Top 10 Body Positive Challenges
Since being in Australia, I am travelling around larger cities with an immense amount of advertisement. Media – such a toxic and corrupt influencer in peoples lives. Creating pressures and standards that literally no one can meet, yet we are foolish and desperate enough to believe it to be normal and possible. Now before I get too ahead of myself, not all media is bad, and I am trying my best to understand that through all my anger and feelings towards it.
Being in Australia is pushing me to my limits. Australia is unlike any other country I have been to. The concept of normal life over here, so distant from what home is to me. That’s been likely the most prominent challenge since travelling, not having normality. It’s been more than good though, I am learning a lot about myself and another culture while also doing my best to connect myself back to many close people at home, just to feel at ease and reassured that I am not drowning in the foreign unknown.
Back to my intent for this blog post, Australia is hot and humid – I love love love it. The sun is strong and my first day being out in the sun complete fried me. Tons of aloe later, it’s turning into a tan and I am learning my lesson about wearing SPF. Due to the intense temperatures and the lengthy walks that we are taking, we are wearing a lot of summer clothes. I haven’t dressed in my shorts and tanks in what the Canadian winter makes it feel like forever.
With the media all around me, the clothes that I am wearing, and my anorexia trying its absolute hardest to make me know how real it is even here in Australia since being so distant from home and my treatment over the next month, I am constantly reminding myself to not body shame as I get dressed in the morning but instead to be “body posi.”
So here are my top 10 struggles with my body the past few weeks, and my fight to be body posi here and now.
- Collar bones are not the ‘be all end all’. When I was significantly underweight, my one thing that I obsessed with was collar bones. Don’t get me wrong, I still obsessed over my thighs, my stomach, my hip bones sticking out and even my ribs showing… but my collar bones were my one severe weakness. I would spend hours upon hours looking at them in the mirror, taking pictures for progress and comparing what they once looked like to what they looked like in the moment. It’s kinda silly looking back at it now. Why collar bones? Why was I so obsessed with them that I would lose sleep, staying awake feeling my bones and seeing where I could “slim down” to get further in my unhealthy goals set? Today I am wearing an off the shoulder shirt, my collar bones are not as prominent as they once were, and they’re still beautiful, I am still beautiful regardless of how much my bones are sticking out. Arguably, I look better now than I did with my collar bones in the way. And I am going to rock this off the shoulder shirt, without any hesitations or insecurities.
- Stomaches are meant to stretch. Stomaches are meant to roll!!! Stomaches are meant to be there!! Stomaches are meant to hold the food that you are feeding your body so you can live!!!!
- Bikinis do not give permission to compare and analyze your body. Ugh beaches. Ugh swimming. Ugh comparisons. Since I’ve had this eating disorder I have dreaded swimming and beaches and cottages because it meant bathing suits. I went through a phase where I wouldn’t wear bikinis, or if I would I would cover up completely, for wrong reasons. I always find myself obsessing over the way my body looks the minute I put on a bikini. I find myself picking one part of my body that day and getting upset about the shape it was, the way it looked or the fact that it didn’t look like someone else’s. The reality is, as many people have heard, any body in a bikini is a ‘bikini body’. There is no right or wrong way to wear one, there should not be any stigmas or pressures. You should feel proud and confident. Your body is beautiful and you shouldn’t have to cover up just because you don’t think so. I promise, so many people are admiring how amazing your body is, because the fact is that it is amazing, and you should know it too.
- Shorts are not an emphasis on your thighs. Shorts, some of my worst nightmares. As I sit on this picnic table writing this post, I look down and see my thighs, thought the dysmorphic way of thought about my body comes to mind first, I am constantly trying to combat that with positive thoughts. You are your biggest critic, especially when it comes to your body. My thighs have been another obsession after mine, falling somewhere shortly after my collar bones. Shorts should not be worn to only have your mind constantly consumed with thoughts of your legs, be confident, your legs and butt look damn good in those shorts, it’s hot out and your wearing what you’re comfortable in. So be comfortable. Fill your mind with positive thoughts when negative ones come up.
- Crop tops are not to wear with shame. Not that I wear a ton of crop tops, just for comfort reasons, I am a huge advocate of people that want to wear them. Many of my friends use to make comments about judgements about people who wear them, which use to anger me beyond belief. First of all, if people are comfortable and confident then we should be celebrating and not shaming!!! Wear the fricken top, know that you rock it and feel confident in your skin as you wear it.
- People don’t notice arm size. This is a weird one for me. I have always focussed on the width of my arms…. silly I know. I find some tops to point out my arms more than others. I went through a while in my life where I would avoid wearing part of my wardrobe for this reason. I thought people would see right past me and focus on my arms. Writing this out and reading it over again kinda makes me laugh.. how messed up our brains can make us think a certain way and believe it.
- Smile when you look in the mirror. A practice I am trying to push into my everyday life. Write it on your mirror. Read it every morning and make it a habit. You will start your day off on a positive note, more importantly on a positive note about your own self.
- Point out one thing a day that you absolutely LOVE. Kind of connecting it back to #7. Keep it in a journal. Make a list and write one thing down every morning. Once you fill a page read it over, rip it out, hang it beside the mirror and start another list. This will change so much of how you see your body and the way you live your life, trust me. Do it.
- Write down reasons to love your body, to gain weight back and to fight the fight of recovery. Look at them every day. Share them with close people in your life so when you’re in a time of weakness they can remind you why. My reasons why: to get a consistent period back so I can one day have kids, to get an education, to move out of home, to have healthy relationships in every aspect, to gain my life back again, to relearn who I once was, to be able to travel and see every part of the world, to be healthy enough to one day help others with eating disorders…. Whats your list?
- You have permission to look in the mirror when you get dressed and point out a million curves and quirks that you LOVE. Someone recently told me that I should look at my body and verbally tell myself that I love it, over and over again. Even if those words are hollow, to get in the practice. I haven’t started it yet but I think I might. I am beyond tired of only thinking negatively about something that I am living within for however many years are I am meant to be on this Earth. Start loving your home, it does so much for you, the least you can do is try to love it back.
Have a lovely day and remember your body is beautiful and loved <3