I love the Body Positive idea that’s taking hold on social media these days, but I’d like to take it one step further.
First, I believe every woman should:
- be able to smile when she looks in the mirror.
- feel on top of the world when she dresses for an evening out.
- feel confident enough to pose for a picture.
- be happy with who she is and know she’s of infinite worth.
Some women have a heritage of large body types, and no matter how hard they try, they will never be a size 10 or 12 or 14.
Other women have the opposite problem: no matter how much they eat, their bones protrude and outsiders accuse them of being anorexic.
And then there’s aging, when your mirror doesn’t show the body your mind thinks you have. That’s a huge subject on its own, so let’s leave it for a later time – except for some awesome ladies in the pictures.
Our body type is our body type – we need to own it, love it, embrace it! We are beautiful in all our shapes, sizes, and colors of the rainbow.
And look at all the things our bodies can do, no matter our size or age: walk in the woods, dance to the oldies, throw a ball with our kids. Write a letter, watch a sunset, make a snack or cook a gourmet meal. Hug, cuddle, kiss.
Here are some women who aren’t letting their body types stop them from being active:
But with these amazing bodies in such a variety of shapes and sizes, let’s not let a Body Positive attitude be an excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle. I like to think of it not only as Body Positive, but as Body Strong – celebrating health as well as beauty.
My husband takes after his mother’s side of the family – stocky, not tall, and holds on to extra weight like it’s gold. He will never be (and should not be) a tall, slim cover model, but he works out each morning to stay fit and I admire him for his dedication.
On the other hand, my extra weight didn’t come from family heritage. If I’m honest with myself, it came completely from overindulgent eating and lack of exercise. I love my body for what it can do and I feel good about myself when I look in the mirror, but I should not be where I was.
Ooh, did you notice I said “was?”
Over the past two years, I’ve been eating healthier and with more control, and adding a good bit of exercise, and I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds.
And you know what? My back is much happier. My knees are much happier. My brain is happier.
I’ll admit that I do grin when I look in the mirror – it reminds me I’ve reached a hard goal. But what makes me truly ecstatic is when I soap off in the shower and can feel the muscles in my back!
If I listened to the media, I’d be trying to lose another 20 pounds. I’m not going to – I’m happy where I am and losing the muffin top isn’t worth the obsessive dieting required. I’m comfortable where my body is meant to be.
I can walk several miles. I can work in my garden longer. I can use the push mower on the lawn. And I can even survive an hour long Spin Class!
I’m not saying everyone needs to get down to a “normal” BMI. I am saying that while we encourage a self-image of beauty and value, and while we embrace our wonderful variety of body types, let’s not forget to treat them well and be the best we can. These are the bodies God gave us – let’s honor them as we celebrate them!
What are your thoughts on the Body Positive movement? The idea of Body Strong?
This blog is part of August McLaughlin’s annual Beauty of a Woman blogfest (#BOAW16). Click here to see other posts celebrating women – and maybe even win a prize!