Today is Love Your Body Day! But... what does that really mean?
Like most women, I find myself comparing my body to that of those around me. I'm hyper aware of people looking at me and even more aware of their facial expressions and tone of voice when talking to me. Why? Because I know I'm obese and I know people still judge me based on that fact.
Like I said in an earlier post I struggle on an almost daily basis with the stigma of being a plus sized fitness instructor. I know a lot of students feel comfortable with me because I am a walking example that anyone really can do it but... sometimes that hurts worse.
Why does my weight matter in the grand scheme of things? My body can do everything that a 125 pound womans body can do... why do people feel the need to harp on it because I weigh 330 pounds?
I see examples of "fat persecution" around me all the time. From little things like the catty "Who told her it was a good idea to wear THAT?!?" comments made between friends to more overt societal constructs like the fact that the only clothes designed to fit me make me feel like I might as well be wearing a burlap sack. I don't want to be running around with all of my goodies hanging out for everyone to see but I'd like to be able to feel sexy, sensual and HUMAN sometimes.
It seems bizarre to me that we even need a day to focus on loving our body... shouldn't that be the message every day?
Women's media tends to scream loudly about transforming our bodies, fixing our problem areas, hiding our flaws, masking our imperfections but rarely about embracing the things that make each person special.
It amazes me how many people are shocked or offended when I'm in class and I'm hot and I'm sweaty and I decide to either tie my shirt up or tuck it up in to my sports bra baring my stomach to the room. I'm HOT and SWEATY and my shirt is only making things worse... so I minimize the contact the fabric has with my skin and I feel better. I also look at the little jiggly bits on my stomach and realize how much smaller they've gotten and push myself harder because I can actually see the changes in my body.
Yes, I want to change my body but, ultimately, it's not about my appearance... it's about my health. I want to stay healthy. I want to avoid being on any more medication than I currently am. I want my cholesterol to stay in a healthy range. I want to keep my blood pressure where it is. I want to avoid becoming diabetic. If I can do all of those things and be 250 pounds that's fine by me.
I'd like to be thinner (if only for the fashion!) but if my body decides to stay where it is that's fine by me. I'll continue to gain tone and endurance and become stronger and faster and I'll continue to love my body for allowing to me to do all the fabulous things it lets me do on a given day.
I love my body and I show my body that I love it by giving it quality food, water, and being as active as I can. I pamper my skin with lush lotions. I live life to the fullest and try not to let my physical body determine who I will be on a mental, emotional, or professional level.
This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival