What I Do When I'm Not Digging My Body...

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” 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.

Try this at the Grocery Store...

Do you embrace and celebrate diversity?

Many of us like to think we do.

Yet, when it comes to body sizes and shapes, it’s not uncommon to have a very limited view regarding what’s acceptable.

Our intolerance is fueled by the relentless “thin ideal” messaging we’re hammered with every day.

We’ve internalized these messages and convinced ourselves that a thin body is a good body, a healthy body, the right body.

If we’re unable to conform to the thin ideal, we believe both our body and our character are flawed.

We go searching for a plan, pill or potion that will shape-shift our body, ultimately erasing its uniqueness. Mistakenly, understandably and sadly, we believe doing so will increase our value and worth.

Wake Up to Reality

What if, instead of trying to change our bodies, we opened our eyes and minds?

What if we stepped outside the oppressive, toxic bubble that’s given us a very narrow view of what our body is supposed to look like and instead woke up to reality?

When you wake up to reality, you will see so very clearly that bodies come in an incredible range of shapes and sizes.


You will also quickly realize that about 99.9 percent of the bodies around you don’t look anything like the “perfect body” we’re conditioned to aspire to have.

We all have our own genetic blueprint. And fighting it is a waste of our time, money and life force.

Spend Time in a Crowded Place

To help you recognize and embrace body diversity, spend time people-watching in a crowded place, like a grocery store, shopping mall, park or airport.

Observe the myriad of bodies around you—without making any comparisons, judgments or assumptions. Simply witness how distinctively different each body is.

If you’re like me, you’ll soon be in awe of all the various forms your fellow human beings come in.

As you continue this practice, you’ll start to expand your definition of beauty to one that’s more authentic and inclusive, to one that’s based on your own direct experience and terms—and not the terms of an industry that profits greatly from you feeling bad about your body.

Eventually, you’ll change your expectations of your body, cultivate a more accepting attitude toward all bodies, and celebrate our divine diversity in all its many forms.