How do I say this…please stop
I appreciate encouragement but lately I keep hearing comments along the lines of:
So great you are rocking the new exercise regime cause soon you will…
- be super skinny
- really see results on the scale
- see major changes to your body shape.
Perhaps that all seems fair enough BUT to someone who has punished themselves and their body for decades in an exhausting battle with body image, weight and disordered eating, it is toxic. In fact, I suggest those kinds of comments are generally toxic in anyone’s atmosphere (albeit well-intentioned).
Here is why…they assume there is something wrong with my current body and that my main prize for exercise should be an arbitrary weight/shape I may never be able to achieve or sustain.
Truth: I have been a size 6 and a size 20. I have had the apparently perfect bust/waist/hip measurement. I have been cruelly bullied for being fat and cried in plenty a changing room. I have lost more weight in my life than I currently weigh. I have deemed myself undateable at a size 14.
These experiences taught me attaining set dimensions is not a prize that can be enjoyed because it’s fired by dissatisfaction that does not disappear with the kilos.
To any would-be encouragers, please encourage based on what can be savoured right now in your audience’s current body. Because the best kind of body any of us can aim for is an accepted body.
In my case, it would mean you would give me kudos for…
- showing love and respect to my body
- investing in self care and my overall health and wellbeing
- trying something new and finding a new hobby I love.
The photo is no filter me taking up my current space in the universe…on a journey with so many other sisters, brothers and gender non-conforming others, towards body acceptance. I write this for all of us.