What do you think would happen if women stopped hating their bodies?

Or namely, me?

…learn to eat when, what and how much our bodies need [hopefully doing this now a la Barre N9Ne challenge and food log)

…overcome the fear of not dieting [the only one in this list that doesn’t totally apply to me. I don’t diet nor fear it. Moderation.]

…decode fat talk to reveal real concerns [a curious one for me as I consider my fat days just that; days where I am feeling fat]

…stop trying to measure up to society’s ridiculous and impossible standards of female beauty [yes, please!]

…learn to accept oursevels – our bodies as well as our feelings – unconditionally. [ can I hug this one please? I love it that much]

These are the first words in the book “When Women Stop Hating their Bodies“, a book Sunshine suggested I read after the last few body-image posts I’ve written. And already, I know this book will be helpful for me, in large part just to get my perspective back about my body, what it’s capable of and the positive aspects, not the nit-picking aspects, the comparing, the self-destructive comments.

The thing is? I *don’t* hate my body. Truly.

I think I differ from those with true self-loathing in that I know at the core, there is absolutely nothing wrong with my body. There is just room for improvement. And improvement is what I seek. Not perfection. I want to treat my body the way it treats me…fuel it (not starve it), feed it when hungry (not overeat out of boredom or mindlessly at a party or gathering or whereever I am), and use my strength and focus to improve the areas I dislike through exercise. I think that’s a fair assessment of ‘me’ in a nutshell, when I think about my body and the way I perceive it.

I think my biggest downfall with body image is completely in the way I speak or think about my body. I lead with downfalls and not strengths. I ‘dis it instead of compliment it. I see the areas for improvement versus the areas I have improved. And I assume that what I see in the mirror is what everyone else sees. But I know I am wrong. They see me. I see flaws.

I want to see myself as others see me. As M sees me, as my family sees me and my friends. And complete strangers, even. For example, last week at Barre N9Ne, one of the girls in the classes asked my sister and me how often we have been going to class. We replied 4-6 times a week, but this is only our second week. Her reaction? Surprise. She thought we’d been going longer as we had it ‘down.’ THAT is what I need to focus on. Knowing that I am focused and improving in class. That my stamina is increasing, that my running is improving and that most of all? I am healthy.

So what do I think would happen if I stopped hating disliking my body?

I’ll be a better me to myself.

And that’s what matters most right now.

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35 thoughts on “What do you think would happen if women stopped hating their bodies?

  1. AMEN. Please – be a better you for YOU. Because you are awesome, and beautiful, and smart and strong and everything that makes you YOU. Stop ‘dissing it, and start owning who you are. Who “you” are is pretty damn good, sis.

  2. I think maybe that’s part of the issue, looking at our downfalls first. All those things we didn’t do right or making note of the extra pounds rather than making note of an extra mile run or upping the weights. It’s so hard to change that focus when it’s almost automatic.

    And I think that fat talk does have more depth than just thinking you’re fat. It goes beyond that to why you’re thinking negatively in the first place (and I say you’re, but I mean me too).

    1. IT IS automatic, that’s the thing. That’s the habit I most need to change, above all else. With time ,right? And you’re right, the fat talk goes deeper than ‘just’ that, it’s just pinpointing what it is. (no small feat!)

  3. I pretty much nodded my head the entire time I was reading this. You can do it. I think you’re well on your way.

    1. I hope you get there too, if you struggle with any of this. I feel like I am inching towards the right direction ever so slowly. But I will, I am determined!

  4. Love it! LOVE IT!

    Great post, my friend!

    Sounds like that book was exactly what you needed to read as part of your 60 day challenge. Make your positive attitude towards your body part of your new habits too!

    xxoo

    1. Thanks T. I think it is exactly what I need to read in tandem with this challenge. It’s more than a body challenge, it’s also a mind challenge that I need to conquer. XOXO

  5. I hear you! Body image is something I struggle with too…and am trying to get a grip on it and love ME. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I may need to check out that book.

    1. You might want to. I’ve only read the few 10 pages or so, but think I will really like it. LOVE YOU because we all do! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I think maybe I should hate my body more. If I did, I might be more motivated to change it. Instead, I guess I look at the bigger picture. I hope, desperately, that someday I’ll be appreciated for the person I am inside and that will compensate for some of my external flaws. I don’t have a perfect body. I can stand to lose a few, but I wouldn’t call myself fat, either. I’m just busy. And since I’m busy making money, I can’t afford to take a break. I have to press on, now more than ever.

    Thinking of you and wishing the best on your journey.

    1. The last thing I ever want by my own body image issues is for anyone – especially those I care about – to feel like they should hate their bodies. PLEASE don’t hate yours. It’s strong and resilient and loving and content. I need to borrow a page from your book, to be honest, in that regard. I am coming to peace with it, one mind struggle at a time. XOXO

  7. Beautiful post. Seriously. I received a catalog in the mail yesterday. Gonna blog about it tomorrow but I was like…ugh I hate myself. Then I was like hell no I ran yesterday. And it was good. So, yeah you’re strong, beautiful, wonderful, and don’t dis yourself!

    1. Thank you! I am glad you pulled yourself out of the self-hate talk too. It is very hard to do, obviously I know. And you are strong, beautiful and resilient too! XO!

  8. Lightbulb moment. Thank you for this post!! I have been blogging about a certain amount of body hatred/food obsession lately. I am totally going to get that book. They have a Kindle addtion. Yay!! It sounds like something I can benefit from reading.

    1. Thanks for visiting! I am so glad it was helpful for you too. Definitely a good read so far, and much needed for me. Hope you like it.

      1. Started reading it last night. I have a sense that this came at EXACTLY the right time for me. The more I read, the more I wanted to jump up and yell: “Hooray!! Somebody gets it!!” I bought both books by the author. There was one prior to this entitled Overcoming Overeating. Again, thank you for the great tip!! I may write a post about it soon.

    1. It’s such a tough balance. I was watching Biggest Loser last night and as inspiring as it was to see these beautiful women, I found myself so jealous. It was awful. Not a good reaction.

    1. Thanks Susan! I felt sort of fradulent last night though, as I had a bout of body hate, but I try to close it down as fast as I can…at least I can recognize that I am doing it and stop, right?

  9. Maybe the book provided a little perspective. You had used the word, “hate,” and thought that you “hated” it, when really you’ve just been focused on the flaws. I hope that there’s a less of that in the coming months. xoxo

    1. Good point. Sort of a nuance but yes, I focus more on the flaws. I don’t hate myself or my body, I just like some parts more than others, right??

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