What does fat acceptance really mean? Does it mean loving our bodies every second? No not necessarily. It does however, mean getting to the point where we stop constantly berating ourselves for our weight and what we see in the mirror. We need to stop berating the way our thighs rub together when we walk, the way our belly juts out, or the way clothes fit on our bodies. That’s not to say this is easy however! It’s really, really hard. But it is so necessary because body hatred holds us back in so many ways.
I’ll give an example from my own life that happened just a few years ago. I was going on a trip to Hawaii and was not feeling “ready” to be in a warmer environment where more of my body was going to be on display (shorts, swimsuits, t-shirts, oh my!) It started a few weeks before the trip, when I realized I needed a swim suit for the trip. I decided I didn’t “deserve” a suit I really enjoyed so I went out and bought a suit I didn’t love. During the weeks prior to the trip I found instead of being excited, my thoughts all centered around my weight. Why hadn’t I lost weight before now? It was too late! How many workouts could I get in before we left? How was I going to plan workouts while on the trip? What would we be eating? Would I be able to eat “healthy” enough? How could I avoid the beach and stayed as covered up as possible?
Once we arrived in Hawaii, things didn’t improve. I felt stressed, uncomfortable, and constantly anxious about the next meal and next workout. The most profound moment for me occurred when I was sitting on the beach, reading but not enjoying the water, with my cover up draped over my stomach (to hide it of course). As I was sitting there, aside from feeling incredibly self conscious, I realized I’m not having any fun. I’m not having any fun. A simple thought, but one that was incredibly profound for me. I realized in that moment that my hatred of my body was keeping me from enjoying my life fully! Here I was on this wonderful trip and all I could think about was how I looked and was not enjoying the experience happening right in front of me. This really is why body acceptance is so important. We don’t necessarily have to love the way we look every second of the day, but when we are so caught up in self loathing, we stop ourselves from being fully present and experiencing our own lives.
Questions about body acceptance or anything else food/body related? Feel free to get in touch!