Rebel Against the Ideal Body + ROAR About It
“You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress, simultaneously”
- Sophia Bush
I just finished doing a workshop with Bloom Fit Training and I’ve found myself feeling even more inspired to spread the good word of body positivity and body respect. What’s the scoop on Bloom Fit? Shelby Lawson created the company last year with the intention to make real changes in the fitness industry. As a group instructor herself, she began to change the language she used in her own classes. Instead of saying things like “GET THAT BIKINI BODY!” she’d say things like “ALL BODIES ARE GOOD BODIES!” and the positive response was overwhelming. She realized there was a huge need for instructors to be educated in body positivity. Bloom Fit offers an accredited certification for personal trainers and group instructors that teaches them how to change the language they use in order to encourage body acceptance in classes and with clients.
Bloom Fit’s message is rooted in spreading body positivity, rejecting the body ideal, and putting more focus on listening to our bodies (so, obvi, it was right up my alley!). We basically geeked out about body positivity the whole time and bonded over recognizing how we are all programmed to dislike our bodies. We went through a variety of group exercises to facilitate discussion about our own body image issues which was cathartic and powerful to say the least. I’m so excited for the future of Bloom Fit and feel lucky to be apart of it.
That being said, I thought I’d cover some ways YOU, my lovely lions, can REBEL and ROAR against the body ideal.
What’s the ideal body? Think about it as an unrealistic body type that is on trend. The ideal body changes over the years and it’s used to SELL you products by making you feel like you are not worthy the way you are. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good mascara and a fresh haircut...but at the same time, taking part in grooming practices and wanting to cover up or change your natural state of being should be a choice and not a necessity. You shouldn’t have to feel obligated to pay for expensive procedures, starve yourself, and compare yourself to others. This creates a constant dissatisfaction with oneself and is detrimental to your mental and emotional health. So...how the hell do you REBEL against the body ideal and cultivate a healthy body image?
1. Recognize that Body Positivity Doesn’t Mean Complacency
I’m going to refer back to the quote at the top...You are ALLOWED to think of yourself as a masterpiece and still want to illicit some sort of change if YOU want to. Body positivity doesn’t mean complacency. A lot of people have the fear that if they learn to love and accept themselves, they’ll give up on the pursuit of health altogether. This is NOT true! An amazing shift starts to happen when you love your body - you want to take care of it just like you would a pet that you adore. As a dog mom, this thought resonates with me. I adore my pups and would do anything for them. I want them to thrive, have the best quality food, and get plenty of exercise because I know it’s good for them and they’ll be happier. When you start seeing your glorious vessel in the same light, you want to care and nurture it because it’s the only thing carrying you through life.
2. Consider the Root of your Body Image Issues
Dive deep! If you’re wanting to start a diet, get eyelash extensions, or even have plastic surgery...just to name a few examples of ways we try to go toward the Body Ideal...ask yourself WHY is it that you want to change yourself. Is it that YOU truly want to feel more at-home in your body or are you concerned about what OTHER people think of you? Did something happen to you as a child that’s causing you to internalize body dissatisfaction? Is this truly a good investment of your resources or is there something else you’d rather spend your money on like learning to play guitar or going on a trip? These are great things to journal on, so get our a pen and paper and dump your thoughts out. You might be surprised what you learn about yourself.
3. Realize that Self-Confidence Is Sexy and Rock What You Got!
Confidence in yourself is sexy. Loving yourself in a world where we’re programmed to dislike our bodies and want to change them is rebellious and GLORIOUS. Have you been afraid to wear a crop top? I definitely don’t have a chiseled tummy, yet I LOVE crop tops and high waisted pants! I feel so cute and confident in this outfit, despite my imperfections, and now I don’t even worry if my stomach looks big or some fat rolls over my waist band. Life is too short not to wear crop tops, so wear whatever it is you would wear. Ask yourself what outfits you’d wear if you had “the perfect body” and start to tell yourself your body is perfect the way it is. It’s like a muscle you flex and the more often you do it, the stronger it’ll get. Your confidence in your body will not go unnoticed, I promise.
4. Rephrase Your Self-Talk
If you find yourself saying nasty things to yourself, ask yourself if you’d ever say those things to your best friend or a small child. At the workshop, we did an exercise where we wrote down hateful things we say to ourselves on a regular basis. Then, with a partner, we looked them in the eyes and directed the hateful comment toward them. This was SO powerful and most of us cried. It highlighted how terrible we are to ourselves and when you say those things to yourself everyday, they are microaggressions that add up. Our thoughts are powerful and we believe ourselves. If you can’t say loving things toward yourself yet, practice being neutral and saying things like “I have a body” or “I’m working toward loving myself.” You can even use the ol’ rubber band trick and snap a rubber band on your wrist anytime you catch yourself being hateful toward your body.
5. Rebel Against the Ideal Body + ROAR About It! #RebelAndRoar
Participate in little acts of rebellion! For example, some days I don’t feel like wearing makeup or shaving my legs. I’ll say things like “Oh damn you little rebel you!”
This will change the conversation in your head from “Ugh I look gross today” to “I feel empowered to make decisions about how I want to appear in society and it says nothing about my worthiness.” YOU can BE THE CHANGE and inspire others to do so too. The more people we see taking part in rebelling against the body ideal and rockin’ what they got, the more mainstream it will become. Post a picture of your act of rebellion and motha effin ROAR about it! Use the hashtag #RebelAndRoar so I can see your glorious acts of rebellion against the body ideal!