When I asked my tribe “What do you want me to write more about about in 2016?” I received requests for more personal stories. The universe must have known I needed to share more stories because within a few hours of receiving these requests I welcomed 2016 by popping a button on my jeans.
And while I kinda knew this day was coming. It really was only a matter of time before my body got the ‘hint’ that to continue on its path to freedom it needed a little extra wriggle room. Side note: Though these were my favourite jeans that would never stop me these days from feeling the ‘need’ to morph or manipulate my body. Hell no!
I want this story to highlight how doing this work I call ‘body acceptance work’ eventually pays off BIG bloody time.
I know it’s easy to get bogged down with how hard it all is, to feel paralysed by fear, to believe that you could ‘NEVER’ like your body as it is today and to feel like doing anything but controlling your weight will make you fat/ keep you fat…..BUT on the other side of all of this is a life where your body is no ‘big deal’. And in my opinion that is TOTALLY worth fighting for.
….You can pop a button on your jeans and simply go out and find a new pair of jeans
….You can acknowledge that your yoga pants are getting a bit tight around the hips, toss them to the side and get on with life
….You can decide to end the battle with squeezing yourself into your favourite dress, give it away and look forward to buying a new one
….You can say goodbye to those clothes that ‘you’re waiting on the weight’ to wear again and feel completely ‘ok’ about getting rid of them
Because at the end of the day there are always two choices when it comes to body acceptance: Practice or Pander.
….You can start accepting your body by deciding that now is as good a time as any to start taking action towards feeling free, nourished, relaxed, sexy, beautiful etc. You can choose to wear a bikini, exercise in shorts, have sex, approach men, wear a tight dress, wear fitted jeans.
….You can play into oppressive beliefs that your body must look a certain way or ‘else’. That being ‘thin’ is what it is means to be beautiful, attractive, successful, sporty, popular etc. You can choose to believe that your strengths, attributes, unique gifts don’t ‘mater’- it’s your body that’s ultimately what’s going to determine your value within society.
Popping a button on my jeans presented me with these exact two choices: Practice or Pander.
I could have felt DEVASTATED.
I could have BELIEVED that the size of my clothing is a barometer for how ‘worthy, beautiful, loveable etc’ I am.
I could have PERSISTED and had the jeans fixed, continuing to squeeze into them albeit how comfortable I actually felt– which would be beside the point. Because if fitting into those jeans was a sign of my self worth, it wouldn’t matter how hard it was to get the button done up, how much effort was needed to pull those babies over my backside, how long it took to wiggle my limbs into that skin tight demin.
I could have BELIEVED that fitting into those jeans is my badge of ‘self worth’ honour (i.e. if I fit into them then only then do I get to feel attractive, beautiful, worthy of attention/ love/ sex/ intimacy etc).
I could have BELIEVED that I’m not ‘healthy’ at this size. That the button popping on my jeans is a sign that I’m ‘fat’…ultimately leading me into thinking that the only way to feel the reverse of this (‘thin’) would be to control and manipulate my body through dieting.
…..BUT today, like every day I try my very best to practice self compassion and self acceptance.
I understand and am educated around the fact that our weight changes. Weight is a complex construct influenced by a gamet of factors out of our control in the long run. See here for more on this.
I take a stand for my worth being more than my weight. Fitting into certain clothing doesn’t ever say anything about me as a person. It denies my strengths, passions, purpose, qualities etc and riddles my worth to my weight. Hell no.
My life continues regardless of whether I fit into clothing or not. The pain will subside, as will shame, fear etc. I choose to see nothing more fearful than prioritising my weight over my sanity.
Health is not EVER measured by the size of your clothing. I passionately believe that health is a sum of emotional, physical and spiritual factors, far exceeding the status of a number on a tag of a piece of clothing. “Lose hate not weight”- Virgie Tovar
At the end of the day no one actually cares about my weight like I do. Despite my weight fluctuations I have always been loved by my loved ones. Always. Furthermore I have never ‘ditched’ or would ever ‘ditch’ a friend because of their weight.
The best advice I can give you is to prioritise your health over your weight. See here for more. Ask yourself and really challenge your objections to these questions:
– If I liked myself and my life more would my clothing size be an issue?
– Is focusing on the size of my clothing helping me to create healthful behaviours around food?
– What do I feel I intuitively need to do to feel better about myself?
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