Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where to focus?

I don't particularly enjoy the concept of having an entire week devoted to Eating Disorder Awareness (this is next week, by the way). Don't get me wrong, I think that there is far too little attention given to these deadly disorders and the lifestyles that foster their development. However, raising awareness just draws attention to actually diagnose-able cases/incidences of these insidious disorders. What about the countless numbers of little girls (and boys too) who criticize every flaw and blemish they see in the mirror? What about the constant focus that most of us have upon the way we look? Body judgments, body shaming (fat or skinny), body sneering, and just plain disregard for our bodies is literally EVERYWHERE! How is awareness of the diagnosed cases going to keep this from stealing more lives? It's not enough to just notice the symptoms and get treatment. It's not enough, by far.

Like most things, I have found that I prefer to focus on what is wonderful or beautiful about something first, before or rather than focusing upon what is ugly, not good enough, or wrong  with it. I think the same goes for bodies, weight, size, shape, and appearances. What would happen if little girls were taught to love their cute little bodies from their foreheads to their feet, and everything in-between? What if we let kids teach US how to exercise? What if we stopped waging war with the mirrors and scales by learning to love and accept what they show us? What if I laughed at myself in the mirror every morning instead of sighing in disbelief as I pinch or poke the parts of me that disgust me? What if little ears NEVER heard us say, "I hate my body!" or "she/he/I/you/this is so ugly!"? What if the word "fat" just became another adjective? The world would be a much different place if I took the feelings out of the word "fat." (Think about that one for a moment--take the feelings away from the word "fat")

How on earth can we make changes to anything by HATING it? I can't change my body by hating it into compliance! If my primary reason for exercising is because I hate my body because I'm not exercising, it is a pretty sure sign that before long, I will hate the exercising too. Trust me, I did. I HATED going to the gym. I hated running, and I hated counting laps or miles run on the treadmill. I was told that I would love the body it gave me, but that was a lie. I hated that too. Physically, I may have weighed much less back then, but I can tell you that if you could have put my self-hatred on a scale, it would have weighed FAR more than the 50 pounds I had lost. That hatred was worse for my physical, emotional, and spiritual health than the weight that I have gained since then ever will be. It is so much easier for me to WANT to take care of a body that I love than it was to stop abusing a body that I hated.

What do we have to lose by believing that we're wonderful and beautiful and deserving of love and affection?  The despair and darkness of self-hatred? Maybe. I, for one, am willing to try. And with that, I am reminded of a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

The same goes for bodies. Join the revolution of body love. A revolution that starts right now, in your own body.


  1. This is lovely and heartfelt. I love the way you come at it from a positive approach rather than beating ourselves up yet again, for not being good enough (at loving ourselves this time round). I, too, have never been one to derive motivation from fear or force. I've never been attracted to boot camp classes for just that reason - having someone yell at me just makes me run away, so why would I think it's okay to talk to myself like that!

    I am glad you keep on sharing the love and promoting embracing our selves fully and completely. Thank you.

    1. Thank you dearly! I so enjoy reading your posts as well. I love your writing. I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to share.

  2. Beautiful, heart felt and eloquently perfect.