Body Positive Is Easy to Say – Much Harder to Do

October 26, 2015

Ok – Shit.

That time has come. Lately I’ve been challenging myself to write about all of the um, challenging aspects of my life that I have preferred to just stow away in a closet somewhere. In the past, rather than really dig deep and do any big work on these challenges, I’ve opted to become a champion for others who face the same issues. Of course that is a catch 22 and just a very heavily disguised way for me to continue to avoid my own issues, while LOOKING like I’m facing them head on. It’s one of my own brilliant tactics that I’ve come to acknowledge – so, it’s time to cut that shit out. Can anyone else relate? Come on, be honest.

I’ve been behind the body image movement for years. I’ve followed the women with the courage to put their bodies on line, share their stories and be a beacon of light for those of us who need it. I LOVED it because it was sorely needed in our culture, and it also finally allowed me to feel some hope around my own issue. While at the same time, pretending that it wasn’t really an issue for me because I was fully aware of it, and supported women of all shapes and sizes constantly.

What I forgot about, and often find myself forgetting about – is that it did bloody well apply to me.

You see, I wasn’t ALWAYS in a body that made me uncomfortable in comparison to the ‘society acceptable’ images. Looking back now, although I always wanted to change things about myself, ( little red flag there) I was actually a 10/10 on the body scale at one point in time. I was tiny in both height and waist circumference. I had tiny features, tiny feet, tiny breasts – which at the time I felt was ruining my life – who wants to have tiny breasts! Well, fast forward to after two kids and I have a VERY different take on that. Ahh, such is life. Perspective, Perspective.

Anyway – what I’ve learned to realize is that because I have lived a life as a socially acceptable, sexy and desired body type, and then as a body type that was jockied into the ‘Mother Bod’ zone and MILF territory, then to a Mother/40 something of teens – I’ve run the gamut of body shapes and sizes within my own body. For some reason, my genes are fluid in that sense. I’ve never stuck to one size, no matter if my diet stayed the same, or my physical activity increased or stayed the same. My body always seemed to have a mind of its own.

At this point in my awareness, I’m realizing that my body was always on the goal path of healthy, regardless of what the rest of my emotional insecurities or addictions were doing – huh, whodu thunk?

Emotionally – that ‘Healthy’ aspect has taken a little more time in coming. Which is why I have tirelessly promoted and supported other women who are doing what I just wasn’t quite ready to do yet.

That’s going to change now. And it’s not to support the masses who need it, it is to support me. Jesus, finally right? I think I’ve finally realized that all of those beautiful women out there creating movements, instagram accounts, blogs and otherwise who are REALLY making a difference – they did it for themselves initially., They had had enough, and they were going to stand strong. That means baring it all and being honest.

YIKES!

Many things have changed in my life in the last decade, and I am proud to say that I have found a very positive way to work with the shite choices I made earlier on. I’ve worked through MANY insecurities and I have become a mentor to younger women. It is time that my body self image catch up to the rest of me.

I’ve realized that I hold myself back, I don’t dress the best way I could, I sit in shame more often than I care to admit and that will show. I carry confidence well. I’ve been a performer all of my life and I love the stage. I know well enough that what you feel is what others see. It doesn’t bloody MATTER what you actually look like, it is all about how you FEEL about what you look like.

Duh – I know, I’m being a bit harsh on myself – but it is such an easy concept – to talk about. It is much, much harder to put into action every day, all day. Wouldn’t you agree?

Taryn Brumfit is one of my heros in this arena. Probably because I met her in person when she was just starting her journey and her movement AND she also had experienced the ‘perfect body’ at one point like I had. She is the founder of the Body Image Movement. Her first video went viral on Social Media because it spoke to the pain many of us were feeling. Many, many of us. Take a moment to view it below.

View VIDEO: HTTPS://YOUTU.BE/R6-HJ3NCW10

This video made me cry – at it was the beginning of Taryn’s journey and documentary. What a Powerful thing – to share her pain so honestly and authentically.

It’s powerful, and it moved me. But one year later I still struggle with the same issues – and perhaps even more buried because the acceptance of those issues would mean I wasn’t quite ‘on board’ with what I was supporting and promoting. That couldn’t be farther from the truth though.

Body Positive is so easy to say – but much, much harder to do.

So, this is my challenge to myself – and I dare you to join me – if you are ready to get rid of the shame once and for all. I am going to FREELY post full body pictures of myself on the internet. My goal will be one a month. And it doesn’t have to be in a bathing suit – you can work up to that. God knows I will have to work up to that. But the risk is in putting ourselves out there – honestly. None of the face only pics, the table covering the tummy pics. The hand on the hip trick to look leaner in photos. Sigh…I’ve done them all.

There are 4 things we will need to remember if we’re going to do this:
  1. EveryBODY is Beautiful – that means yours too – not just the women you support because you secretly live with your own pain.
  2. This is a risk – every momentous moment in life, growth and experience comes with great risk. The reward is ALWAYS worth it. It takes bravery and courage and honesty. But you can do it.
  3. There WILL be negative ninny’s out there trying to ruin your fun. Fuck Them. They are put there only to challenge your self belief. When you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are beautiful, anything to the contrary will slide off your back like water off a duck’s back. “Quack Quack – off my back.” There is no need to be a victim if this happens – see it as your own personal test. You will find that there will be MANY more positive responses to what you are doing than negative. Focus on those and see the negative as shining a light on those places who still believe what they are saying. Keep at it.
  4. This is NOT for publicity – It’s not about how many ‘likes’ you get, responses you get on social media or whether it goes viral or not. It probably won’t – or maybe it will. This exercise is nothing to do with any of that. This exercise is just for you – to step outside of your comfort zone and do things that would normally scare the crap out of you. Soon, what used to be horrific, will become normal. It’s conditioning. And we need to start feeling comfortable in our own bodies. The best way to do that? Be IN our own bodies – every day, every moment. No hiding.

Ready? I’m sure as heck not – but I’m going to do it anyway. Here is my first pic. It’s perfect because I didn’t know my picture was being taken – I was just REAL doing what I LOVE and in the moment. Do you have any of those that you don’t despise? Or even if you do, have the courage the share and move past? Let me know – let’s do this together. If you share your pic on social media use the hashtag: #MyBodyPositive so I can find you and support the crap out of you ( cuz I know I do THAT well!)

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Photo Credit:www.hercampus.com

More about Kaare Long

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