I guess because it’s summer time, we’re all wearing less and putting on bathing suits; I’m seeing a ton of posts about body positivity and embracing the squish. I am all for that and I think we need to see more posts like that but I don’t want us to get body positivity wrong. It’s trendy now to be like oh I’m body positive but then still hate your body for everything it isn’t. I can say this because I’ve spent the majority of my adult life hating my body and trying to make it smaller. I went on every fad diet there was hoping the next one would be the thing that would save me, that would make me feel worthy, that would help me fit in. On the surface it looks good, it looks as though I’m taking care of my body, something that is highly regarded in our culture. But internally I was abusing myself constantly. The measure of our health should not just a number on a scale but it should also include your mental status. Something we don’t talk about often enough is how we are feeling and what our mental health looks like. There is a huge stigma in our society around mental health. As long as you are fitting into the thin ideal that our society has, no one cares about how messed up you are on the inside.
For years I hated my body and I mean hated. I’m sad when I think back on just how much I loathed my thick legs and rolly belly. Even at my smallest, I still had thighs that touched and a roll in my stomach. I spent years of my life so distracted by how I looked and so focused on how to make myself smaller. What diet could I go on next, how could I work out more and all the while I was distracted by these things, I wasn’t fully able to do the work I was called to do. I wasn’t fully present in my own life. As Brene Brown says, I was hustling for my worthiness. Something I’ve learned over the last few years is that there is no weight limit on your worth. You can literally show up just as you are, no make up, hair a mess and your worth does not change. You can gain 30 lbs or lose 5 lbs and it does not change your worth because your worth is inherent.
Bopo has become pretty mainstream these days which means that we can get away from the root of the movement. The movement was started to help women in bigger bodies find a place to feel accepted. I think we get so focused on loving ourselves but I don’t think the opposite of body hate is body love. My sweet friend Amanda reminded me this week that it’s okay to not love every part of your body, you can just be neutral about it. The opposite of body hate isn’t body love, it’s actually body neutrality. And that’s where I am this summer. I’m going to wear shorts and tank tops and bathing suits. I don’t love my thighs or my back fat and that’s okay. This summer I’m trying to not feel any way about them. They are just there, kind of like my fingernails or eyelashes. I don’t spend hours of my day thinking about how my toes look and I shouldn’t spend hours of my day thinking about how my thighs looks either. I have been called to do important work and these thoughts don’t allow me to be fully present.
So I want to encourage this summer, put on your bathing suit or shorts or whatever and spend less time thinking about your body and more time thinking being present. Enjoying your kids at the pool, holding hands with your SO, walking confidently out in the world. I know I’m going to put on my super cute new bathing suit and think about my plans for world domination or how I’m going to grow my business and how I can bless the lives of others. Let me say it again in case you missed it the first time, your worth does not have a weight limit. You are allowed to exist in the world exactly how you are.
You are worthy and deeply loved,