I’ve heard a lot of different debates lately on whether or not someone can be on a weight loss journey or want to lose weight and still be body positive?
The common answer seems to be “yes, but“…
I figured we could navigate through this together. So, let’s talk about this and get to the bottom of it in today’s Mindset Shift Monday post! Here we go…
I think bottom line what it comes down to is this: What is your reason for losing weight or wanting to lose weight?
Is it to look like a certain body type or fit into a particular aesthetic? Is it to change the way other people view you?
I remember being young and hearing my mom talk about her body negatively. I know so many women have heard their female family members do the same. I’m sure my mom heard her mom say that kind of stuff too. It’s a negative cycle. And a hard one to break.
It really messes with your head as a young girl because you think your mom is the most beautiful woman in the world – so why can’t she see what you see? (Ok, I’m crying now.)
Obviously it’s really tough to hear someone you love so dearly talk about hating their body that you see absolutely nothing wrong with.
Then, you get a little older and realize your bodies look just alike. Yikes.
You can see where it goes from here. This is how the negative body image cycle feeds into generation after generation.
As millennials, we grew up seeing all the weight loss ads for Slimfast, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, etc. all over our televisions.
We also grew up during the super-skinny supermodel days where Victoria’s Secret models were our inspiration. Yet another thing making us feel as though we aren’t good enough just the way we are.
Young girls are so impressionable, and sadly body positivity was basically non-existent to us when we needed it most.
So, if your main reason behind wanting to lose weight is coming from a place of self-consciousness and negative body image, then I regret to tell you it is nearly impossible for you to successfully, safely lose weight in your current mindset.
So now we’re all thinking – wow this sucks. The world told me I need to look a certain way, and I’ve been trying and failing basically my entire life. What now?
Of course we’ve been failing to “achieve this look” – we were never meant to look like anyone else.
If you do not learn to first love your body at its “worst”, (this is more of an analogy here – everyone is beautiful no matter what you look like 1000000%) then you will struggle to be able to navigate to a new place of loving it in a different state.
Hey hey hey. Let’s move on to another thought…
Maybe your reason for losing weight isn’t that you are unhappy with your body. Maybe the reason behind your weight loss is something that would seem more from the heart – such as losing weight to feel better or to move around easier? Or losing weight to avoid family health problems which you may have seen your parents struggle with? Losing weight because you love your body and want to take care of it?
We can say so many negative things about social media, but one thing it is doing (or should I say body positive influencers are doing) is allowing women to see other women at all shapes and sizes. More than ever before, we are coming to the realization as women that we are are beautiful and worthy no matter what we look like.
Over the last few years, I have had a total mindset change. I went from the girl who was always trying to lose weight to be a certain size and to look like other girls to being someone who (most of the time) just wants to be healthier and feel better. I hate to say something just clicked, but it truly felt like it. I know now it’s because all my life I’ve been taking small baby steps in the right direction. Finally it all came together into a beautiful body-positive-loving reality.
I am absolutely not saying that everyday is easy – I still struggle with little things daily. I don’t think it will ever go away. The important thing is to keep going and not slip into a dangerous mindset.
All this is to say – if you are coming from a place of love for yourself and for your body, then you very well can be at a healthy place to lose weight. Just do it for the right reasons.
You must first take steps to learn to appreciate your body now and all that it does for you. Of course this is not something that happens overnight. It will be hard work, but I’m hoping if you’re struggling in this department, that my advice can help you navigate this space at least a little…
Now, I am in no way saying that you must absolutely love your body and everything about it. (Boy wouldn’t that be nice! Ugh. News Flash: no one does.) This simply means you take baby steps over a significant period of time to do some of the following things to up your self-confidence:
- Stop negatively thinking about your body. Instead, when you start to feel self-conscious about something, tell yourself something along the lines of “this is my body. I love all that it does for me.”
- Stop denying others’ compliments. When someone tells you you look nice or you did a good job on something, say “thank you”. It’s as simple as that.
- If there’s a form of self-care that makes you feel more confident like doing your nails, hair, or makeup – then do it! Take a little extra time out of your day for you.
What else would you add to this list?
Thank you for reading and taking part in today’s post. What would you like to see me cover in the next #MindsetShiftMonday post?
Hit me up in the comments or on Instagram @selflovescript.
Much love to you & good luck on your body positive journey. You can do this.