So I received this question and it turned into a mighty long ramble about everything I’ve been feeling today regarding the fitspo discussion and personal levels of health, wellness, and fitness.
healthygoals110 asked redefiningbodyimage:
I found your post about the fitspo artwork interesting. I can understand that the desire to lose weight does mean that a person is not happy with their current body. However, I was wondering if you thought it is always bad to want to change your body. Personally, I see my body as a canvas. I want to decorate it with piercings and clothes. Sometimes makeup but not often. I also want to lose weight (only in a healthy way) because I want to look a certain way.
I really hope this doesn’t come across as offensive because I am really just curious about your opinion. Your blog is really interesting and I just wondered what you thought.
First of all, thank you! Also, you definitely did not come across as offensive - you got me thinking a hell of a lot. My responsewill be provided in a mash-up form of addressing your question and rambling a lot.
Second, a desire to lose weight doesn’t automatically dictate anything. Just in my experience, weight loss goals are not fruitful.
There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to change or decorate your body - your body is yours. But decorating your body with clothing and make-up is different than trying to change the physical reality of what’s underneath - and that is where it gets personal.
If you want to lose weight or look a certain way, that is your prerogative.
I have been there, done that, and hated myself for it because my body is not meant to look a certain way and I do not have the privilege of being able to focus on sculpting my body.
I’d would really like more people to recognize that individuals suffering from eating disorders, mental/physical illnesses and other disabilities can’t afford to put a specific beauty ideal up on a pedestal only for it to come crashing down every time they try to reach it.
Some people can’t afford to want to “look a certain way” - our bodies exist as they are, there is no excusing them. So we try our best to accept our bodies, love and nurture them, and attempt to disconnect health and fitness from physical weight loss and start associating it with how we FEEL because that is the only way we can gauge our progress.
For instance, I don’t measure my health and fitness in pounds and inches. Sometimes I measure it in spoons.
I find I am limited by what my body/mind will let me do throughout the course of the day. Because of that, I start off my day with a limited amount of “spoons” - Depending on a number of different factors, the number of spoons I start with may change from day to day - but that’s all I’ve got.
When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.
- The Spoon Theory
The woman who came up with this theory suffers from lupus, which means she has much less spoons to start with than I do. I am thankful for the spoons I have. It is sometimes hard, some days I don’t have enough spoons, but it could be much worse.
Today, I chose to use up all of my spoons on work, blogging and household chores. Between those three things (thanks to a highly stressful day at work and an insane amount of blogging/writing/thinking/interacting), I’ve run out of spoons. In fact, my anxiety levels are pretty high right now and I’m trying to ride it through to the end, so let me get to the point.
I don’t have the spoons to go to the gym or work out right now. My social anxiety and physical exhaustion from tensing my entire body all day have made the prospect impossible.
I could feel ashamed of myself for not pushing it - or I could do something good for me, rather than guilt myself into a panic attack, which I will now admit is building in me right now.
So I’m just going to leave this here as an uncensored word vomit.
If you have the time, the energy, and the privilege to put effort into changing your body, then good on you. Just know that not everyone is capable of that and I personally prefer to sink my teeth into other things while I have the energy to spare.
I hope some of you can understand that, despite the fact I’m utterly exhausted and probably not making any sense right now.