Moving Towards Body Positivity and Body Neutrality Through "Acting As If" We Already Love Our Bodies

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Looking back through old health-related posts & thinking a lot the last couple weeks about my journey, it’s kinda crazy to see how much my body positivity was centered around putting photos out there of myself that I felt were unflattering and talking about how that felt at first & recently there are so few pictures that center my own body when I talk about body positivity, self love, etc. This is not to say that where I was at then was bad or wrong but just to say look how far I’ve come towards body neutrality with myself !! In the beginning, there was a lot of “acting as if” I already loved my body by doing things that felt scary or uncomfortable at the time, and now it’s saying, look, I ate three bagels today, and I feel GREAT about that, while still working to keep a positive mindset about going from the heaviest I’ve been in my life down to losing some weight unintentionally & realizing that weight and our bodies change in response to circumstances & that that should be a neutral thing. But it’s also amazing to see how little that weight change has affected me mentally, despite it happening because I don’t eat when stressed & emotions have been high lately. Long rant, all just to say that recovery from diet culture and distorted body image is not linear, but it is worth the work because one day you will think you’re struggling, and then you’ll look back and realize how far you have come !! Human bodies and minds are absolutely amazing. Show yours some love today !! #EPBfit #EPBeatsalot(ofbagels)

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I’ve been looking back through old health-related posts and thinking a lot the last couple weeks about my journey. It’s kinda crazy to see how much my body positivity was centered around putting photos out there of myself that I felt were unflattering and talking about how that felt at first, and recently there are so few pictures that center my own body when I talk about body positivity, self love, etc. This is not to say that where I was at then was bad or wrong but just to say look how far I’ve come towards body neutrality with myself!

In the beginning, there was a lot of “acting as if” I already loved my body by doing things that felt scary or uncomfortable at the time, and now it’s saying, look, I ate three bagels today, and I feel GREAT about that, while still working to keep a positive mindset about going from the heaviest I’ve been in my life down to losing some weight unintentionally. It’s that continual process of realizing that weight and our bodies change in response to circumstances, and that that should be a neutral thing. But it’s also amazing to see how little that weight change has affected me mentally, despite it happening because I don’t eat when stressed & emotions have been high lately. 

A little more in depth on what I mean by “Act As If” thinking because, as I discussed recently in one of the sessions for Pam Finney’s and my Live Your BeYOUtiful Health Coaching Small Group (more information on a new round starting in April and including more physical activity as a group to build community and confidence in working towards goals VERY SOON), this was 100% the way I overcame a lot of my issues with eating, exercise, and my body. It started off small by unfollowing everything on social media that made me feel bad. Then it moved to making myself take some time off exercise because I knew I was doing it for the wrong reasons aka to change how my body looked not feel/health reasons (only allowing walking around campus and yoga in my apartment for stress relief; NO GYM or running) and shifted towards eating foods that scared me to eat (gluten, dessert, etc.) for no particular reason other than I was afraid these foods would make me gain weight. And more recently it has involved actively allowing my body to gain weight, buying bigger pants with enthusiasm instead of putting it off indefinitely, avoiding wearing tight pants, and just hoping something would happen to make me lose weight and fit back in my pants (even though I was very upset about the new size internally), and, after all that work to get to loving and fully accepting my temporarily bigger body, THEN accepting the changes in my body as I recently lost some weight unintentionally due to stress not-eating.

Long rant, all just to say that recovery from diet culture and distorted body image is not linear, but it is worth the work because one day you will think you’re struggling, and then you’ll look back and realize how far you have come! Human bodies and minds are absolutely amazing. Show yours some love today!

-EPB

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About Ellen

Every body is a good body, and my goal is to help you feel your best!