So I read something on Facebook the other day that really ticked me off. It was a post about how the “body acceptance movement” is not healthy for our children, or anyone’s health in general. Then, the very next day in fact, I took my 9 year old for her well visit at the pediatrician, and was told that her BMI was a bit too high and we needed to keep an eye on it. Luckily she wasn’t paying attention and doesn’t know what that even means. Momma was pissed. You see, little gal is an athletic build like her momma. I have always weighed more than I look. In fact, when I was younger it was a fun game to have people guess my weight, and they were always wrong, guessing much lower than the actual number.
My anger came from that instinctual place of protection: She eats healthy, does enjoy treats without guilt and she gets exercise. I teach her to love herself and not compare herself to anyone else. The BMI chart can kiss my grits.
Body acceptance does not mean being ok with being unhealthy. In fact, when you love and accept yourself, you put your health first. You learn to trust your intuition, as well as your hunger. You also accept others the way they are. When you take care of yourself in this way, you choose relationships that are nurturing, not destructive.
Body & Self Acceptance looks like this:
- EATING WELL: No dieting. Eat 3 main meals, snacks if you are hungry. Listen to your body’s hunger signals. Drink water. Enjoy treats without feeling guilty.
- EXERCISE: Be active each day. Call it “playtime” instead of exercise. Put that on your to-do list and you are sure to get it in!
- STOP COMPARING: Put down the lingerie catalog and stop comparing any of your body parts to any of those models’ –
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN YOUR OWN UNIQUE WAY.
Besides, you are not airbrushed or do you spend 3 hours in hair and makeup each morning.
- SPEAK POSITIVELY: Take a minute each morning to look in the mirror, right into your eyes and say something nice. Be sincere and each day do not go on with your day without doing this. In fact, when you hit a moment where you are feeling down, make sure to talk to yourself just as you would to a friend.
BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND.
If you find that your body is not where you want it, then you need to take a look at how you are caring for it. Dieting is not self care, but backing off of the bag of potato chips on a daily basis is. Many people already know they need to move more and eat more veggies. It is common sense and anything that sounds too good to be true usually is.
The truth is, yes, we do come in all shapes and sizes and colors. But letting go and not caring for you is not body acceptance, and perhaps that is what the writer of that Facebook post meant to convey in his soapbox status, but it did not come across that way. I think we need to do more in the way of accepting ourselves on a personal level.