Body Positivity

Have you ever fought a battle?
Have you left feeling incredibly triumphant?
And while you were at it, did you remember to pick-up your trophy?
Go back and pick it up!
Historically, the winning tribe always collected their trophies as the kingdom’s treasury, women, cattle, or the kingdom itself. War trophies were tangible representations of victory and valuable personal souvenirs.
Trophies were reminders of battles fought and won. Reminding warriors courage and grit, and what it took for an entire army of people to come together and overthrow a powerful regime. There is power in that collective recollection.
People want meaning in their lives—a sense of touching the means to something greater than one’s self—and a sense of relevance that comes not only from static trophies and accomplishments but from life itself as it occurs.
But what trophies do we pick up when we haven’t fought with pistols, cannon balls, firearms or flying saucers?
I suppose you know where I’m going with this…
Today’s post is about body positivity.
Say what?
What does body positivity have to do with collecting war trophies?
It does!
I’m writing today because I am fed-up, yes, fed-up with commercials that sell booty-call butts, washboard abs, and toned physiques. The ads obliterate the existence of real people with real lives, hopes, and aspirations.
Weight loss as a buzzword rings empty. The only thing one ends up losing is the reality of who we are.
Yes, I am a big proponent of wellness, but one that is mindful. Here is my body a good 2.5 years before I hit 40.
It requires a tremendous amount of work.
I gained weight intentionally. I sustained it during my pregnancy.
I sustained it while I nurtured my baby. Two years in all. I looked and felt different because I wanted to. Then began the work.
Mind and body included. Proof of the pudding is right here for you to see.
I love it for all that it is. I love the scars and marks. These are my trophies—of having lived a life. Period.
Yes. Damn right!
There is not a moment of shame for all the scars I carry. It is a reminder of everything that was, is and yet to come. When I look at my son, I am reminded of my personal growth towards motherhood, the bond that my husband and I nourish and have sustained through the years, and the blissful moments of unbridled joy and learning that life continuously gives me.
Yes, a toned physique is desirable for the right reasons. But does it have to come at the cost of making you feel you aren’t good enough until you do?
I love working out for the benefits it offers overall. I don’t workout because I aspire to look like someone other than me. I exercise because I want to be the best I can be.
It should always be about loving the body you are in, looking in the mirror and embracing the naked truth about who you are and loving it. I believe wellness should always be about taking-on those hidden fears headlong.
Wellness is a complete circle–mind and body.
Wellness isn’t about physical toughness. It isn’t just about lifting weights heavier than you. Wellness is also about mental toughness to lift everything that comes your way, weights included.
I am compelled to write this post today because a lot of young people aspire for bodies outside of themselves. The naked truth all along is to just love the one you are in.
Here is where body positivity comes in.
It isn’t about weight loss or fat loss. It isn’t about attaining a toned physique. Kaila Quins says, “Fat loss goals are about intentionally changing your body weight (in the context of weight loss).”
Labeling a fat loss program as “body positive” doesn’t make it one. It simply makes it a weight loss plan. If it is called that, then we are only reinforcing stereotypical notions of what a woman or a man’s body should aspire for.
But it also doesn’t mean not exercising or not eating right.
Body positivity is an acceptance of your body the way it is and then working towards getting it to the best place it can get. It is also about doing it in your own time and in your own space. One that is safe, welcoming and supportive.
Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Fight your battles, shred those myths and bring your trophies back.