One of the most common questions I’m asked is “Where do I start…?” Sometimes it’s “where do I start to stop hating my body?” Sometimes it’s “Where do I start to be a Size Acceptance Activst?” To me one of the best places to start is with our own mouths: Stop negative body talk, including about your own body. That alone could start a revolution.
Start by making a decision – I’m going to stop negative body talk, including about my own body.
You can start by interrupting yourself when you think something negative about someone else’s body. You can just stop yourself, you can find something about them that you find beautiful, you can remind yourself that you’ve been conditioned to do this by people looking for profit, privilege and/or control and that you can opt out. You can do this within your own mind, or go public about it and let people know you’ve taken a pledge to stop negative body talk. You can interrupt other people’s body snarking. You can stop sharing anything on social media that has elements of negative body talk. You can skip the “Best and Worst Bikini Bodies” articles. It will take time for this to become second nature, so have compassion for yourself while you work on it!
When it comes to your own body, I recommend that you take ten minutes, right now, and make a list of things that your body does for you (breathing, blinking, heartbeat, waste management, smiling, rolling your wheelchair, hugging, texting whatever etc.) Include everything that you can think of. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Ok so you have your list, now become conscious of the way that you think about your body and start interrupting negative thoughts and replacing them with gratitude for something on the list. It doesn’t have to be an “even exchange” so if you start to think about how you don’t like part of your body, you can interrupt that thought by thanking your body for breathing or anything else. If there are things about your body that frustrate you or make you angry, it’s ok to feel that frustration and anger, and it’s also ok to still have gratitude for your body for all of the amazing things that it does do. It takes practice and commitment, and it takes choosing to remove yourself from the the body hatred that comes standard with life in this culture, so be patient with yourself. I know for sure that, for me, it was totally worth it.
Think about how different the world would be without body snarking, body hatred, negative body talk, body comparison, and a constant stream of articles criticizing women’s bodies. How different would our thoughts be if they weren’t clouded with constant negative thoughts about our bodies and negative body comparisons? How would the world be different if women refused to hate our bodies, or trash each others’ bodies? I want to find out, what about you? I think that one place to start is with ourselves, by deciding to stop being part of the system that holds us down. Will you pledge to stop negative body talk?
NEW FAT AND FITNESS ANTHOLOGY!
I’m super excited to announce that Candice Casas, Courtney Marshall, Jeanette DePatie and I are creating an anthology of stories of fat people in the world of movement/fitness/sports at all levels. You can find all the information for the Call for Proposals here! The deadline for the proposals is July 15th. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org.
Like the blog? More Cool Stuff!
Book and Dance Class Sale! I’m on a journey to complete an IRONMAN triathlon, and I’m having a sale on all my books, DVDs, and digital downloads to help pay for it. You get books and dance classes, I get spandex clothes and bike parts. Everybody wins! If you want, you can check it out here!
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Book Me! I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information on topics, previous engagements and reviews here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!
I’m training for an IRONMAN! You can follow my journey atwww.IronFat.com
A movie about my time as a dancer is in active development, you can follow the progress on Facebook!