Ok, before I start really diving into this topic I wanna let you know that I mention weight with actual numbers and percentages. I talk openly about diets and BMI. Of course it’s all just from my own perspective and experiences.
That being said, I’m not in any way a counselor or psychologist or anything fancy. I’m just a lady sharing my experiences with the diet industry and my own body and how I’m navigating all that crap.
If any of this sounds like it might be hard for you to listen to, for whatever reason, you might wanna consider skipping this one.
If any of this sounds like it might be hard for you to listen to, for whatever reason, you might wanna consider skipping this post.
We’re talking all about body image and how to fight the system that tells us that we’re not good enough.
Thank god things seem to be shifting and people are starting to be more accepting of all different types of bodies, but there’s still a ton of work to be done. And for those of us who’ve been on this planet for a few decades we have a TON of un-learning to do and that can be really hard.
I wanted to share with you three things that we sort of ah-ha moments for me when I started my journey to being more accepting of my own body.
Then I’m gonna give you an easy tip for starting that process TODAY!
Because I don’t want anyone to waste ONE MORE DAY spending time worrying about this crap.
when it comes to your eff’d up view of your body please know It’s not your fault. And really hear that and take it to heart, It’s not your fault. The beauty (well the eff’d up sinister genius) of the diet and wellness world is that when your diet doesn’t work, it’s your fault not theirs.
They make you feel like it’s because you’re weak and don’t have the will power. So it’s not that diets don’t work…they want you to feel like it’s all your fault that it failed.
But, listen to these statistics…
Their definition of “success” is losing about 5-10% of your weight
(now I know a lot of women, and most of the ones I know who say they need to lose weight do not have a goal that is only 5-10% of their weight)
For real, do the math. When I was pregnant with my daughter I got up to 235 pounds. So 10% of that would be 23.5 pounds. So I’d still be, well I can’t do math, but it would be like 210 pounds? I’m 5’1” and the BSMI chart (Bull Shit Mass Index Chart) says that I should be about half that.
So…even by their own BS standards, I wouldn’t have been a “success” How does that even make any sense? That’s why at the bottom of the commercials in tiny print it says “results not typical” because they’re NOT!
So, out of the people who lose 5-10% of their body weight, about 95% of people gain it back within 5 years.
And, are you ready for this? 2/3 of those people gain MORE back
If you’re starting to get a lil’ mad. That’s good. You should be.
I started my first diet in 3rd grade. And my whole life I’ve done the thing where I lose weight, then gain it back, over and over again.
One year my dad joked that he had lost 40 pounds one year. But it was the same 10 over and over again, gaining it back, so he was still the same.
We laughed about it, but it’s so not funny because it’s completely screwed up that we end up feeling like it’s our lack of willpower or our lack of discipline that made us fail, when really, it’s just that diets don’t work.
What other service or product would you buy and then when it doesn’t work, you blame yourself? Usually when you spend money on something that’s defective you’re like, this thing sucks! It doesn’t work, and I want my money back.
But the diet industry has created this whole narrative around making us believe that it’s us that failed and not them. It keeps us all feeling like unhealthy, overweight losers with no will power so that we line up for the next best thing.
The cycle never ends and that’s why the diet industry is a 72 billion dollar industry and it doesn’t freakin’ work. It’s insane. And it’s making you think there’s something wrong with you.
Which brings us to our next point…
You know…that nagging judgmental voice in your head that comments on everything and makes you feel terrible about yourself. It’s also known as negative self talk
Well, I call that your Gremlin.
Some of us have louder, more judgmental gremlins, but most people have them. My gremlin usually focused on my body. But gremlins can make you feel bad about anything.
Remember in Dirty Dancing? That was Baby’s gremlin saying, “I carried a watermelon?” It’s the voice that makes you question yourself, judge yourself, and be not-so-nice to yourself.
A lot of times it’s just a voice that we’re so used to saying we don’t consciously hear it, but it’s there, chatting away and causing some serious damage and self-doubt.
But…if you REALLY start listening for the voice, you can start recognizing when it pops up and start telling it to get lost.
I challenge people to sometimes write down the negative thoughts they hear and try to flip the script. For example: Your gremlin is trying to tell you that your stomach is too lumpy. You can write that down, draw a line through it and then change the thought. For me, I like to remind myself that I grew two humans in there, and if a few lumps and bumps are the result…it’s worth it.
Essentially, the Gremlin is a bully. And once you start to take that power away from a bully, they aren’t as interested in showing up and engaging with you.
So, you have to really start listening for that lil’ bastard and then telling him what’s really up. I think you’ll be surprised how often he’s making you question yourself. You gotta check his ass.
So this one is all about just stepping out of the conversation. It’s so funny how our brains like to categorize things. A lumpy, soft tummy is bad and a smooth, rock hard tummy is good. What if they could both just be tummies?
Would that be ok?
I know it seems so obvious, but I think we usually assign value to our bodies all the time.
I don’t think you need to LOVE your body. Like, if you don’t LOVE your lumpy tummy that’s ok, but can we agree to not HATE it either? Can it just be a tummy that’s not good or bad?
Keep it body neutral for long enough and you’ll start to move into a more body positive mindset. But ya gotta start somewhere.
Like I said, we’re unlearning decades of this crap.
FOLLOW PEOPLE IN BIGGER BODIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You don’t have to like any of their posts. You don’t have to comment. You just follow them, so that as you scroll through your feed you see NORMAL bodies.
Imagine that you live in a world where you don’t see any celebrities. No magazines, no tv, no movies. So any celebrity you can think of you’ve never seen before. The only other humans you’ve ever seen are the people you actually see in real life.
How do you think that would change how you feel about your body?
If you had never seen J-Lo perform at the Super Bowl, and the only other 50 year olds you saw were the ones you actually know.
Would it change how you feel about your own body? I think it would.
So, you gotta get some more REAL PEOPLE on your social media feeds so you don’t end up forgetting that real people exist. You’re real and your family and friends are real.
I’m not suggesting that J-Lo is some weird robot or something, she’s real too, but J-Lo at the Super Bowl, or on a Magazine Cover, or in a video…that’s not real. It’s highly produced, choreographed, cropped, chopped, and photoshopped. It ain’t real.
Go hop on social media and follow some REAL FOLKS!
Here are some of my favs:
And maybe for extra credit you can unfollow the people who make you feel not so great about yourself?
I also made you a worksheet to really go hard on your gremlin, grab it here. We gotta get that lil’ bastard before he does any more damage!