You guys, I’m going to talk about something today that I don’t think everyone wants to hear. Just the same, it’s been on my mind.
I’ve lost more than 43 lbs. over the past fourteen months, and I’m incredibly proud of this! I’ve eaten according to my meal plan; I’ve exercised more than I have in years. I’ve WORKED to make this happen.
And, there’s a big movement out there right now that says I shouldn’t be happy about this.
Whether it’s referred to as anti-diet, body positivity, or a nameless aggressive fight against diet culture, social media is swimming with it right now, especially in light of the new year’s holiday.
Realtalk: I find it exhausting.
I initially jumped on board with the movement when it was called “body positivity,” following as many ladies as I could who aligned behind this mission! Yes! I strive to be body positive, sign me up! And then, I saw influencer after influencer tell me that everything that I had worked so hard for was wrong. From the cheap seats, I gasped as they spewed reason after reason for why I was being “manipulated” by society and the billion dollar industry that promotes weight loss. Frankly, I’m a 42-year-old woman laying the groundwork to become a healthy 92-year-old in the next 50 years. How could something so positive for my health seem so negative, I ask.
I slowly unfollowed the movement, yet I’ve kept my eye on it – – because at its roots, I think this movement is full of people just like me wanting to love their bodies more than they have in the past.
I’m working every day to have a healthier relationship with this lovely body that serves me. One of my daily affirmations that I write says: I love every inch of my body. I feel beautiful in my own skin. I write that daily. I strive for body-positivity. I cast intentions stating the same.
I am not, however, the kind of “body positivity” that I’m seeing on the internet these days.
Let’s Be For Something, Against Nothing
It’s not lost on me that words carry a tremendous amount of power and influence.
Fifteen years ago, I came across The Secret when an ex recommended I watch the movie (which if you haven’t seen, I highly recommend – – it’s free on Netflix and available for rent on Amazon Prime Video). It dove deep into the law of attraction, describing how our thoughts and actions create our reality. I remember vividly one of the speakers saying that you give energy to things you don’t support when you speak against them. Example: By thinking “I hope I don’t have a car accident today,” you’re actually attracting accident energy. Instead the recommendation is “I will travel safe today” or “I arrived safely at my destination” will bring greater safety and security to your world.
I have to believe the same is true for those speaking out against dieters. It does absolutely nothing positive for the universe to hear dieting is wrong or diet culture is coming after your money. If you use the methodology shared above, it’s actually fueling it more! I mean, it inspired this post, afterall.
My Body, My Choice (Your Body, Your Choice)
To be clear, I fully believe everyone can choose whatever he/she wants for the body. Do you, boo. However, my eyebrows raise when I see posts saying “Don’t talk about your food guilt at my table” or “No diet talk on my Christmas dinner.”
Let’s be honest, most people that you run across these days have a food rule they follow. I know an increasingly large number of people who eat Keto, Gluten-Free, Vegan, or Dairy-Free. Let’s not leave out my favorite pescatarian, the red meat only friend, and my colleague that literally eats nothing green.
We live in a world where food is (mostly) delightfully accessible, and choice is king. As a child growing up in the 80s, I also struggled with most everything that was put on the table. Picky and stubborn, I was encouraged to finish whatever was on my plate. I honestly believe that made me more choosy as an adult when I was making the decisions of what I consumed, and I have to believe that this culture + 2019 accessibility makes us all a little choosier.
Going back to the statement that someone doesn’t want to hear about my food rules…
Would you ever tell a person with a dairy allergy sitting at your Thanksgiving table that you don’t want to hear a peep about their mashed potatoes having cream in them? You wouldn’t.
So, just to be clear – – some food rules are socially acceptable, some aren’t. Let me jot that down real quick.
I joined my weight loss program because I wanted to lose weight. Gasp! How controversial! I found that I was winded walking up stairs, my favorite pants were snug as heck, and I wanted to feel vibrant and energetic. 14 months later, I crush those stairs, I’m rocking those pants, and I feel amazing.
Just the same, I will never (ever) tell you that you should do what I’m doing. I love the program so so much; however, I’m not here to tell you to do anything. I’m here to share my experience and to allow you to have exposure to what the program could bring to your life.
Maybe We Should be Talking about Body Neutrality
If you break it down, associating your body with positivity or negativity is a little counterproductive. I mean, do we have to be so polarizing with our bodies??
If you’re anything like me, you listen to a variety of podcasts and find amazing nuggets of wisdom and every once in a while I get surprised by what I find. I listened to a Berning in Hell podcast a few weeks back (from host Hannah Berner from Summer House – – love her!) Her guest Chinae Alexander described that she is seeking BODY NEUTRALITY. I love how she describes her thoughts on body confidence:
“It’s bullshit to tell people to be positive about their bodies all the time. To be positive about our bodies all the time is impossible, and it sets us up for this bullshit shame cycle… With body neutrality, you wake up in the morning and say ‘I may feel good about my body; I may feel bad about my body. Either way, I’m trying to think less about my body.’
Do things in your life that elevate other parts of your life, not because it makes up for your body not being perfect. You only have so much energy in your day, you only have so much brain space. So if you fill yourself up with shit that make you feel good, things that make you feel confident, things that make you feel whole – – it will inevitably take up some of that brain space around obsessing about how you look. ” – Chinae Alexander from Berning in Hell
Can I get an AMEN??? How I plan to manifest body neutrality is that yes, I have a body, but it is neither good nor bad. I fuel it daily, and it carries me to all the beautiful places I get to see in this lifetime; it is capable of amazing things! Most powerfully, I’m not for or against my body: I respect my body.
Reminder: We’re all eternal works in progress
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your body. Be kind to others.
We’re all just here trying to do this little thing called life, y’all. Make 2020 your year in whatever way you wish – – make positive changes for your health (mental or physical) or just keep working the magic you’ve established long ago. Whatever works for you… do you, and enjoy every minute.
In the words of Taylor Swift: “I want to be defined by the things that I love. Not the things that I hate.” Pro-happiness shall eternally be my choice.