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What is Body Acceptance?

February 4, 2014

Weight LossFat HealthExerciseEating DisordersMy Boring-Ass LifeDiet Talk

01172014 gym

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what Body Acceptance really means. Here’s what I think. I think that Body Acceptance means recognizing that what you see in that picture up there is my body. And it’s a good body. It’s done some amazing things and been amazing places and it carries me through every day. It might change. In fact, it’s bound to change. My 42-year-old body isn’t the same as my 22-year-old body was and it’s not the same as it will be when I’m 62. But no matter what kind of changes happen — weight gain or weight loss, aging joints, smiles lines, graying hair — this is the same body I was born with. It’s the only one I’ll ever have.

I want to be strong. I want to be able to swim far and lift heavy and ride my bike wherever I want to go. I want to be athletic. I want to sleep well and have enough energy to get through the day. As I work toward those goals, my body is changing.

I believe that Body Acceptance is about coming at change from a place of love. Not “God, I hate my belly. I wish I could just slice it off right now,” but “I love my belly and I’m going to take good care of it by feeding it enough food and dressing it in cute clothes and taking it for a swim or a walk sometimes.”

I’ve looked at this picture every day since I took it. Every day I get a little closer to the standard of self-love and body appreciation that I am striving for. Every day, it gets easier to see that this body is a body that deserves excellent care and lots of love, not hatred and disgust.

And guess what. You have the same kind of body. You do, I promise. Whatever it looks like, whatever its abilities, your body is fully, magnificently deserving of love and appreciation. Human bodies are masterpieces. They are strange and complicated mixes of fragility and strength, and they are good.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2014 12:05 pm

    I 100% agree with this… why does weightloss have to mean I don’t love my body? Why can’t it mean I have 3 kids and would like to live to see them graduate and get married and have kids of their own. I just want to have more energy through the day… and quite vainly be able to wear my expensive clothes without having to adjust every 5 minutes because something is ill fitting. I love my body… which is why I’m a fashion blogger. But that doesn’t mean I can love this body a few sizes smaller.

    • February 5, 2014 2:11 pm

      Being fat does not mean you won’t live to see your kids graduate. That’s a bold-faced lie fed to us by the multi-billion dollar diet industry, who only continue to exist when self-loathing people fail on their programs and products so they try yet again and again.
      Being fat does not mean having no energy. I have run the gamut from way too thin to quite heavy. I actually have had more energy when I was in the higher weight range.
      Being fat does not mean not being able to have nice clothes, although sometimes it is more difficult to obtain them. Your “ill fitting” statement is the key. If said fat person is wearing something that fits well, then he or she will not be “having to adjust it every five minutes.” Really.
      I have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition, and the treatments may well cause me to lose weight. How in the flea-dipped hell would a smaller number on the scale make me a better person? It won’t. I tire of people thinking that it will.
      As to there being no old fat people, I have worked with the elderly since 1988. I have seen many fat people in their 80’s and 90’s. Or perhaps I was hallucinating, since according to the ill-logic of the diet industry, all fat people explode like Mr. Creosote when they reach 50.

  2. grumpycat8 permalink
    February 4, 2014 1:11 pm

    >swim far and lift heavy and ride my bike wherever I want to go

    You will. It took me several years of yoga, but now biking a couple miles is no biggie, putting the air conditioners in my windows each spring is easy, and going full tilt on the dance floor at a rave for two hours is exhilarating.

    I’m 42 and my profile looks a lot like yours. Hang in there.

  3. February 4, 2014 6:36 pm

    Ooooo, I like your post. Keep it up. I like what you’re thinking. Self-love. I’m working on that too.

  4. February 4, 2014 9:44 pm

    I love you guys. I needed this understanding tonight. I got trolled pretty heavy on my personal blog tonight. Self-love FTW.

    • February 7, 2014 11:51 am

      I follow you on tumblr. The people trolling you on there have drunk the kool-aid and there is probably no changing their minds. I like your posts because I am trying to get back into swimming and I need to see what other people are doing. I never swam for swim team or anything, so I have no method in the pool and your posts are really helpful. Also, I am trying to eat the food now. It is so hard. My ED sometimes goes off on me and I don’t trust myself enough yet but seeing you eat the food gives me more confidence that the world isn’t going to explode if I eat enough every day.

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