Body Positivity: the lazy person’s excuse to stay fat?

Has anyone thought that the body positivity movement is all just a lazy person’s excuse to stay fat?

An unhealthy movement that encourages weight problems?

A fad that is trying to normalise obesity rather than tackle it?

 

I have an admission to make: I have thought all of those things. But please, bear with me …

 

For years, I have struggled with body image – never happy with the way I look, always on a mission to change something about my appearance. Always a little heavier than I want to be. Looking in the mirror and feeling shame. Wanting to reach a new goal. But I never thought the body positivity movement applied to me. I didn’t want it to apply to me because I didn’t want to label myself fat. Even though I felt it. And I thought that only overweight people needed to work on feeling good about their body. I felt bad about myself but I wasn’t included in the movement. I thought the body positivity movement was only for overweight people. Such a confused and contradictory view, huh! But you see, I think my negative view of #BoPo has been based on my negative view of myself.

 

I cannot be positive about myself because it will encourage me to be lazy.

I cannot be positive about my body because then my weight problems will become permanent. 

I cannot be positive about how I look because if I am happy, I will get stuck this way.

 

 

I realise my opening paragraph is pretty shocking. Judgemental. Naive. Rude. Short sighted.  Blind. I am a little afraid of posting it. But I don’t think that I am alone in feeling that way. I don’t think I am alone in feeling unhappy with my body and saying “I will be happy when …”. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling like I don’t want to be labelled fat even though I call myself fat all the time. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that body positivity doesn’t apply to me; I don’t deserve to feel good.

 

But here is something I have learned:

  • We all deserve to be happy.
  • Our weight should not deny us happiness.
  • We are all people; we are not numbers on a scale.
  • We all exist right now, in this moment, just as we are.
  • There is no difference in a person’s worth if they are underweight, a healthy weight or overweight.
  • You are allowed to like yourself right now. You don’t have to wait. Everyone is allowed that.
  • Judging an overweight person as lazy is naive.
  • Loving myself right now, does not mean I am committing to staying the same.

 

Thanks to some inspiring women (Style Me Sunday, Mother of Daughters, BodyPosiPanda), I started to realise that the way I viewed my body was pretty harmful to my overall wellbeing. I have cancelled nights out because of how I look. I have felt shame when I looked at myself. I have felt disgust when I see pictures. Those things are not healthy. They are not good for me. I shouldn’t carry all that negative feeling around with me. Do I really have to wait to be thinner before I truly like myself? Do I truly need to lose weight before I allow myself to be happy? Should I stay indoors and hide because my body is shameful?

I am starting to see that my mindset has been wrong. This has been bubbling along for a few months. I am having to work really hard on it but I am starting to like myself and love my body more and more.

Lately I’ve had a few light bulb moments …

Firstly, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a friends house for dinner. I was thinking about apologising for being fat. Or at least bringing it up so I could let them know I wasn’t planning on staying this way. I didn’t want them to think I was happy to be so overweight. Then I turned it around and thought about it from their view – if they did notice my weight gain, I am sure their feelings would be of sadness for me and everything I have been through. Concern maybe for the problems I have had. I don’t think they would see me as lazy, shameful or disgusting. I am sure they know that I will want to lose the weight. I am sure they don’t care – all they care about is that I am happy. I don’t need to bring it up. I don’t need to justify the way I look. I am here right now, just as I am and I deserve to have a good time. So I didn’t mention my weight. And neither did they. I focused on having the good time that I deserved to have and had a brilliant night.

 

Secondly, while completing my #1stepcloser challenge I have been aware of quite how much extra weight I am carrying. I am so frustrated with myself. I have never felt this way – sluggish and heavy. I want to hate myself for it. But, how can I? I am doing something amazing committing to raising money and running so much. I am doing this challenge for the little lives we lost. The lives that caused me to go through a hormonal roller coaster: a big part of the reason I am carrying extra weight. I am proud of what I am doing so it follows that I am proud of my body. It’s tough but I am doing it.

 

Lastly, my body carries the DNA of 5 more lives. My babies are wrapped up in the fibre of my being. They are where they will live; safe with me. How can I hate the body that made them and houses them?

 

 

Yes, I want to lose weight. I don’t feel comfortable at this size. I don’t feel healthy. Does that mean I need to hate who I am now? No way. Does body positivity mean that I am committing to staying the same? Absolutely not. But it means that I choose to like myself now, tomorrow and after. I can like myself now whilst working towards goals. I can be proud of what my body has achieved and what my body has been through without apologising for who I am. I am not lazy. Being overweight doesn’t mean I am – or others are – for that matter. I am just a woman, living her life and trying to be my best self. Trying to live my best life. I am still learning. Feel free to correct my thinking. This post is not meant to offend – it is more of an honest account of some views that I am pretty ashamed of (those first 3 points at the start of the post). But I have a feeling that I am not alone in thinking them and actually addressing those views has helped me start to love myself a lot more.

 

 

JakiJellz
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3 comments

  1. There’s a lot of body positivity posts going around at the moment and this is the first one I’ve seen that brings up this way of looking at it. I love your analysis and conclusion! Thanks for sharing it with #TriumphantTales. Do come back next week.

    Like

    • I was scared posting this because it is HONEST. Honest in a way I’m not proud of. But if I can challenge my views and change them, then maybe sharing them might help others see how body positivity is for everyone because we all deserve to love ourselves right now.

      And thinking of overweight people as lazy is just plain wrong.

      Like

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