor. You should definitely love yourself, but you shouldn’t use it as an excuse not to take care of yourself either.

If you weigh 75# soaking wet with rocks in your pockets and have a figure that goes straight from shoulders to feet with no curves and you are healthy and happy, then that is awesome and you are awesome, and I’m really really happy for you. If you weigh 75# soaking wet with rocks in your pockets and have a figure that goes straight from shoulders to feet  with no curves and it’s an unhealthy state for you, it’s terrible and I’m concerned for you.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

The same goes for muscular people, heavy people, short people, ANY people. If you are 300# and healthy, that is fantastic. If you are 300# and unhealthy, that is sad.

And that’s not to say that people with health problems or disabilities are not beautiful. It’s a matter of perspective. If you can’t walk, that doesn’t mean you are not just a gorgeous and amazing as someone who can. As I see it, what makes all the difference is what is the best state for YOU personally to be in? Are you taking good care of yourself? Are you happy? Is your body in a natural, comfortable place? Are you able to love yourself? Pursue the things you want in life?

As for myself:  I’m slightly over where my ‘ideal’ weight should be. I know this. I’m a size 16 on the bottom and a medium on top. I have always had a broad rib-cage, small bust, and wide hips. It gives me a slightly off-balance semi-hourglass (if the hour-glass was kinda thick in the middle…) At size 16, however, I feel more beautiful now than I ever did when I ranged from an 8 to a 10. I was never ‘slender’ but I was a little less soft and a little less muscular.

So why do I feel beautiful NOW when I didn’t then? Because I don’t have the constant little voices telling me I’m too fat, that I’d be ‘so pretty’ if I just lost that next 10#. I don’t have the well meaning but damaging ‘help’ of people still projecting what they want me to be onto my body. I have support and confidence. I also have muscle-tone. I can lift over 100# if I need to, and being that’s over half my body-weight, I feel pretty darned good about that.

Am I trying to loose weight? Well, yes – I want to be healthy and fit, but not because I think I’ll look better in a mini-skirt. And it’s not so much WEIGHT that I’m trying to lose, it’s just excess fat. If I weigh more when I’m done, but it’s mostly muscle mass, I’m good with that.

The key thing I’m trying to emphasize here is: I’m doing this for ME. Every journey to make peace with yourself is personal. Do what is right for you. I want to be able to dance all night without getting winded. I want to climb that rock-wall and not almost faint when I get back down. I want to be able to fling myself headlong into my life without my out-of-shape-ness slowing me down. Do I really care that much about how I’ll LOOK when all is said and done? I suppose some little vain bit of me does. But most of me just wants to get on with feeling good and enjoying my life, and this is how I do that.

So ladies and gents: PLEASE, do love your bodies. Please love every wrinkle, roll, bony hip, flat chest, heaving busom, wart, hair, and freckle. Just take care of yourselves and love that body from the surface all the way through. You’ll feel better inside and out, and it’ll show in all the gorgeous beauty you’ll radiate into the world. It’s not always easy, and sometimes it’ll be really damned hard, but you need to do it, and I’m rooting for you.

Take care of yourselves, folks. In the end, you’re all you have, and you’re the only you there is. Make it a good one 🙂

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