Every Monday features a tip, activity, inspiring quote or some other tidbit that helps boost your body image, whether directly or indirectly — and hopefully kick-starts the week on a positive note!
Got a tip for improving body image? Email me at mtartakovsky at gmail dot com, and I’ll be happy to feature it. I’d love to hear from you!
When we can’t fit into a pair of jeans or yoga pants, we automatically blame our bodies. When we can’t do a certain exercise, we blame our bodies. When we can’t lose weight or need to take in more calories than the diet plan allows, we blame our bodies.
We blame our bodies for all sorts of problems, setbacks and concerns, even though they’re not at all at fault.
The fact that we can’t fit into a piece of clothing or we can’t follow a certain diet rule or the scale won’t budge isn’t our body’s fault. It’s the ill-fitting clothes. It’s the ridiculous diet rule. It’s the unreasonable standards.
It’s the realization that our bodies may not be healthy or comfortable at a lower weight.
Clothes should be designed to fit the person. Exercises should come with different options and opportunities for adjustments. Societal standards should be examined, challenged, questioned and dismissed.
One-size-fits-all rules and restrictions or calorie counts shouldn’t dictate our behaviors or our lives. Instead, normal eating comes from listening to our bodies. It comes from flexibility. Here, there is no place for blame.
Anna recently penned this powerful post all about how our bodies are not to blame. Here’s an excerpt:
…no one’s body is a problem — not for yoga pants, not for yoga poses, not for anything. Will some people’s bodies need to move in different ways than what may have been traditionally taught for yoga poses?
But rather than making that about the person’s body needing to change or being a problem, I believe we should get rid of the idea that there is one right way to do a pose and everything else is modification.
If a woman can’t get into a pose because her boobs suffocate her, the problem isn’t her body. The problem is the pose.
I wanted to highlight Anna’s brilliant piece because it’s a vital reminder. Often, we think of our bodies as the enemy, a saboteur. We harbor resentment, even hatred, and that tarnishes our relationship with ourselves.
This belief of blame also shows up in other ways. For instance, when we expect ourselves to push through the fatigue and exhaustion and we aren’t able to, we blame our bodies — instead of considering whether we need more sleep and better self-care.
The next time you go blaming your body, pause. Consider if your body’s really at fault, or maybe it’s an unrealistic standard or expectation that’s to blame. Maybe it’s a self-care practice that needs to be adjusted.
Maybe it’s a schedule that needs to be reworked or even a relationship that needs to be let go.
We’re so quick to blame our bodies. But really it’s when we explore and dig a bit deeper that we discover the truth of our needs, wants, preferences. When we discover what really nourishes and honors us.
And it’s then that we’re able to open the door to building a healthier relationship with our bodies and ourselves.