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Finding MY Truth In The Body Positive Movement

Confession:

For a very long time I’ve struggled with finding my truth in the body positive movement. There were even times when I thought that it was just an excuse to embrace being fat. And for me, that was difficult to wrap my head around and it has nothing to do with fat being a dirty word, it had nothing to do with societies obsession with a thigh gap, it was far more, for me, about being healthy and logic tells me that carrying around excessive weight is simply not healthy.

Confession:

I love my body! But for a very long time, I didn’t. Most especially during our years of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. During that time, I’d go so far as to say, I hated my body. I abused my body. But there were a few lessons I learned during my banting journey. One of them was how adaptable my body was. How, when I nourished it with the foods it needed, it responded. When I trained it, it adapted and became fit and strong. It became lean (note I didn’t say thin) and powerful and resilient. And I loved THAT body! 

Confession:

I am obese.

Well, by diet industry standards anyway. I’m considered obese. I’ve gained some weight over the past year and I’m not the lean machine I was even 12 months ago. Granted I’m not anywhere near where I was when I started out on this journey back in 2015 when I tipped the scales and 118kg’s,but I’m certainly not where I want to be either. But most importantly, I still love my body:

My truth:

I’ve learned that, especially for someone like me, who finds certain foods highly addictive (carbs & sugar), chasing good health, chasing my ideal body, will always be a journey and not a destination. Dudes, the only sure destination for anyone’s body is death. 

So what is being body positive to me? 

It’s recognizing that I’m on a journey so I may as well enjoy the ride. It is being disciplined and knowing what foods nourish and what foods hurt me. It’s embracing that a certain lifestyle is ideal for me and sticking with that. It is about being hard on myself and setting a standard for myself because failure to do that is a one way ticket to morbid obesity. 

Dieting does not need to be a dirty word. It certainly isn’t for me. Because when I talk about “dieting”, I’m not talking about fad diets, calorie counting or stupid pills, I’m talking about every day eating of natural foods, rich in vitamins and minerals that nourish my body. 

Exercise doesn’t need to be about guilt, exercise is about feeling fit and strong. It’s about stamina and strength. 

I’m not a young woman anymore. At 45 I’m not chasing societies ideal of a perfect body, I am chasing optimal health, fitness and strength, I am chasing the best version of me I can be. I have sun damage on my chest and loose skin on my neck, I am lined and wrinkled and I’m totally fine with that because I’m 45 years old and that is privilege. I could point out all the flaws that I see in these photos of me, but I won’t because who actually even cares? 

My body positive truth is…

That I will continue to love my body but because I love my body, I will continue to strive to be the best version of me I can possibly be. 

What are your thoughts on the body positive movement?

Am I even making any sense, I’m not sure where I’m even going on this rambling post, except to say that I read all the posts on body positivity and while some of it rings true for me, some of it simply doesn’t and I’m ok with that. I’m on a journey with my body, not a destination. And I think that that is the most important lesson that my banting journey has taught me. Success comes with failure, you fall down, you learn what made you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on trying to be the best version of you that you can be! 

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3 Comments

  • Reply Melissa Javan (@melissa_nel)

    Looking really fabulous

    January 5, 2018 at 7:46 pm
  • Reply Kerry

    This is something I struggled with for so long, especially considering I have been so up and down with my weight, but that’s exactly it, my weight fluctuates but my relationship with my body and my happiness based on my body shouldn’t. To me, body positivity is important for everyone, no matter their size but that doesn’t mean you give up on being healthy and that’s where most people struggle to accept the movement because they do see it as an excuse. I think our relationships with our bodies are personal and each to their own so you don’t have to wonder about your part in the movement because you know what your relationship is. Our bodies do thrive on good food and exercise and regardless of our opinion on the movement it’s important to give our body what it needs.
    Great post Sharon and honestly you look beautiful in that costume xx

    January 5, 2018 at 9:30 pm
  • Reply Julie

    You look fantastic and I love that you’re feeling great, too! I’ve just started the journey of purposefully treating my body better and, honestly, reading/sharing your journey has been a huge inspiration. (I sat on my butt watching/reading about you journey for too long, haha, but now I’m up & at ’em). I am loving feeling stronger. Of course it’s a good feeling to see my waistbands getting looser but also the unexpected things – like getting way less headaches, morning aches/niggles are less (and stiffness or aches from gym don’t count coz they’re somehow gooood) & way less teary/sad pms-y days! I find I’m now more likely to chat to someone further than the hihowareyoudoing query. More confident and happier all round. Thank you!

    January 8, 2018 at 9:54 am
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