What in the world is a “Body Activist” and what is “Body Positivity”? Well, let me explain...
Body Activist/Positivity is a movement that ‘encourages people to adopt more forgiving and affirming attitudes towards their bodies, with the goal of improving overall health and well-being.’
Sounds great, right? Agreed. Unfortunately, the message has changed…
There’s another movement. This movement has been around longer than Body Positivity movement and it’s called “The Fat Acceptance Movement,” or ‘a social movement seeking to change anti-fat biases in social attitudes’.
Here is the problem I have with Body Positivity today:
The Body Positivity Movement and the Fat Acceptance Movement have almost blended lines. Body Activists are fighting to promote healthy body image, especially for those that have suffered from severe body image disorders. But, today’s society is almost disgracing all of those activists with their idea of body positivity.
We're all about loving your body and yourself. What we're not a fan of is the idea of being unhealthy because you’re trying to prove a point that obesity is just as sexy as being skinny. Being overweight just to be overweight is not the point that should be made.
Being healthy and happy is BEAUTIFUL!
Being unhealthy and not taking care of your body is not the goal. Your body is a temple and it’s the only one you get. Treat it that way. You don’t have to be stick thin or be as toned as a fitness model. Whether you’re a size 12 or a size 0 doesn’t matter; what matters is that you are healthy and happy.
The body “activists” that are supporting obesity and this idea of ditching the gym are not activists. They’re doing more harm than good, as are all of the fitness models taking over Instagram. Although they look AWESOME, it still defeats the idea behind building your own kind of positive self-image (while maintaining a healthy wellbeing and, of course, happiness). How are any of us supposed to build a positive self-image when we are comparing ourselves to these fitness models on our social media accounts?
Whether it's conscious or not, we're constantly criticizing our looks the second we scroll through our feed. You see a gorgeous, tan girl with a tight six-pack and toned quads, then you look down and see your stomach roll and immediately feel twice your size (everyone has rolls when they sit, even those models FYI). You continue to scroll through your feed and you see a gorgeous plus size model telling you that you don’t need to go to the gym. You immediately feel better about yourself, but decide to side with the “no gym mentality” for the day.
Both of these models, though sharing different messages, play very harmful games with all of our minds. We have one side of the spectrum that promotes strict dieting and half of a day spent in the gym. Then the other side that promotes no diet whatsoever and very few, if any, workouts. So, what in the heck are we supposed to do?!
Why does it seem society either promotes being a gym rat or laziness but nothing in between?
Whenever I go a few weeks without working out and a few weeks without eating very healthy I feel like a lazy pile of poop. I am completely unmotivated, exhausted, and burnt out half way through the day. I hate feeling that way. It seems like it makes going about life a million times harder. Whether I try to stay awake in class, write a new blog post, or focus on my project at work – it seems impossible when I’m out of shape.
I don’t have a thigh gap, abs, defined arms or bulging leg muscles. I have curves, some cellulite, side butt, and I vary in size (4-8).
Okay. I’m in decent shape, but I am not society’s idea of skinny or Instagram’s idea of fit. You know what I am though? Healthy and happy.
Introducing your happy medium:
Being healthy doesn’t mean that you’re spending hours in the gym or cutting out all of your favorite foods. There are a lot of ways to have fun while getting/staying healthy.
Cut back on snacking all day long. Eating because you’re bored isn’t necessary.
Cut back on the fast food. It’s cheap, but that stuff is harming your body.
Cut back on the quantity of food you’re eating at each meal. Or slow down while you’re eating. Allow your stomach to catch up to the amount of food you’re putting in there before you decide if you’re full or not.
Go on walks with your friends!
Go for a bike ride.
Swim laps in a pool.
Spend 30 minutes in the gym 5 – 6 days a week.
Try lifting light weights if that sparks your interest.
Try doing a fun workout class with your besties.
Yoga – oh hello, that’s totally the thing right now!
Try walking on the treadmill or doing a light interval workout on the elliptical.
These are just some ideas. They are not strenuous or life altering. They are easy, fun, simple things that everyone should do to try and be healthy. Not only will being healthier help create that positive self-image, but it will make your daily life a lot easier as well.
Remember when I said that my life gets a million times harder when I’m out of shape? Well, when I’m in shape I’m full of energy, motivation, positivity, happiness, and I find it easier to stay concentrated and get things done efficiently. So, I vote that we work towards creating a better meaning for the Body Activists and the Body Positivity Movement. Let’s all choose health and wellness with happiness and joy!
Read more from Giavanna on the Bon Blog >> http://thebonblog.com/.