For the most part, most of my clients come in really hating their bodies and wanting to do everything they can to change them. Female bodies are exploited. They’re exploited for lust, for sex, for advertising, for humor and just for the sake of exploitation. Photoshopped and digitized porn images flood the internet, causing women to believe that their bodies are not good enough for their husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends or themselves. Michelle Obama is a brilliant attorney yet she is famous for being the First Lady of best biceps. Janet Reno, the former Attorney General was constantly berated for her less than trendy style. Sarah Palin was referred to as a VPILF and had photoshopped bikini pictures of herself all over the internet. So, yes, it’s hard to be a woman. As women, we are constantly being told that our worth is tied up in the way we look, in how tight our thighs are and how large our breasts are. And so then, we spend years, lifetimes even, eating, dieting, dieting, bingeing, dieting, purging, exercising, dieting, bingeing, crying, starving, running, lifting, taking potions and pills, smoking, snorting, drinking, stuffing, restricting… it’s exhausting, and it’s not even our problem, it’s a problem of society. We, unfortunately, live in a time where women are judged by the size of their waists rather than by the size our hearts and our brains. We can’t change the times that we live in.
However, we can refuse to participate in it. We can only waste so much time, so much of ourselves trying to fit into a mold that someone else wants to stuff us into. We will never fit into that mold. We can however, be who we want to be. We can learn to enjoy ourselves in the body we have. We can participate in sports or outdoor activities, we can play music, we can write books and stories, we can cook, we can love, we can travel. We can do anything. But we can’t wait until we are the right size. You are right, right now. If you wait, you might have to wait forever.
Your body isn’t everything. It’s not the whole of who you are. It’s a container. That’s not to say that it’s not important to keep it healthy and strong so that you can live a long and healthy life, but dieting, starving and bingeing isn’t healthy. Your body is a safe. It needs to be strong only because it holds all the good stuff. It’s disposable. The good stuff– the warmth, the compassion, the love, the intelligence, the creativity, the kindness, and everything else– stays secure inside of it. It’s just a body. Weight is just a number on a scale, calories are just a unit of heat, size is just the measure of matter. The meaning that we attach to it has no bearing on who you are as a person. It doesn’t measure your heart, your intelligence, your insight, your warmth, it just measures how much physical space you take up. That’s it. Nothing else. Weight is a fact, not a moral judgment, yet we seem to attach so much more to it.
We have to look at ourselves with our own eyes, not the eyes of others. We have no control over what others see, feel, and how they judge. The judgement of others is only in relation to the way they feel about themselves. That’s something that we absolutely can’t change. We can only look at ourselves and we have to learn to like ourselves.That’s what counts and that’s what matters.
You just can’t look to the world to tell you who you are. You must announce who you are to the world.