Happy Friday friends! This week we have an interesting topic to consider. It’s not fitness related, or even nutritionally informative. This week’s topic is about Body Image and taking a step back to consider how our actions can affect others, as well as address the unrealistic image that has been ingrained in our heads as “healthy.”
Unfortunately, with as many strides as we’ve made as a society, in some respects we have made just as many steps back. Wildly unrealistic images of the human body are bombarded at us in advertisement (done through clever use of editing software,) eating disorders are an issue that plague many people, fad diets that promise instant results for a skinnier you run rampant, bathroom scales are considered the measurement of “health,” and to put the bread on the sandwich, fat shaming and skinny shaming are “okay.”
Now of course, as with many of the entries, here is the anecdote that prompted this…
Being a former fat kid who once tipped the scales at 275, much of my youth was spent centered around a negative body image, teased about being “overweight” and not fitting into the “accepted” body image. I’m sure this scenario unfortunately rings true for a lot of others out there as well.
Though it was difficult sometimes to cope with, over the years it has ultimately made me stronger and more zealous in my own endeavors to be in charge of my life.
Now that I have finally achieved my ideal body and healthy life style, all of those negative feelings seem to be a distant memory and hold little power against and over me these days.
However, every once in a while, someone will make a remark that some people may hear and think nothing of, or even presume it to be a compliment.
“You’re too skinny.”
Having struggled with weight and body image most of my life, a comment like this brings back many old feelings. Despite overcoming myself and reaching comfort and my ideal health, my body image is still not good enough for people around me.
But wait a second!
Why does my body image need to be good enough for anyone but myself?
This is my mantra that keeps bringing me back to a centered feeling, and helps me forgive ignorant statements such as the previous.
The media’s grasp on body image is probably not one that will be changed any time soon and will continue flooding mainstream marketing. Our best defense, is education, understanding, and a little something I like to call “noneya,” as in, someone else’s weight or body type is “noneya” damn business and you have no right to criticize one way or another. You don’t know that persons struggle, or their story. So follow that golden rule so many of us seem to forget from childhood “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”
For those of you, who are on your journey and find yourself encountering these obstacles, remember these following nuggets.
Celebrities have tons of money and time to throw at nutritionists and personal trainers to meet certain standards set before them. However, this does not measure how healthy they are, and many of those fad diets are not only a temporary fix to a bigger problem, but can be incredibly unhealthy for the human body.
Eating disorders are a real thing, support those who struggle with them, and just try to sympathize with what they are going through. Often times support and understanding can go a long way in combating disorders such as those.
Scales do not measure health. Scales do not measure how fat, or how skinny you are. Scales measure how much your bones, muscles, internal organs, blood, skin, hair, and any food or liquid you might have in your system weighs. Oh yeah, and they also take fat weight into that equation.
Remember, loving yourself is one of the biggest first steps. Taking care of yourself follows shortly after.
Forget the haters, and those who would try and force their opinion of your body image on you, take your journey to health one step at a time, and look inside for health, not out.
Remember to ask yourself, “How do you feel?” Not how you look.
Live, Laugh, Love!