Even though I’ve been on my body acceptance journey for many years now, I still have days when I’m not digging the skin I’m in.
In the past, a challenging body day would easily turn into weeks, if not months. Like a dark cloud, it would loom over me contaminating my every action and interaction.
I’d hide from the world. Push away my boyfriend. And go into fix-it mode—that is, create a plan for changing my body.
Naturally, my plans backfired. They weren’t sustainable or pleasurable. They did more harm than good.
My Most Powerful Tool
These days, I have an extensive tool kit for navigating a challenging body day with greater ease, from doubling down on self-care, body kindness and gratitude, to repeating a supportive mantra, like “this too shall pass,” “I am enough” or “every ounce of me is sacred.”
One of my most powerful tools is remembering that I came into this world loving my body and that I was taught, without my consent, to see it as flawed (and fixable) by our pervasive diet culture.
As writer and activist Lindy West says:
“Fight to remember that you are living inside of a cruel, toxic system, and when you hate yourself for gaining five pounds it’s because a billion-dollar industry conditioned you to feel that way for profit.”
Reclaiming My Power
When negative feelings toward my body creep in, I remind myself that I can reclaim my power by understanding that my body is neutral and the only reason I feel bad about it is because I have been brainwashed to do so from a very young age.
I no longer blame myself for failing to shrink myself. Instead, I blame the systems of oppression that want me to believe my body is a problem to solve.
I now give the middle finger to our insidious diet culture that relentlessly tries to convince me that if I just played my cards right, I’d finally have a flat stomach, cellulite-free thighs and a small, perky butt—and thus finally be worthy, acceptable, happy and healthy.
I no longer stand for this oppressive BS.
I see clearly now that it’s our weight-stigmatizing culture that needs to change, not my body!
And that every single ounce of me is—and always will be—sacred.