I don’t want to live in this body!
This was my response to my therapist’s simple question “Can you accept your body as it is”
My body is a huge shame trigger for me. I love to hate my body!
Not surprising since most women are taught not to connect with their bodies & the expectations regarding what is a “normal female body” is unrealistic and not attainable.
I was shocked by my response. I immediately thought, but you preach Health At Every Size (HAES) & body acceptance/neutrality to your patients.
My mind then jumped to “that’s great for everyone else but not me!”
Why do I believe that, its because I’m subscribing to the weight stigma stereotype that living in a larger body means I’m lazy, awkward, sloppy, non-compliant, unintelligent, unsuccessful and lacking self-discipline and control.
All of which is not true about me but I fear others think this of me.
My negative attitude about my body has had many negative consequences. It has affected my mental health leading to anxiety, depression, low self confidence & disordered eating.
I know I’m not alone in these beliefs or struggles, I haven’t ’t met a woman who hasn’t.
We are taught to love to hate our bodies!
Our societal expectations of what a woman should look like are ridiculous!
Weight bias and stigma lead to unfair treatment of individuals in larger bodies every day.
Have you experienced any of these types of weight discrimination?
Verbal and emotional discrimination, when individuals are teased, insulted, made fun of or rejected by their friends, family and peers (e.g. weight-based bullying in schools and employment settings)
Physical discrimination, when individuals are assaulted or harassed because of their weight
Barriers in day-to-day life (e.g., lack of inclusive sizing in fashion, undersized chairs in public locations or lack of appropriate-sized medical equipment such as blood pressure cuffs and patient gowns)
Denial of access to healthcare (e.g. weight loss is suggested as the solution to every & all problems, refusal of surgical procedures until someone loses weight, higher insurance premiums)
No wonder I and most woman want to live in a smaller body.
We want to be accepted by society!
Ladies, we need to start talking about this. Shame thrives in isolation.
Brene Brown defines shame as the focus on self. Shame tells us we are a mistake.
WE ARE NOT A MISTAKE!
OUR BODIES ARE NOT A MISTAKE!
Let's stop hating our bodies and make peace with it.
What I know to be true is this:
To be healthy & happy we need to love the hell out of our bodies.
Our body size or weight is not equated to our worth.
Our body size or weight is not equated to our health.
Our bodies change, with every stage of life. We are not supposed to fit into our wedding dresses or the jeans we wore in high school our entire lives.
Our bodies are sacred, it has the power to create life.
Body Image & self esteem start in the mind, not the mirror
Our bodies tell our story.
There is no diet out there with sound research to prove it’s effectiveness long term.
The diet/wellness industry is preying on our insecurity and making billions, if it worked, they would be out of business. Don’t buy into it!
Weight cycling is more detrimental to our health then maintaining a larger body size.
The goal of a healthy lifestyle should never be weight loss.
Not a single elderly person I’ve cared for at end of life has said to me that they wished they were thinner, it’s quite the opposite they wish they didn’t worry so much about their appearance and just lived life.
The people who matter love us for who we are & honestly don’t notice our size.
Your body is beautiful, strong, adaptable, courageous, wise, enough & deserving of love & acceptance.
Let’s create a size inclusive society for our girls.
So, they don’t have to experience the heartache & tumultuous relationships we have had with our bodies & to unlearn loving to hate their bodies.
How do we do that?
We start by ..
Acknowledging our weight bias & weight stigma
Grieving the loss of achieving the ideal body we wanted to have
Having conversations with other women about our bodies
Not dieting ever again, it wont change how we feel about ourselves
Throwing out our scales
Getting curious about our thoughts, emotions & behaviors around our own bodies.
Knowing it’s ok to not want to accept our bodies right now and that the goal can be body neutrality or love
Accepting that it is a long process to undue all the conditioning that society has placed on the female body
Not equating our worth, value, success, beauty or health to our size.
Just think about how much more we can accomplish if we aren’t hating on our bodies!