I did a little unofficial Facebook experiment the other day... Over the course of a couple days, I posted two articles on body shaming that actually promote body acceptance and a couple personal posts about an experience at the gym and signing up for a 10k. Guess which posts got more "likes?" Yep, the fitness and exercise posts. Did I get that attention because I'm being active?
As a society, we talk about how we should all love our bodies but we don't make actions that align with that belief. We falsely believe that if we eat "clean," have a thigh gap, and a bikini bridge, that that somehow makes us immune to struggles and that we are somehow worth more.
PLEASE NOTE- I am NOT advocating that we sit on our asses and stuff our faces with food. But let's be mindful of what we eat and even our exercise. Anything to excess is dangerous. Ask my anorexic client that began eating clean and slowly eliminated just about everything from her diet to the point that at 5'7" she weighed 76 pounds. Just as dangerous as someone that is extremely overweight and is bedridden as a result.
Eating disorders are not a black and white thing. It's not someone that isn't eating anything at all or someone just compensating for what they ate. Just like people, eating disorders (or disordered eating) come in all shapes and sizes.
I promise you are still worthy of love and belonging regardless of the fact that you might have a flat stomach or a flabby one!
My social media feed is FULL of descriptions of everyone's meals and how much they exercised that day. I know I am overly critical and sensitive to these type of posts because I sit with women daily who tell me how worthless they feel because they work or have children and can't go to OrangeTheory or CrossFit that day and post their results of their workout online. Healthy striving is one thing, perfection on the other hand is unattainable.
I honestly feel helpless at times at my job because of what society is telling me and my clients. All I'm asking is that we think about what we post... Does everyone need to see how amazing your ass looks hanging out of shorts?
I am well aware that there is no right answer here. We need to encourage each other, especially as women and life each other up instead of tearing each other down.
I spoke to one of my best friends the other day who is raising 3 girls and she is terrified for them. My friend is naturally thin and she was teased for that while growing up! I see comments and hear comments that someone needs to "eat a damn cheeseburger" or "go to the gym." It's ALL shaming. When we tell our friends while we are out "that girls needs to eat something, she's probably anorexic." Think about that. We literally just called that person a disease, a disease that has the highest mortality rate of ALL mental illnesses! It would be like calling someone heart diesease. And it goes both ways!
I'm certainly guilty of making and thinking comments like that, of strangers, friends and myself. What I notice, is that when I do it, I'm aware that I'm struggling with myself and my own body image acceptance/issues when I find myself thinking or making those comments.
I wish there was an easy answer to this. But there isn't. I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is.... You are worth it. Yes you, reading this who has done or experienced unthinkable things... You are worth it. You are enough. You are with it. You deserve love. You deserve to belong. You are not defined by what you eat preheat your body looks like. We are our own harshest judges and critics. So I wonder what would happen if we started accepting our flaws and imperfections... How would that translate to our interactions with others?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. This was an impulsive post based on something I saw on IG which resulted in a discussion with one of my "tribe" members. Therefore, it's not fully thought it before you misread this or project on me.
Repeat after me... I am enough. I am worthy. I am worth it.