Why and how body positive thinking became a ‘thing’ in my life.
I did a self development course. (Don’t switch off yet)
I found the course very very, hmm… what’s the word… revelatory.
The course helped me understand myself better: why I act a certain way when I’m upset and angry, why I am thoughtful, why I try and be funny… It helped me look at the past, accept it and not let it dictate the decisions I make in the future.
The course requires you to complete a project.
They ask you to look at your passions, something important to you. Then they ask you to reflect on the people who are connected to you, the different communities you are a part of: friends/ family/ colleagues/ social circles/ those people you share hobbies with etc. This should help you figure out what your project could be.
I was gazumped. I struggle with passions. I don’t have hobbies because I spend my time flitting from challenge to challenge always wanting to try something new, go somewhere new, meet new people and take my pals along for the ride. (I haven’t quite figured out why that is yet.)
So I looked at all the different communities I’m part of and I looked at something which was important to me (and had been important my whole life) and thought- that’s it! My body! Our bodies and our relationships with them!
I figured out over the past few months thanks to the course and some deep digging that the person I saw in the mirror is not really who I am.
Who I am is a loving auntie, who I am is a thoughtful and funny friend. A helpful and conscientious and sometimes frustrating colleague. A caring daughter and niece. I am made up of my hopes and dreams. What makes me a human is my interaction with others and what I can accomplish with them and what I can do for them. I realised that it is within my power to create a great and happy future for myself, to dream big. And what I realised is: none of that is ruled by my body.
That was a huge revelation.
I realised that my body is the tool I can use to be able to be all those things to those people and do all those things I want to do. I used to think it was cuckoo when someone said your body is a gift because I couldn’t wrap my head around seeing past the rolls of fat and the unwanted hair and the dodgy hearing and cracking joints. Now I get it. That’s exactly what it is. A gift.
One morning I had a light bulb moment. I went from looking in the mirror and crying about not being the weight I want to be, to looking in the mirror and crying because I have the ability to do whatever I really want to do, with a great tool at my disposal. Now I think my body is pretty great. It’s going to help me live the life I want to have. I want more people to have that revelation.
So that’s why I started this project. I see friends crippled by fear of what others think of them, or what they think others think of them. Friends who just can’t be happy because they don’t look a certain way. I was like that.
So what I’d like to do is talk to people about what their ideas of body confidence is. I want to read as much as I can, learn from experts and see if I can help people feel better, if they aren’t happy. I am not an expert. Don’t look to me for researched and analysed information (just yet). I’m just interested and would quite like to help a few people who are struggling. This project is going to help me as much as it is going to help others.
I messaged a friend to see if I could ask her a few questions because she is a bit younger than me and it would be good to get her perspective on the subject. She replied with “My confidence is shattered but I’m more than happy to answer questions :) xxx”
And that’s exactly why I’m doing this project. For her, and for all like her.