I had an instagram post a few weeks ago where I talked about weight loss, and used a body positivity hashtag. Some internet troll, who doesn't follow me, left some nasty comment about how I must not know what I'm talking about, because why would I use a body positivity hashtag while talking about weight loss.
First of all, didn't your parents teach you that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all? What happened to that golden rule?
But that's not my point here. My point is that body positivity 𝒊𝒔 related to weight loss. The belief that body positivity and weight loss have to be mutually exclusive is a dangerous thought to have.
Body positivity is all about loving yourself, as you are, in this moment. It's accepting yourself, and your body, wherever you are on your journey. It's about looking in the mirror, and seeing what your body has given you. For example, when I look in the mirror, I see stretch marks, a scar, and strong legs. These things remind me that I have carried 2 children within my body, and given birth to them in a way that was safest for both of us. My legs remind me of my time as a figure skater, knowing that that strength I had as a teenager is still within me.
I could easily look at those things and think "ugh, I wish my stretch marks would go away!" or "look how my stomach hangs over my scar, I hate that!" or "my legs are so big, I wish they were thinner!" And to be totally honest, I did have those thoughts, and sometimes still do. But I have been learning to accept myself where I am in my journey, and love my body for what it has done for me.
But here’s the thing. Being body positive doesn’t mean not working to improve yourself. It doesn’t mean you ignore your health problems, and don’t try to get healthier.
In order to successfully lose weight, keep it off, and feel good about where you wind up, you 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 to love yourself where you are right now 𝒂𝒏𝒅 want to improve.
There’s a huge misconception that if you want to improve any aspect of yourself, that means you’re not happy with where you are. But I don’t believe that to be true. I believe that in order to make real, true progress, you have to fully embrace where you are right now, and that includes your body.
I heard something once that really stuck with me. It went something like this. Imagine if you have a dollar in your pocket, and you know it's there. It falls out, and you no longer have it. You've lost it. Now imagine that you had a dollar, but you didn't know it was there. It falls out, but you don't know that it's gone because you never acknowledged its presence in the first place.
It's the same concept with weight loss. How can we lose weight if we refuse to acknowledge and accept its existence in the first place?
If you think you need to lose weight to be happy, or to love yourself, or to be loved and accepted by others, you're going to be chasing that feeling forever, wondering why it never comes. It's going to frustrate you, causing you to give up on your goals, thinking you'll never get there. When what you don't realize is that happiness, love and acceptance has to come from within you. You have to love and accept yourself first and foremost, regardless of your size.
So yes, I promote weight loss in my coaching programs. But I also promote radical self-acceptance, and teach you to wholly, truly, and completely love yourself as you are, while supporting you as you strive to be the best version of yourself you can be.
*To learn more about my coaching programs, including one-on-one and group programs, visit my website at riseupwellnesscoaching.com/services*