Weight Stigma Awareness Week: Reclaim Your Body Image

By Lisa Christie on 09/26/2012
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Join Green Mountain at Fox Run as we blog about Weight Stigma Awareness Week, sponsored by the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA). Today, BEDA encourages us to reclaim our body image as our own and engage in positive body talk.

When I first decided I would write today’s Weight Stigma Awareness blog post about reclaiming your body image as your own and engaging in positive body talk, I thought “piece of cake.” I can write about this.

Then the fear set in. Although I’ve come a long way in making peace with my plus-size body, I am by no means a poster child for body positivity. I wouldn’t say that I’ve reclaimed my body image as my own… yet. I felt it would be disingenuous for me to write about body image.

But, I remembered where I was when I came to Green Mountain as a participant and where I am today. And I’ve done a lot of work in this area.

Before Green Mountain… I didn’t give my body TLC. For instance, I bought clothes because they fit, but I didn’t think my body deserved nice clothes.

After Green Mountain… I know what styles and brands work for my body and I buy those because they make me feel good.

Before Green Mountain… I would tell you I pretty much didn’t like anything about my body.

After Green Mountain… I can look in the mirror and appreciate the things I do like… my feet (especially after a pedicure), my strong calves, my soft shoulders, my summer freckles.

Before Green Mountain… I held on tight to my “body fantasy,” the tape of “when I lose weight…” always running through my head.

After Green Mountain… I decided that I didn’t want to keep waiting for my life to happen until I lost the weight. I spent the summer swimming, hiking, canoeing, and bike riding.

Even I can recognize I’ve made some very positive steps. But I know I still have a journey ahead. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and I think I’ll never be “okay” with my body. And when I feel like that, I’m going to pull up this list and look at what I’ve changed. I’m going to pat myself on the back for the small victories because they add up. And they’re easy to discount.

Furthermore, I’m going to remind myself to go slow and keep in mind that change is a process, not an event. And I’m going to ask myself – whenever I feel bad about my body or feel that changing my mindset is impossible – what can say in this moment to reclaim my body image?

And, the affirmation that works for me is this: I appreciate my body because it swims across lakes and it hikes mountains. My body is strong and capable.

What is the affirmation you are going to try?

PS – In writing about reclaiming body image, I felt it was important to include a picture of myself that I like. I feel good about myself in this picture. I’m hiking, I’m taking care of my body, and the smile is 100% real.

8 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Inga says:

    Lisa,

    I hear so many echoes of myself in what you wrote about your mindset. It took me a long time to accept that this is indeed a long process, and even when I feel I’ve taken a step back (like now), it doesn’t mean I can’t take two steps forward.
    I love that phrase – change is a process, not an event.
    And you look wonderful!
    See you soon,
    Inga

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Inga, putting together this list was very helpful to me. When I actually started looking at where I was and where I am now, the difference is really quite impressive. Try focusing on that.

  • Marsha says:

    Wonderful post, Lisa. Thank you for your honesty and your inspiration.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Marsha. It’s not an easy topic, but knowing so many other people feel the same way and that we’re all in this together helps!

  • Colleen says:

    The blog looks great!!! I can’t wait to see Green Mountain and experience for myself the positive influence it’s had on you. So proud.

  • Lisa, so proud of your inner progress and so proud to know you and call you friend. You are an amazing woman.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Jill! You inspire me everyday with your honesty, your wisdom and your diligence in creating your best life. I have learned a lot from you.

  • Deborah says:

    Oh yeah… I can relate to this as well (though less of the ‘after’).

    Thanks for sharing!

    Deb

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