Hello extraordinary humans! Today I am writing to you about positive body image. This article contains lots of bathing suit photos, so enjoy!
Recently, a friend of mine told me about how she was deliberately curating her social media feeds to include more body positive social media influencers and images. This post is for her!
I have not always had a positive body image. I always thought I was fat as a child, even though that wasn't true, and that idea persisted into my twenties. It was your typical, self-esteem, insecurity problem.
Looking back now, I feel ridiculous. I wish I could go back with the confidence I have today and know that it wasn't true. My poor husband had to put up with my constant concern of whether or not I looked fat. My mom tells a humiliating story about me in high school where I was stuck in a dressing room trying to decide on an outfit for an hour. Thanks mom.
I didn't really start to get the hang of positive body image until 2012. I was on a career surge, filled with confidence and purpose. My relationship with food changed and I understood better how to fuel my body for the day. I shed the anxiety about weight and focused on bigger and better things. I know it sounds kind of hokey, but really it was an organic process. The more capacity I felt as a woman in leadership, the more I considered my body weight as trivial.
My weight has fluctuated as an adult, particularly during times of stress, but I know I am my natural size around 165 lbs. And this doesn't bother me.
Another crucial point in my body image journey was having babies. For me, labour and birth was a positive and powerful reminder of the capacity of the human body. I felt so strong! I emerged from the experience somehow both naked and dignified with a primal purpose.
Some days the negative voice in my head gets the better of me and I think I ought to get cracking and lose a few pounds. I usually remember to change the channel and remind myself that my humanity is more important than my shape. That I am a healthy person, making health choices to live a good life.
My efforts are not helped by the constant barrage of female perfection in media and advertising. I want to see more real women. I am a white, upper-middle class female and I can't see myself in the media. So, what about other women? Indigenous women, newcomers, women with disabilities, women of all shapes and sizes and styles. Women of different sexual orientation. Let's have more real women!
Today, I am carrying some extra pounds. Some joined me while I was on my last assignment. The stress brought them to me like a gift, a signal that something wasn't right. And some are from the baby I am carrying, due in January.
So here is my 188 lb beach body.
My wish is that if you harbour any ill will toward your body, that this brings you peace and a direction for your own positive body image.
If this moves you, please share and like or leave a comment on social media.