I heard her on the radio. She talked of going from 8 stone to 12 stone in a matter of months. She talked of the discomfort, the shame and the limitations she felt had been imposed on her new fat body.
I googled her transformation pictures. And when I saw her, at 12 stone, I thought – that’s my body. I saw her soft, chunky arms. I saw her wobbly thighs. I saw the curve of her belly. And I saw my own softness. My arms. My thighs. My belly. And I felt them deemed shameful. Shameful by her standards, by the radio presenters’ standards. She repeated several times the phrase “against everything I stand for.”
I’ve never reached a “celebrity weight”. You know the ones I mean, the 8 stone actresses, 9 stone singers… When I look at myself through the eyes of a normal person, I feel pretty normal. I’m a size 12. I weight a decent amount (certainly closer to 12 than 8 stone!). I take up some space on this planet.
But when I look at myself through the eyes of the “celebrity slim”, I feel huge. Inflated. Shamed. My body bulges into spaces it has no right to occupy. There is softness where there must only be hardness.
So yes, you might be trying hard to love and accept your body. You might be trying hard to cultivate a sense of self-worth, working with rather than against your body. But like me, do you feel like you are regularly plunged back into a toxic environment of body-hatred when you engage with the media circus that surrounds us?
We need to let go of looking at ourselves through the eyes of the “celebrity slim”. Put on the eyes of someone who loves you for all that you are. Someone who understands that bodies occupy the space that they need. Someone who understands that you are more than a number on a scale. Someone who understands that the path to a healthy weight is only achieved through a healthy dose of self-love and compassion.
One of my affirmations for this year is: I live without shame.
I wholeheartedly recommend Brene Brown, TED talk speaker, as someone who can help you to understand shame and how to combat it. She has two amazing talks, the Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame.
Do you feel body-shame?
What is your antidote to it?
How can we live without shame when it feels like everything and everyone in the mainstream media is telling you that your body is shameful?