Lately, I’ve put on weight. I know it without a scale. And frequently, I’ve been feeling upset about that fact. But here’s the thing: I’m still me. I’m still smart and creative and pretty and good with animals. None of the important things about me change with my weight.
I was very nervous about being in just a bikini top and skintight leggings while hiking and swimming with Lucy this week, but it was also such a great experience.
Even while at the beach, even when I looked through the adorable photos Lucy took of me in my bikini, I had twinges of anxiety. Too many years of disordered thoughts have made my mind all cobwebby. I’m still working on clearing them out to let the sunshine in, but this day trip was a good step forward.
Great article about runner Julie Creffield:“Despite my size 18 frame I am a runner,” she wrote on the Huffington Post. “I have in fact been a runner for the last ten years running everything from 5k fun runs to full marathons. I run because I love the feeling of running, I love the community of runners where I have made many friends, but I admit I also run to keep control of my weight, and to help me lead a healthier and happier life.”She has recently launched the website Too Fat To Run which will provide first-time runners with the resources, including safety tips, to make their dreams a reality. The site will also sell merchandise, because, you know, you got to keep the lights on. Actually, one of the coolest things “Too Fat To Run” is doing, merch-wise, is selling runners apparel that provides a range of sizes for plus-sizers (most fitness wear does not clothe women past a size 16 or 18). The idea is to be able to make this business profitable enough to make “stylish, sexy, technical apparel” for plus-sized athletes."What we need are practical solutions where women feel empowered to be more active and where exercise is seen as something enjoyable and fun rather than a chore and something we must do."
1. Saying Things Like, “She Would Be So Pretty If…”
Have you ever uttered anything along the lines of, “But she has such a gorgeous face” or “She would be more beautiful if she put on a few pounds?” You are limiting your idea of beauty to a cultural stereotype. Beauty is not conditional. If you can’t say anything nice, maybe it’s time to learn how.
2. Judging Other People’s Clothes
While it’s fine for you to choose clothes any way you want, nobody else is required to adhere to your style.The person wearing that outfit is, in fact, pulling it off, even if you think she’s too flat chested, big chested, short, tall, fat or thin. And fat people don’t have to confine themselves to dark colors and vertical stripes, no matter who prefers it. And spandex? It’s a right, not a privilege.
3. Making It an ‘Us vs. Them’ Thing
The phrase “Real Women Have Curves” is highly problematic. Developed as a response to the tremendous body shaming that fat women face, it still amounts to doing the same thing in the opposite direction. The road to high self-esteem is probably not paved with hypocrisy. Equally problematic is the phrase “boyish figure” as if a lack of curves makes us somehow less womanly. The idea that there is only so much beauty, only so much self-esteem to go around is a lie. Real women come in all shapes and sizes, no curves required.
4. Avoiding the Word “Fat”
Dancing around the word fat is an insinuation that it’s so horrible that it can’t even be said. The only thing worse than calling fat people “big boned” or “fluffy” is using euphemisms that suggest body size indicates the state of our health or whether we take care of ourselves. As part of a resolution to end body shaming, try nixing phrases like “she looks healthy,” or “she looks like she is taking care of herself,” and “she looks like she is starving” when what you actually mean is a woman is thin.
5. Making Up Body Parts
We could all lead very full lives if we never heard the words cankles, muffin top, apple shaped, pear shaped or apple butt ever again. We are not food.
6. Congratulating People for Losing Weight
You don’t know a person’s circumstances. Maybe she lost weight because of an illness. You also don’t know if she’ll gain the weight back (about 95 percent of people do), in which case earlier praise might feel like criticism. If someone points out that a person has lost weight, consider adding something like, “You’ve always been beautiful. I’m happy if you are happy.” But if a person doesn’t mention her weight loss, then you shouldn’t mention it either. Think of something else you can compliment.
7. Using Pretend Compliments
“You’re really brave to wear that.” By the way, wearing a sleeveless top or bikini does not take bravery. “You’re not fat, you’re beautiful.” These things are not mutually exclusive — a person can be fat and beautiful. “You can afford to eat that, you’re thin.” You don’t know if someone has an eating disorder or something else; there is no need to comment on someone’s body or food intake. “You’re not that fat” or “You’re not fat, you workout,” need to be struck from your vocabulary. Suggesting that looking fat is a bad thing is also insulting, so also out the door are, “Does this make me look fat?” and “I look so fat!” when you are a size 2.
8. Thinking of Women as Baby-Making Machines
One of my readers mentioned that her gynecologist called her “good breeding stock.” Also awful: “baby making hips.” Worst of all is when people ask fat people when they are due. As has famously been said, unless you can see the baby crowning, do not assume that someone is pregnant.
9. Sticking Your Nose in Other People’s Exercise Routines
A subtle form of body shaming occurs when people make assumptions or suggestions about someone’s exercise habits based on their size. Don’t ask a fat person, “Have you tried walking?” Don’t tell a thin person, “You must spend all day in the gym.” I have had people at the gym congratulate me for starting a workout program when, in fact, I started working out at age 12 and never stopped. I had a thin friend who started a weight-lifting program and someone said to her, “Be careful, you don’t want to bulk up.” How about not completely over-stepping your boundaries and being rude and inappropriate?
10. Playing Dietitian
If you have no idea how much a person eats or exercises, you shouldn’t tell her to eat less and move more or suggest she put more meat on her bones. (Even if you do know what she eats, don’t do it). How do you know she’s looking for nutritional advice from you or the newest weight-loss tip you saw on Dr. Oz?
(taken from http://www.ivillage.com/guilty-15-ways-we-body-shame-without-knowing)
The song is going to come with me on my recovery journey. I was crying 20 seconds in because it gives me a lot of hope. I want to dedicate it to anyone who struggles with self-acceptance.
So beautiful. Please don’t only listen, but watch the video. I’d love it if every single one of my readers took a couple minutes to watch this and really take it to heart.