Sometimes there’s a ton of negative body talk going around and it’s hard to get away from. I’ve heard it at the gym, at school, while hanging out with friends–I’ve heard it almost everywhere. There is going to be that one person who says they feel “guilty and fat” after eating a piece of white bread. There is going to be the one girl whose goal at the gym is to “not be the fattest bridesmaid”. There is going to be someone who makes a comment about sticking their fingers down their throat after a meal. If someone mentions that their arms are just so flabby it turns into this weird social shit show where each person now has to mention something they don’t like about themselves and I’m thinking “well damn I’m dragged into this just by standing here and now I gotta say something negative about myself–I knew I should’ve stayed home why do I even go out”.
Zero shade for these people because I’m totally guilty at times of negative body talk, whether I’m saying it to other people about myself from social pressures or simply saying it to myself because it is “one of those days”. BUT WHY THO??????? Why are we always talking shit about our bodies? Most of us (if not all) have experienced body image issues at one point or another. It is sad that that is our norm. It is sad that we can all stand around in a social circle and complain about the parts of our bodies we don’t like about ourselves and call it “girl talk”. (Guys can experience body image issues too, of course). But we sure as hell don’t come out of the womb hating our bodies! It’s something we are socially conditioned into.
We live in a society that profits off our insecurities and bombards us with images that scream smaller bodies are better bodies just to sell a hella narrow standard of beauty. At a young age, we become so critical of ourselves when we don’t have the bodies we’re so used to seeing on television, movies, or magazines. Because of this, many of us conclude that losing weight would make us look better, therefore feel better about ourselves. Losing weight was the key to our happiness and would unlock the door to a “perfect life”. There is an immense amount of pressure to chase thinness and you could imagine the lengths people go through in order to achieve this so called “perfect life”. On this journey to a surefire perfect life, some of us may start to restrict our eating too much or over-excercise, which may lead to an unhealthy obsession with our weight and disordered eating habits.
Of course, you aren’t bad for ever wanting to lose weight and I still think you can be body positive while trying to achieve that goal. You aren’t “selling out” of the body positive moment if you have the desire to drop pounds BUT you can do it without all the toxic negative body talk. You can do it without hating and punishing yourself. I’ve probably said this before, but loving yourself first is really half the battle. There is nothing NOT body positive about eating healthy and feeling good about it but there is something not-so-body-positive about hating yourself the entire day for eating one cookie.
So why am I even bringing this up?
Because I know people trying to lose weight.
Because I know the struggle of trying to lose weight and staying body positive.
Because it is so easy to say negative things about yourself when other people around you do the same shit.
Because I have a friend who has body dysmorphia and the more she worries about how she looks, the more life passes her by.
Because I have a friend that did sit-ups or jumping jacks after every time she ate and I brushed it off as “she is just really into fitness” but years later I found out she was battling anorexia.
Because I remember missing moments I probably would’ve enjoyed but refused because I would only do it if I lost X amount of pounds.
Because I remember being 12 and hating myself.
Because I remember being 15 and afraid to eat in front of anybody I didn’t know.
Because body image issues and eating disorders sometimes go hand in hand.
Losing weight does not make you less body positive, but it shouldn’t take over your entire life to the point you can’t enjoy it anymore. There is a difference between discipline and punishment when it comes to you and your body.
I don’t want anyone to ever see a piece of bread and see 200 situps. I don’t want anyone to see their bodies as ugly because it isn’t in a fashion or fitness magazine. It takes a lot of self acceptance. It takes a lot of love. Sometimes it even takes therapy. Mental health is still health and that should come before anything.
Good luck on your journey and be good to yourself.