I frequently get asked what the key to success is for being “body positive”.
The advice I normally have is to start by taking a step back from the word “positive”. Positive is an extreme word that might feel impossible to someone who is at the opposite end of that spectrum. Regardless of our varying shapes and sizes, we will all be able to find physical flaw with ourselves. It’s human nature. That’s why “body positivity” has always been a slightly misleading phrase for me.
I’m going to be honest. I don’t love my physical body every day. ⠀
Every day I love my soul. Every day I love my spirit, and my heart, my tenacity and my purpose and my true self and here’s my secret:⠀
I’m a big believer in feeling all the things and respecting emotion. “Positive” isn’t always a choice and there are plenty of days when I don’t feel body positive (maybe even more often than not). However, EVERY day I do the work. EVERY day I unpack how I’m feeling and WHY, and by the end of those days- I usually at least come to a place of body neutrality.
For me, neutrality felt more attainable. It felt like the first step.
What is body neutrality? It is acknowledging that your body is good and capable and miraculous and no matter who you are or what path your on- has gotten you through some shit. And above all, no matter what it looks like, it holds a beautiful and powerful person. It carries a soul through it’s life journey and what it looks like or how big or small it is is completely irrelevant.⠀
Read it again:
What. It. Looks. Like. Is. Irrelevant.
To me, believing THAT is being body neutral. Knowing that at end of the day, even if you are struggling to love it, your body’s appearance isn’t something you owe to anyone else, is being body neutral. It’s also why I started the #herbodycan movement where I encourage women to post a photo and list all the incredible thing their body has DONE. When you love your true self, unconditionally, honoring and accepting a body that holds the person you adore becomes much, much easier.
Maybe the kids in middle school called you fat. Maybe your grandfather commented on your weight every time he saw you. Maybe all you ever saw growing up was a mother obsessed with her body size. Maybe your college boyfriend made jokes about your thunder thighs and love handles.
Maybe the body shame you’ve been carrying has a perfectly valid reason to be there… but. I have good news.
All that is gone and over and you’re allowed to heal now, sister. Starting treating your body like it’s holding the little girl, the adolescent, and the woman who was worthy of respect and adoration all along.
I encourage you to visit the feature page @herbodycan / browse the hashtag, and feel the strength that comes from linking arms with other strong women all over the world.⠀