I know depression has been a hot topic lately, and Since it’s national Anxiety and Depression Awareness week, I’m dedicating this evening to raising awareness through fabulous reblogs. Because caring for one’s Mental Health is a critical part of a multifaceted approach to health and wellness, and because working towards mental wellness is an important step in Redefining Body Image.
but mostly because I’m too depressed to write anything….
[Image: Typographic message on pink duotone background photo of my naked back as I perform a stretch: “I move as a form of self care, to incite mental wellness. ‘Fitness’ looks different for everybody.”]
Part four of my personal poster series focuses on the vagueness of society’s definition of “health and fitness”, how it should be defined differently for each and everyone one of us (whether we are able-bodied, disabled, mentally or chronically ill, etc), and how I’ve learned to define it for myself.
Part Three | Part Two | Part One
So yesterday at a company-wide meeting, my place of employment announced they would be starting to implement a “Health and Wellness” program.
My brain being the way it is, of course, went straight to thinking “Oh shit, they’re going to start enforcing weight loss incentives and bullshit, I kind of want to puke, I hope this doesn’t happen, oh god oh god this is my worst nightmare…”
To my utter delight, they introduced the woman in charge of the program who started off talking about the importance of MINDFUL BREATHING TECHNIQUES and walked approximately 150 people through an exercise as an example. We also have yoga classes available to us after office hours once a week.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS - YER DOING IT RIGHT.
Fingers crossed they don’t end up morphing this goodness into something totally fucked.
Signal boostin for good things! From Fat Heffalump’s tumblr:
Ok Tumblr, time to make this happen.
Flying Pig Apparel is a startup company by some fab women who want to provide activewear for fatties. They have no limits on what size they will make, and they’re looking at providing affordable options, worldwide shipping and best of all… using natural fabrics! What you can see above is just their starter “story” that they will begin with, but they hope to expand to all kinds of things.
They have a Kickstarter up to help them get going. I did an interview with Rene Rice, one of the fab women behind the project.
Let’s get behind this. Pledge ‘em some bucks if you can. (Pledges over $50 becomes pre-orders for garments, how cool is that?)
If you can’t, share their project around to people who can. Spread the word.
And if you think fat people should be exercising, put your damn money where your mouth is and contribute to a project to provide them with adequate clothing to do so!
My fiancé has left to return to his country across the sea and I am left feeling quite sad, but in a bittersweet way that makes me feel optimistic for the future.
So I’ve been belly-dancing around my room in a crop top and smiling to myself as I think of all the beautiful things yet to come.
Today is a good day to love yourself. Put your stretch marks on display with belly bulging, skin exposed, heart swelling, body-rolling madness…let it out, babies!
Every time I see something on my dash about “living healthier” it makes me bristle. In order for me to live healthier I’d have to somehow magically make several illnesses/ diseases disappear from my body. I can’t fix them by eating certain foods, although one of my diseases does mean I have to “be compliant” with certain dietary restrictions. Compliance doesn’t mean I don’t have diabetes.
And why does “health” seem to come down solely to food and exercise? What about my mental illnesses? I can’t walk them off. Especially right now with a broken ankle. I can’t bike my way out of having Graves disease, nor can I eat whatever magical vegetable supposedly helps thyroids like people try to advise me (without consent!)
“Health” is profoundly ableist, classist, racist, and sizeist. I’m just doing the best I can to fucking survive in this body right now.
This, all of this! A million times, this!!!
The fact that there are many sides to health and only one side is universally acknowledged is perpetually frustrating as well as harmful.
I lived without treatment for my anxiety/depression to a critical point in my life. Why did it get to that critical point? Because all I heard when I sought help from the people around me was, “Just do some yoga, eat better, learn a few breathing exercises maybe! It’ll all go away!” or “Oh yeah, I get really anxious/depressed sometimes too, I know how that is.”
When in reality, actually, no - if you don’t have to deal with it every day to a point where it significantly disrupts your life, your health, your school work, and your relationships, you actually DON’T know how it is.
But hearing all of these things clouded my judgement and I delayed seeking help. Instead I blamed myself for not being able to “pull myself” out of it.
Mental health is fucking important. For me, not focusing on it in my pursuit of health and personal wellness would be monumentally damaging, so it becomes a priority - and while “healthy living” may help, it is not an absolute fucking solution, nor is it always practical.
I have been thinking about this a lot, all the time ever really, I can’t really get away from it, so yeah. Thank you.
As if I didn’t have enough ideas floating through my head, I just thought of something.
Obviously my brain is unable to shut up and I’m throwing a lot of questions up here lately soooo I hope you can handle my manic ramblings!
I’ve been logging what I eat every day as a way to weed out foods that make me feel ill [in case you’re wondering, yesterday included items such as veggie pizza, grapes, chili cheese fries and granola bars (yes, as in multiple bars, as in I always end up eating two)] and I wanted to turn to an online method of tracking to make it easier.
The problem is that every single resource I can find is crawling with fat shaming weight loss calorie-counting bullshit, when all I wanna do is take pleasure in collecting a food diary of all the kickass shit I like to eat. And maybe share recipes and interact with some awesome people on a new level. And so many other things.
So I guess my question is, am I the only one who thinks there should be some sort of social media-esque body positive health and wellness safe space community of sorts? I’m using a lot of words because I literally just thought of this and I can’t even define it yet…But would you join something like this? Does something like this exist and I don’t know about it?
Amanda of Love Your Body Detroit has just started a new venture named Body Positive Wellness and I am happy to be a part of it!
So happy, in fact, that I decided to take some photos while stretching and moving my naked body this afternoon, which makes me feel happy and healthy.
We are looking for photos or stories on how you celebrate your body and the wellness you foster within it.
All bodies are welcome, since there is no correct way to live in a body.
***Submissions with triggering language (ie weight loss or diet talk) or photos will not be posted.***
Some more info:
This blog has been created to show the diversity of bodies that engage in wellness from a HAES® perspective.
What is HAES®?
1. Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and sizes.
2. Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects.
3. Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all sizes.
4. Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, satiety, appetite, and pleasure.
5. Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss.
Tell us your stories, show us your photos and let others use our voices to show body positive wellness is possible.
We’re only just beginning so take part in our infancy and submit!