Have you noticed? The Body Positive Movement is going strong! I actually have a number of friends who are exclusively Body Positive Photographers or Life Coaches who focus their practice on nurturing a healthy body image . . . it's awesome!
Here's what's curious though: All this body positivity has a weird side to it. I know, I know . . . but hear me out.
Last year around this time I decided I was going to host a Life Coaching + Photography retreat in Mexico. I was so excited and totally flipped out about it all at the same time. And I managed to pull it off successfully - which was no small feat! In fact, during the last six months of planning I think I ate my way through every stressful thought, $$ deposit and freak out that no one was going to show up. All of which was evident the night before we left when the suitcase wouldn't fit on the scale and I had the brilliant thought of weighing myself first (which I hadn't done in months), and then weighing myself + suitcase to figure out the difference.
The scale read 170 lbs.
At this point my inner voice yelled "That's a DAMN LIE!" And I chose to believe that it was a lie even though I had to buy a bunch of new clothes for my trip because none of what I had fit, and I was not in fact feeling like a picture of perfect health. (As a point of reference - the place where I feel healthiest is somewhere between 145 & 150 lbs.)
Turns out it was the truth, and at 170 lbs I was weighing in at heavier than I've ever been in my life (by a lot!) other than when I was pregnant. About a month ago I looked at the health app on my phone which kindly showed me I'd walked 542 steps that day. In that moment I knew that I needed to up my game in order to feel better and wear some of my favorite summer clothes. Game On!
Here's where the weird part comes in. Y'all I cannot have this conversation with anyone except my boyfriend and maybe my sister - without someone saying "Oh Please . . . don't hate on your body!". Or "You don't need to lose weight!" Or "You look GREAT!"
So to be clear: I actually love my body. I know I look good for 47. I have had two successful pregnancies & two healthy kids. I don't have any long-term illnesses or injuries. I am beyond grateful for all of this.
AND (And!) . . .
I know when I weigh too much. When I don't feel good about myself (even while feeling grateful for all the things above). When my clothes don't fit and I struggle to find things to wear to work. It lands me in a place that is dark and gloomy.
I recently finished Girl Wash Your Face, and the message on the last page really stuck with me: This is my life, and I get to choose how it's going to be. Like #nowstyle (as my older son likes to say).
Since that 542 step day I have switched things up:
I'm averaging over 10,000 steps a day. The way I look at it if I'm moving, it can only have a positive effect. And guess what? I'm losing a little bit of weight, and I feel so much better physically & mentally . . . I'm motivated to keep going.
None of this is a surprise - studies show that being active will give you more energy and improve your mood - I can vouch for this first hand.
And as a gentle reminder: If someone who "looks" tall and thin (and who by your estimation isn't a candidate for weight loss), is working on exercising more and being healthier/stronger? You may want to check yourself before you say something, because you never know the whole story.
Don't judge me because I'm thinner than you. It's my body & I know it best.
You do you, and I'll do me.
In good health,
p.s. I'd love to hear your thoughts - send me a note or leave a comment below!
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