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 Post subject: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:31 am 
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This is a great blog post from The Fuck-it Diet:
http://thefuckitdiet.com/2013/03/16/how ... -body-now/

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Quoting that blog because it is pretty awesome, and something I am struggling with.

Quote:
How to Start Loving Your Body NOW
Mar16 by C

(Other titles this post has had in drafts were: …Still Wanting a Perfect Body and We are Not on This Earth to Be Small)

***

Something has clicked in the past few weeks. I am happy to say that what I wanted- Better Body Acceptance- has started to happen, LEGIT.

It took me realizing how caged I still was by my beliefs and standards for myself, and re-realizing how unloving and self-destructive my beliefs were, before I was able to decide to go on this quest FULL FORCE.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had good intentions about all this stuff for a long time, but there have been so many buried layers of shame and perfectionism and fear and beliefs and beliefs and beliefs that I didn’t even have the emotional or mental frame of reference to get here until now. But now is the time.

I also got an email from a reader, and among saying other things, this is how she ended her email:

Quote:
“I feel like I can eat freely now but still have body image issues, like I’m in denial of weighing anything over 125 because for years I thought of my pre-ED body as “fat” and now I’m like ten pounds heavier than that.”


I get a lot of comments and emails like this. Along the lines of “WHEN AM I GOING TO BE OK WITH MY BODY???”. And this is what I have to say:

I had the same problem with thinking “but this is ten pounds over what I used to think was too fat!”… But obviously the problem with this is that we are still using disordered and self-destructive parameters to define worth and beauty.

Here are some things that have really helped me (even just in the past few weeks):

Well first off, this all really kicked off when I made my “Lenten” sacrifice: Deciding to love my body “Like a Psycho” and “As Irrationally as Need Be until it is Rational”. So below I have listed how I went about loving my body like a psycho:

(Loving your body is not psycho, it is very important and healthy, but it was so impossible and unacceptable for me for so many years to love my body, that I literally had to put those definers onto my Body Love Quest)

1. Realize that everything you are afraid of about being fat ….isn’t necessarily true. They are just beliefs. Beliefs that you took to be true, that are not necessarily true. (for instance being fat means I am ugly, I am worthless, I can’t do anything right, I am unlovable, I failed, I am uncontrollable, I failed again, nobody will take me seriously, nobody will think I am beautiful… and on and on) notice what beliefs about “what being fat means” are strongest for you, and then question them a million times until you can come up with some real reasons why they may not be true at all. Then replace the shit beliefs with some better beliefs.

2. Buy clothes that fit you NOW (and/or at your fattest) that are fun and beautiful and GET RID OF YOUR SKINNY CLOTHES. I have to say…I resisted this one for so long. Because even though I told myself I was over diets and body image shit, I still thought… “Yea… but I refuse to be fat. And obviously buying new clothes is a sign of sure failure”. So my old clothes were still a marker for how “well I was doing” and still stressed me out and reminded me of “success or failure “. Seriously, buy some amazing clothes that you love that fit perfectly NOW and get rid of the rest. If you ever are thinner again under natural, healthy circumstances, you’ll buy more clothes that fit then. It is not defeat. It is not saying “Well I guess I’m fat now. Close the blinds let’s stay in bed”. It is saying I DESERVE TO WEAR CLOTHES THAT DO NOT REPRESENT AN EATING DISORDER, THAT FIT AND CELEBRATE WHO I AM NOW.

3. Look at blogs or Pinterest boards that celebrate Health at Every Size and size diversity. I never had room for any other standards of beauty in my mind. But if you are like me, I invite you to challenge that. Look at pictures of people who are bigger than you who have decided to love themselves anyway. Desensitize yourself to the way people of every size look both naked, and with awesome, cute outfits on. Looking at these women, as well as beautiful plus size models, has really made me realize that the beauty standards in my mind have been conditioned. What I accepted as beautiful and successful and competent before was simply something that I learned by osmosis and accepted. And then I believed it and perpetuated it. Not only was I incredibly judgmental of myself, but I was judgmental of others. But it just doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone can be beautiful, and it REALLY DOES COME FROM THE INSIDE, and it shines through on the outside.

4. Notice all the people who are wonderful and attractive and who live great confident full lives who are not perfectly toned or skinny. Are they onto something? Also, notice all the people who you think are fabulous, but who don’t think they are good enough. Don’t you want to shake them and tell them how awesome they are!? What does THAT tell you?

5. We Are Not On This Earth to Be Small. Sometimes I hear that in the back of my mind, like someone is saying it to me. And it really resonates. Because for the longest time my sincerest goal and desire was to be small small small. The smaller the better! The smaller the more successful and competent and powerful and beautiful! It was like a fact in my life and I thought it was a fact in the world. A year ago when I started this journey, sometimes I would hear in the back of my mind “You are not on this earth to be small”. And it would inspire and uplift me, but I could not fully embrace it. Not yet.

Of course I am not telling you if you are a small person that you are not meant to be on this earth. But what I am saying is to really ask: Why am I trying to be as small as humanly possible? Really- Why? Why am I treating my time on earth like this? Why am I using up all my precious energy to value being as small as humanly possible? Why am I trying to control everything like this? Why am I trying to shrink away, to diminish myself, to fade into the corner? Why on earth is it sane to believe that my power comes from being a frail little thing who doesnt take up any space? What on earth am I trying to accomplish? And isn’t there another way? Wouldn’t it be better to be open and bold and brave, and take up space and celebrate who I am and what I’ve done and greet the world with a shining smile? Isn’t there more to my life than being small? I am not on this earth to be small!

This is getting at a deeper part of body image: spirituality. I really believe that trusting this world (life/”God”/whatever you believe) is the only true way to peace, with your body and everything else.

6. Speaking of spirituality. Accept that however your body is NOW is the way your body is supposed to be NOW. It’s true because it IS the way it is now. Your body isn’t meant to be another way now, because it isn’t. Get it? Your body is smart. It is either they way it is now because it’s perfect and exactly how you are always meant to look, or because you are healing, or because your body needs to be bigger for a while to teach you something about yourself. WHO KNOWS, but TRUST it. Trust it and love it and celebrate it and let it teach you, and live your life in your body NOW.

7. Girrlllll THROW OUT YOUR SCALE. Yes… I know…. sometimes I do weigh myself at my parent’s house out of curiosity. Which is how I know I am __ lbs over what I used to consider fat. But, you know, that number literally does nothing for you. ANNNNDDDD, your clothes are enough of an indicator/stressor. But you are going to buy beautiful clothes that fit you, right? And when you start to beat yourself up about being a size ___ and hooowww could i have let this happen, go back to #1, and ask yourself why it upsets you so much, and what are you believing about being a size ___ that may not be true at all.

Conclusion:

I have to say that all of those things above would have not affected me if I read them 2 years ago. I would have been like,”sure… That is nice for some people…” I would have read, but it only would have gotten in so deep.

It took time. It took a lot of time actually. It took me realizing….. “Woa , I have been trying to accept myself for a while, and I still am waiting to be thin… ” It took many many levels of realization to even start considering legitimately starting my life now, as opposed to judging myself constantly and waiting for that glorious day when I was the smallest EVER. Look at me! You can barely see me! I have arrived!

WTF!?!?!?!

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:33 am 
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Another post along the same lines:

Quote:
Can You Love Your Body Without Really Loving Your Body?

Lose the Diet.
Love Your Body.
Eat in Peace.

Those are three of the major tenets of my work with eating and body image. The order in which women accomplish these goals is fairly standard. First, they give up dieting. While this may be a radical notion for some, usually it's not too difficult to accomplish. Next, and as a part of a new non-dieting approach, they learn to find peace with food. This step may require a bit more finagling, but many women are still able to find success. So far, so good. . . But, what comes next is, in my opinion, significantly more challenging to approach.

Love Your Body.

What does that mean? Do you really need to love your body to move beyond eating and body issues? Is love a requirement to heal?

I don't believe that you must really love your body in order to recover. The truth is that most women (and an increasing number of men these days) don't love their bodies. But, what is important is acting as if you love your body. What does that mean exactly?

* You refrain from attacking your body with verbal and visual assaults.
* You take care of your body, providing it with adequate nutrition, sleep, and other self-care behaviors.
* You exercise for health and enjoyment, not for punishment or compensation.
* You wear clothing that fits, is comfortable, and flatters your physique.
* You participate in activities that you enjoy, without letting your size keep you sidelined or from enjoying these activities.
* You have a healthy sexual/romantic life, and your body image isn't an obstacle to your sexuality.
* You treat your body well, and if finances allow, you go for massages, manicures, etc.
* You accept that while you might prefer to be thinner, taller, tanner, or more toned, this is your body now.

Can you try to act as if?

Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder?

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Saki Santorelli


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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 12:32 pm 
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I edited your post to put the whole article in. She has the order mixed up. It's:

Lose the diet.
Make peace with food.
Love your body.

(Or don't love your body, but accept it.)

It's a really important message that until we stop dieting (restricting) and make peace with food (weight stabilise) we are unlikely to overcome the:

Quote:
...features of severe psychopathology and brain dysfunction [associated with restrictive EDs - Spender]. Some of the more salient include:

* Psychosis—Includes both sensory hallucinations (like severe body image distortions) and somatic hallucinations (“I can see the fat content of the food I consume seeping into my tissues”), as well as delusions, which can range from broad (ie. “I have gained 10 lbs since yesterday”) to narrow (“I feel my thighs getting wider as I eat”).
* Obsessive fears—Includes fears that patients perseverate on; generally insistent or redundant beliefs with regard to eating and weight.
* Phobias—Patients become phobic of eating and/or weight gain and often become more anxious and fearful as they approach their “phobic threshold.”
* Paranoia—Including a general distrust or fear of being “tricked” into gaining weight and getting well.
* Entrapment—Fueled in large part by low self efficacy, expressed as a perceived inability to change even when they profess they want to (ie. stuck with the notion that “I can’t do this”).
http://www.webiteback.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=18476


I take issue with a couple of her points, though. Mainly that you should wear clothing that fits, is comfortable and flatters your physique. Maybe she's just being clumsy, but I think the message should be, "wear whatever the hell you feel good wearing", no matter any of the other points. You wanna strap yourself into leather and chains, you go! You wanna wear Abercrombie and Fitch, flaunt it!

I would also emphasise my personal view that acceptance - for me - is more important that loving my body. And loving myself is also more important. But that may be just nitpicking; in general, it's a helpful guide:

Stop dieting.
Make peace with food.
Love (or accept) your body.

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:00 am 
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Yes, I thought the order was mixed up too.

And I agree you don't necessarily need to wear comfortable clothes. I went through a phase of wearing a lot of straps/buckles/laces/corsets in a kind of Victorian bondage way. Not exactly comfortable and took ages to lace me up! Not sure it's compatable with recovery though. Comfy clothes all the way in recovery, for me!

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 11:38 am 
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Ah, maybe the last two steps are something that occurred together for her. I can see that happening (though I do agree with the order Spender posted). And also that maybe you'll never love your body. But you don't have to love it to treat it with respect.

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:31 pm 
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It's an interesting point: are there clothes that are inherently "anti-recovery"? I would argue - not in an aggressive way - not. Many members have their "skinny" clothes - the smallest sizes they ever fit - and yes, those gotta go; otherwise they remain a constant reproach, a reminder, a temptation. But while weight restoring I actually went and bought my fav (cheap) jeans a size and two sizes up so that I could get rid of the old and slide seamlessly into the new without losing both the "skinny" and the style. However, I am not sure of a style which is anti-recovery - I'd be interested. Persephone, my daughter - who works at a patisserie and is the epitome of set point theory (never restricts, never diets, never denies, and remains the same size and shape) - does the laces and leather thing in her own time and has a load of fun with it. What do people think - other than names, like "skinny jeans", are there clothes that are incompatible with recovery?

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:42 pm 
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I don't think "skinny jeans" are anti-recovery. It's referring to the style of the pants, not the person wearing them. I think the marketing of skinny jeans (namely, the misappropriation of the word "skinny") is where the messages get a little triggering.

I can't think of any particular style of clothing I could deem as universally "anti-recovery". Some things might make me uncomfortable but work for other people. Spanx isn't even really "anti-recovery", though it may be anti-body acceptance (no more than corsets though. It's just the modern ladies' corset).

Maybe particular slogans can be personally triggering to some people (I've gotten some serious flak over some words on various shirts), but again, it's all about how you interpret it and how much you let it get to you.

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:50 pm 
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delenda wrote:
I don't think "skinny jeans" are anti-recovery. It's referring to the style of the pants, not the person wearing them. I think the marketing of skinny jeans (namely, the misappropriation of the word "skinny") is where the messages get a little triggering.

Yeah, I agree with this. Where I live, "skinny jeans" simply refers to skintight/drainpipe jeans, as I'm sure it does in many other places. It wasn't until I was watching an ancient episode of Sex and the City (probably from 2003ish) that I heard "skinny jeans" in the context of "jeans I could fit into when I was skinny".

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:03 pm 
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Don`t get me wrong; I love my "skinny" jeans (when I'm not struggling with some psychotic delusion about my body, which hit me out of left field a couple of weeks ago): I dislike the appropriation of shape to describe style. I have the same reaction to Levi's "curvy" line, where you choose your own curviness and just try on the appropriate style. Well, aside from having no idea how "curvy" my five decade old butt is, I want to buy clothes that are fun and I enjoy, not buy "shapes". Or "Fat-Free Dressing", a brand of "body slimming/smoothing" undergarments.

I really liked the idea of that body imaging machine I posted about somewhere a couple of weeks ago, where you go in and it images your body and prints out a list of suggestions for brands and sizes carried in that mall that would suit your own shape, and pick from that.

Ok. And something that may belong in confessions or rants (thank god this isn't in the public forum!): how do women wear push-up bras without popping out when they bend over? Or do they just not bend over? That's one of the main reasons I only wear bandeaux now, 'cause my girls won't allow me to be a normally active human being in most commercial bras (and I refuse to wear old-lady bras! I'd get a boob-lift first, I swear!!!).

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 Post subject: Re: Learning to love your body.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:17 pm 
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Ah, I see your point. 'Fat-Free Dressing' fucks me off as a brand name (partly because fat-free salad dressing, the object it's based on, is shite and therefore not a value I'd look for in clothing).

Haha, the push-up bra question - you've gotta keep a close eye on 'em, but I swear it's possible to bend over without needing to summon them back in. It is something of an art form, though...

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