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By Katy M.
Your body is remarkable and can do remarkable things.
Each body has a different
figure, shape and size. Not one is the same, so cherish your body without comparison, and always remember there is no wrong way to have a body!
Since I’ve recovered from my eating disorder, I love sharing body positive words I’ve heard. Like many people, I struggled, but one thing I discovered through my recovery was yoga.
It’s fascinating when you experience what your body can do.
What I loved most was how everyone in my class was different yet all beautiful while throwing themselves into different poses. Now I practice yoga every week because it makes me appreciate my body, and helps me recognize the strength that I have physically and mentally.
There are so many ways you can appreciate and enjoy your body!
These are some rules I personally follow that help me:
- Be your body’s best friend – I repeat positive affirmations and quotes to myself like, “your body is unique and special and gorgeous!”
- Listen to music – I listen to certain music that helps lift my spirits on a down day, like Ed Sheeran’s lyrics: “Just remember life’s not about fitting in your jeans; it’s loving and understanding and positivity.”
- Focus on what your body can do – How it moves and how lucky we are to have our body!
- Don’t read celeb magazines – They are filled with people saying that you are too thin or too fat – we are all beautiful and different.
- Avoid stepping on the scale – There was a time in my life when I stepped on the scale 6/7 times a day. This is such a waste of my time. If I am happy in myself and my body, weight doesn’t matter. Remember, “You are much more than a number. The scale says you are the numerical value of your gravitational pull. It will not tell you how beautiful you are, and how much your family loves you.”
- Write down motivational words – I created a book filled with positive affirmations, quotes, and lyrics I find inspirational, repeating them to myself when I need to. Here are a few quotes from my book I’d like to leave you with:
“Don’t let the past dictate your future, create a life that brings you health and happiness.”
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”
YOUR BODY, YOUR RULES! <3
The Emily Program Foundation shares a number of statistics, like the one above, demonstrating the profound impact that eating disorders have on people. The Foundation has also shared the most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting. 25% of American men and 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day. There is nothing wrong with wanting to eat nutritionally or consume a healthy proportion. However, it turns dangerous, fatal at times, when this goal becomes a fixation to lose weight, feeding into a $40 billion dollar industry that tells people they are not enough. Articles like 50 Things Your Doctor Wishes You Knew About Losing Weight from Reader’s Digest neglects the fact that everyone is different, and weight is not always directly correlated with health.
This article perpetuates a negative view of being “overweight”, clearly emphasizing the number on a scale, rather than focusing on how a person can be healthy regardless of weight. Remember, dieting is the most common behavior to lead to an eating disorder, and one of the main focuses within the article is dieting. One slide actually claims dieting is more important than exercise, which ignores the necessity of a holistic approach to sustaining one’s health; especially when exercise will give you those feel-good endorphins, while dieting might lead to feeling crummy about yourself and your relationship with food.
The article shouldn’t have to focus on weight loss and maintenance to offer ways to be healthier. In fact, it mentions a number of beneficial habits to maintaining a healthy mind and body. For instance:
- Eating routinely and not skipping meals for one big meal
- Getting your thyroid checked (it’s important to get regular checkups as a precaution for more serious health problems regardless of weight)
- Getting enough sleep and exercise
- Remembering it’s about progress not perfection.
Only once did the article allude to unhealthy dieting leading to eating disorders, saying that deprivation leads to binging.
While the intention was most likely to promote good health, the article’s focus on weight in controlling one’s lifestyle to lose it isn’t necessarily helpful or healthy either, particularly for those who struggle with personal insecurities. For those of you reading, think about what it means to be healthy. Keep in mind that weight isn’t always indicative of healthy habits, and it especially does not reflect the beauty of an individual. What is more important than weight or dieting, is how you feel! So be sure to get lots of sleep, exercise, eat well, and surround yourself with supportive friends and articles.
I’ve been asked on several occasions, “What is your favorite part about your body?” At this point, I know my answer without hesitation.
I’m a dancer. A kinesthetic learner. Someone who needs to move and explore without being confined, butt planted, posture hunched, or eyes fixated towards one space. I’m a dancer in that I bound and leap, bounce and lean, pulsing from the balls of my feet to the crown of my head. I twirl and spin, sometimes with great precision, most times in a twisted tangle to the music that feeds my soul through the roots I call legs.
My legs that carry me across sleek wooden floors, rough gray pavement, and rocky earthen paths.
My legs which make up for most of my 5 foot 7 inch frame.
My legs where the longest bones in my body give me the privilege of mobility.
I am truly fortunate.
I’ve been asked, “What is your favorite part about your body?” Without hesitation, I name my strongest foundation. My legs support me in exploration and self-expression, even when I believe I’m unable to continue. My legs challenge me to move, itching to stand if I’ve been planted for too long and eager to sway to any beat that reaches my ears.
I am truly thankful.
Written by Heather Olson
As I’ve been working through recovery, one of the most challenging things I’ve encountered is appreciating and spending time alone. I find it very difficult to be alone because of the temptation to fall back into old habits when struggling with the difficulties of the day and the accompanied strong emotional reactions. I find this to be challenging as well because I tend to be a naturally social and extroverted person who wants to talk to others constantly, even when I’m in a negative place and am not able to have the most positive interaction. This can be especially draining when trying to sift through overwhelming temptations and strong emotions.
When I push myself out of my comfort zone to spend necessary time alone, whether it be taking a walk in the park, listening to my favorite worship music or sitting in complete silence and praying, it can sometimes be more helpful with working through what’s weighing on my heart and mind. One Bible verse that has really spoken to me in this area is Psalm 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” Being able to be still by calming my mind and body before God and allowing Him to speak to me is precious and minimizes my focus that would have previously been on any self-destructive thoughts or actions. It helps me to refocus and have more fruitful and positive interactions with others as well!