The most life changing thing I have learned in recent years that body acceptance begins in the mind, and not with your dress size.
If you don’t tackle the demons in your head when it comes to how you feel when you look in the mirror, you will never be happy no matter what size you are.
By viewing your body as more than just how it looks, and appreciating the amazing instrument it is and what it is capable of (healing, birthing new life, building strength etc) you can learn to give your body the love it deserves.
In todays modern digital age, bodies of all shapes are being celebrated. Online influencers share realistic photos of their bodies as they really are; wobbly bits, cellulite, uneven skin-tone, hair, exactly as it should be.
Growing up in a time of seeing nothing but airbrushed images or headlines shaming celebrities being anything but perfect, I can’t bleat on enough how important I think this body positivity movement is to the younger generation.
Bodies move, they fold, they get spots and rashes, they grow hair and make weird noises sometimes. It’s normal. And it’s good to see it being shown more online and in mainstream media.
So, this begs the question; can you be body positive and still want to lose weight?
My answer is yes, you definitely can.
As I previously stated; body positivity starts in the mind. If you have body image issues it will not matter what size you are. Just think how you feel when you look back on photos of yourself from ten years ago, even five years ago. How you wonder what you were worrying about.
I am currently the biggest I have ever been, including after giving birth, thanks to a mix of lockdown, depression and general self neglect. I’m working on changing that now, not just because I want to be slimmer but also because exercise and healthy eating really helps my mental health.
I’ve let myself go in every way possible over the last few years and I want to rectify that now.
I do want to be slimmer, yes, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I find I struggle with certain tasks due to carrying extra weight, I’ve also noticed my back pain has increased since being heavier. Plus exercise is harder and I have clothes that I love and want to wear again.
Once upon a time I would have said I wanted to lose weight purely to look hotter and because I wanted to look better in the clothes I like. Because of that I would’ve lived on a diet of cigarettes and red bull until my jeans were loose.
To me, I was only worthy if I was thin. I was only acceptable if I was thin.
It was negative, toxic and full of self loathing. It’s also a horrible way to feel about yourself.
While I want to lose weight, I am in no rush, and weight doesn’t rule my thoughts like it always had done.
Once upon a time I would have opted not to wear certain outfits because of weight gain, or would have avoided certain plans or events because of not liking how I looked, but I refuse to do that anymore.
I accept my body and love it as it is right now, for how it looks and feels. I also love how strong it is, what it does and what it is capable of.
Previously, I had been brainwashed by society into thinking a womans worth is based solely on her looks and size. It didn’t matter how clever, funny or interesting you were so long as you were hot and skinny.
I now know that my worth is so much more. It’s my strength, my intelligence and integrity. My worth is how good a mother or friend I am. How loyal and hard working I am. My worth is my ambition and my creativity, it’s my kindness and my selflessness.
Healthy eating and exercise has boosted my mental health beyond anything I ever could have imagined. Which feels amazing. Much more amazing than the miserable toxic mindset I had in my 20’s, when the only thing that mattered was my dress label size.
Even better, my hard work at self acceptance has boosted my confidence beyond anything I ever could have imagined too. I am much more at peace with who I am and what I look like.
Do I want to look good? Yeah I do, but I want to feel good and look good. Most importantly, I want to feel and look good FOR ME and me only.