Did you hear the controversy this week on instagram with Revolve Clothing and this shirt:
My jaw literally dropped when I saw this…
Apparently the sweatshirt message was intended to create awareness about cyber bullying but obviously backfired.
The outcry against “fat shaming” was quick and well supported and I loved watching women stand up and say this message was total bullshit.
This also brought up a few things that I wanted to get your perspective on…
How do we balance the desire to obsess about calories and workout all the time (AKA the “no excuses, just DO it” approach) with the message to just “love our bodies the way they are, it’s all good, eat whatever” when deep down we also want to see a meaningful change?
Here’s my take and what I’ve learned from recovering from debilitating eating disorders AND losing 50 pounds in the process….
1. Your body is beautiful, it’s right and essential to see it as so. Just as a mountain landscape with rolling hills isn’t any less beautiful than a mountain with svelte lines and less lushness, there’s no reason to give ourselves shit about our current shape. When we hate our bodies we hate ourselves and that NEVER, I repeat NEVER brings about true healing.
2. When we love ourselves fully we can take better care of ourselves, *even if that means having the discipline to do so.* If I’m being honest with you, for most of my life self-love meant staying home on the couch and “treating” myself with takeout. I pretended that eating or drinking while stressed, bored, or lonely was giving myself love and that running, hiking, not buying the ice cream, etc was deprivation and pressure. That was a lie. To me gentle, consistent discipline IS love. Just like in parenting, harsh discipline creates a divide, but loving discipline provides the boundaries and habits that allow us to grow strong, capable, and wise.
3. There IS a way to eat well that doesn’t feel like deprivation. Here’s the honest truth…We need to stop thinking in extremes if we’re truly going to end the battle on our bodies.
The choices are not JUST:
- love my body the way it is, eat whatever, do whatever OR…
- I MUST fit into a certain size to be okay, lovable or at ease therefore I must do whatever it takes to force myself or deprive myself to get there.
FUN FACT: Discipline comes from the word disciple: to study oneself. It’s not a forcing, it’s a knowing.
For instance, I know when I eat Ben and Jerry’s I will eat the whole thing 8 times out of 10 so I know when I go to reach for it at the store I say to myself:
“Krissy, Love… you’ve done this before. It doesn’t work out. Every time, you know this. I know you want it, but what do you want MORE?”
I gently guide myself to something that brings me what I really want: pleasure and sweetness… sometimes that’s a walk, or some dark chocolate or simply a deep breath.
On the other hand, when I tell myself “I deserve it, just do it, eat it!” I’m really not acting from my highest most loving and knowing self..
I now know myself better than that.
Here’s the deal: I don’t “deserve” to feel good for 15 minutes then feel awful about myself and my choices. I deserve to FREE AF.
And so that’s what I choose.
Even if it means not having the ice cream.
And some days I get the ice cream and enjoy every single bite. I don’t beat myself up about it.
To me this is the closest thing I’ve found to freedom.
Freedom isn’t eating whatever I want whenever I want, freedom is having the ability to CHOOSE.
So there it is… I don’t think fat is an excuse but apathy certainly is. Every body is beautiful AND capable. Discipline, knowing ourselves deeply, is what allows us to use that beautiful body as a force for good in the world.
Love first. Then ACTION.
It’s time to expand our definition of “love” beyond what feels easy. It must also include doing what we are truly capable of.
What if we exchanged the “fuck it, whatever, I deserve it’s” from our self-love vocabulary and replaced them with “I get to’s, I can, I choose to…”
Then I think we have a chance at real change.
Then we don’t have to use self love as a hall pass for not taking good care of our bodies even when it’s hard, but we also don’t hate ourselves in the process of creating the change we want.
Then we get to live a life free of excuses AND one where we truly feel beautiful, strong and empowered every step of the way.
That, my dear, is a recipe for true freedom.
THAT is worth fighting for.
“I CHOOSE to create the life I want, built on truth, tremendous love, and massive, aligned action.”
Put that on a fucking t-shirt.
SO, now I want to hear from YOU.
Is there a middle ground between obsession and apathy? What does self-love look like to you? How do you cultivate discipline without being harsh or hard on yourself? What would self-love look like that is both nourishing AND empowering? Can we have BOTH?
We’re all in this together.
With tremendous love,