So maybe it’s just all the things that crawl into my Facebook newsfeed but I’m constantly bombarded with body image propaganda — the best word I can think of for this stuff.
I get it — the intent behind it is all good. In the First World, women disliking their bodies is a problem. Coming with that, eating disorders, obesity, general dissatisfaction and preoccupation with food and body.
But talking about ourselves, focusing on our bodies, obsessing over why plus-size models is even a term, making documentaries about bodies…it just isn’t the answer. The focus is still on us and the preoccupation with these bodies of ours. This is simply my own stark reaction.
I reference the documentary above because it sparked this thought. The woman in the video asks women about their bodies and it appears that every woman describes her body as “disgusting” in some form or another. I just don’t think that’s true to reality — but you’d sure believe so by watching this video. She’s raising money to make a movie about the “body image movement” and there are tears and dramatic music and all of that. But all I can think about is how much better off we’d all be if we stopped obsessing about our bodies like this — in a good way or a bad way.
[*Sidenote: I think women who have undergone dramatic surgeries because of breast cancer (etc.), have deformaties or other significant, more rare body image issues are in a different category here & that deserves a different discussion.]
I have a better idea for how women can start accepting their bodies: stop focusing on your body, stop focusing so much on yourself all of the time.
Is that the anti-thesis of every women’s magazine out there? I don’t know — but it’s the only thing that worked for me.
I think that’s part of why I struggled with ED for so long — but consciously choosing to stop focusing on my body was a major part of me getting over it. Today — I don’t love or hate my body today, I am grateful for it. It’s capable, functional and allows me to do all the other things that make my life truly worthwhile.
More often than not, the answer to moving past some of our issues is simply to look beyond ourselves, our bodies, the superficial representations of who we are. I believe the woman making this documentary has her heart in the right place, I just don’t think more hyper focus on the body is the answer.
To employ a little cheesiness: Focus on exercising your kindness muscles instead of your self-pity stretches. Stop overexercising and over-serve a person in need. Dry your tears over flabby thighs and use your energy to raise money for a kid that doesn’t have enough to eat. There’s always a better choice when it comes to these things. Make a list.
This a reminder to myself as much as anyone — because I do it too, with my First World problems and my stupid worrying over how my legs jiggle in spandex when I run.
But it’s not about spending more time focusing on how to love your body — it’s about spending more time learning how to be a better person, to serve other people and if you are of the notion, to honor God more.
Our bodies are temporary but our souls are forever. How can you use your body today to make the world a better place?
There’s really no way to recap this except to say CrossFit x 5 plus one 7-mile run. I have had a BLAST getting back into my groove at CrossFit and am loving every second of it. I’ll say it again, working out has never been so great. I’m back to feeling strong and awesome, can’t complain! If you have an awesome workout to share from the past week — link it up with us below!