Can You Be Body-Pos­i­tive and Still Want to Lose Weight?

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - #REALTALK -

Yes Tracey-Lee Lusty

Lawyer; health & it­ness blog­ger In­sta­gram: it­ness­girl_ za

To me, be­ing body-pos­i­tive means accepting and cel­e­brat­ing your unique body shape,

ac­knowl­edg­ing that it may go through nat­u­ral size changes, and do­ing your ut­most to keep it func­tion­ing healthily and op­ti­mally. Be­ing body-pos­i­tive is not about com­pla­cency, cel­e­brat­ing obe­sity or lead­ing an un­healthy life be­cause a move­ment now makes it ‘okay’ to do so. It’s about recog­nis­ing that all bodies are equal, re­gard­less of size or abil­ity. And to me per­son­ally, it’s about en­cour­ag­ing women to care more about their health than about their ex­ter­nal ap­pear­ance.

To be a real ad­vo­cate of the move­ment is to be com­pletely hon­est with your­self. If you want to lose weight be­cause you be­lieve that be­ing smaller equates to be­ing more beau­ti­ful based on a fab­ri­cated in­dus­try stan­dard, then this would be in di­rect con­flict to body pos­i­tiv­ity. How­ever, if shed­ding weight is a con­se­quence of you work­ing on your­self to bet­ter your over­all men­tal well­be­ing and phys­i­cal health, then how could this not be in line with the ideal of self-love, which un­der­pins the move­ment?

If shed­ding a few kilo­grams or com­mit­ting to a healthy and ac­tive lifestyle makes you feel good, then who is to say that you are not body-pos­i­tive? With the right in­ten­tion, em­bark­ing on a weight-loss jour­ney is the purest form of self-love. If be­ing body-pos­i­tive is about lov­ing your body, then – in my opin­ion – en­sur­ing that it works op­ti­mally and is in good health is ac­tu­ally the clear­est form of body-pos­i­tive ac­tivism.

No Kim Wind­vo­gel

Body-pos­i­tive ac­tivist In­sta­gram: blaz­ingnon­bi­nary

Body pos­i­tiv­ity isn’t just a phrase. It’s a lay­ered ide­ol­ogy that seems to have even the most ed­u­cated baˆled as to what it truly means.

The phrase is usu­ally thrown around only when spo­ken about in re­la­tion to sup­pos­edly fat peo­ple (my­self in­cluded) who love their body re­gard­less – when in fact body pos­i­tiv­ity has noth­ing at all to do with weight. We live in a so­ci­ety that tells us to hate our body. Whether you’re as skinny as they come, or you have thick thighs, a tight ass or a snatched waist with no arm fat, so­ci­ety will still find a way to serve you all the rea­sons why you should hate your­self or feel a burn­ing de­sire to al­ter your­self.

To me, body pos­i­tiv­ity means you love your body re­gard­less of its size, and re­gard­less of what so­ci­ety tells you it should look like. Of course, I’m not say­ing that the mo­ment you start los­ing weight you can’t be body-pos­i­tive. What I’m say­ing is, think­ing that body pos­i­tiv­ity is re­served just for fat peo­ple or just for skinny peo­ple is mis­guid­ing. I be­lieve that, as a so­ci­ety, we should fo­cus more on health and treat weight as a sec­ondary fac­tor. If we can do that, our body, mind and spirit will fall into their nat­u­ral or­der and shine in the way they are sup­posed to – be it thick or skinny, heavy, mus­cu­lar or fat.

So no, I don’t be­lieve you can want to ac­tively lose weight while still be­ing body-pos­i­tive. Weight is just one as­pect of health, and if los­ing it is your sole pur­pose, you will al­ways face dis­ap­point­ment. Fo­cus on your health, on mod­er­a­tion and on self-es­teem, so you can love and ad­mire your body in all its stages.

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