Body Love, Body Shaming, and Weight Loss

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Body love and body shaming are such a hot topic in the media.

Have you seen the “Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body,” memes and videos?

Women all over the world are standing up and saying YES to loving the skin they are in.

We are beautiful and worthy of love, especially our OWN love, simply because we are alive.

We don’t need to be different than the way we are right now in this moment, in order to be deserving of our own acceptance and honor.

It really is beautiful, isn’t it? And I feel blessed to be alive in this time to witness it.

Yet with this body love movement, I sometimes see posts or articles that feel like a bit of the opposite emotion of love.

Some discussions feel like rebellion.

There’s a difference energetically between loving the skin you’re in and celebrating this amazing body that allows you to get out into the world and experience life fully… vs… rebelling against people (including ourselves) telling us we are supposed to look a certain way in order to be beautiful.

A part of me wonders, are we throwing the baby out with the bathwater?

Self-love is the First Step, Not the Last

It’s amazing that we women are finally allowing ourselves to love our imperfectly perfectness and our bodies at every size.

Giving myself permission to love myself unconditionally was certainly a turning point in my own body-image journey.

But it occurred to me that in some cases, we might be ignoring a really important piece of the self-love equation: health.

True, internal health.

Could the body-love and acceptance movement, and in some cases, rebellion against society blasting us with a message that we need to look a certain way in order to be beautiful, be causing us to forget that nourishing our body and supporting it to optimal health is actually the name of the game?

Because at the end of the day, it’s not really about what the scale says, what size jeans we wear, or what we look like in a bikini but how well our body functions as a system.

When I work with clients, this is the mindset shift that we make. This shift in perception is the foundation that sets the stage for long-term sustainable health and vitality.

Nourishing our body with whole foods and tons of nutrients and moving our body in ways that challenge us and/or feel really good are things we GET to do, not things we HAVE to do.

Loving the skin we are in is the first step. But it’s not the last.

It’s the catalyst that wakes us up to what is REALLY important… living a full life where we get to experience everything that our heart desires.

Our body is this amazing machine — a vessel — that allows us to do exactly that.

In order to fully experience all that life has to offer, we need to support our body in thriving.

So we can travel, and walk up a set of stairs or through the airport without getting winded. Or lift our kids up without throwing our back out. Or hike or swim or snowboard or dance or do those things that are individually meaningful to us.

I think that sometimes the mixed message within the body-love movement is that is it wrong to have any sort of physical or weight loss goal.

Because to want to change our body means that we aren’t accepting of ourselves.

I truly believe that life is all about expansion and becoming a fuller, more empowered version of ourselves.

And sometimes part of what is fun is to challenge ourselves physically so we can go do things we previously couldn’t.

Not so that we can reach a number on the scale or the waist band of our pants, or “measure up” to the woman on the cover of a magazine, but because it feels good to physically feel good!

I wonder, are we still body shaming, just in different ways?

Now, instead of shaming ourselves for NOT being “thin enough” we are instead unconsciously shaming ourselves for desiring to transform our body in some way.

I’m not saying EVERYONE is doing this. I just wonder if there is a hint of that, in the background.

What if instead of a rebellion against body-shaming, we gave ourselves permission to ROCK our dream body by whatever definition of that term suits us, at any particular stage of our life.

What if we allowed ourselves to move toward any physical goals from a mindset of self-love and self-discovery vs “not good enoughness”?

This the game-changer. Because I believe it’s not wrong to have desires to improve ourselves, physically, emotionally, frankly, in any way that feels inspiring!

I am completely transparent about the fact that even as a Health and Lifestyle Coach, I am constantly excited to become an even healthier, more energetic, clear-minded and connected version of myself.

I am constantly finding new things that feel fun to hone in on or move toward and discover about myself, and sometimes that means transforming my physical body in some way.

I don’t believe that desiring to change ourselves, even physically, means we are bad, unworthy of love, or broken. And if we try to change ourselves and struggle, that doesn’t mean we’re broken either.

We are not broken, many of us are just disconnected and confused.

The human body is an amazing machine. It knows how to bring about homeostasis and health.

But we block it. With emotional and physical stress. With our beliefs and behaviors. With our rebellion, anger, fear, shame, overwhelment, sadness and any other negative emotion.

The more we can set ourselves free, the more our body will work WITH us and not against us.

So what if we embrace the body-love movement from a mindset honoring ourselves right now on our way to whatever health or physical goals we want to achieve?

What if the goal is to soak up all the juice that life has to offer at greater and greater levels? And if weight loss becomes a part of that unfolding, so be it. It’s not the main goal, it actually becomes a side-effect of an even bigger goal.

I truly believe that the solution to helping people live longer, feel better, and shine bright is a combination of nourishment both related to our thoughts and how we talk to ourselves, as well as, the food we choose to eat and the ways in which we choose to move our bodies.

It’s a 360 degree approach that leads not only to peace and acceptance in this moment, but also a truly fun, satisfying, and energetic life.

What’s your stance on the body-love movement? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below?

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