Don’t have a body – be SOMEbody

In spirit of NEDA week Amanda suggested focusing on recovery- /body-image-related topics for today’s episode of Thinking out loud.  I’m following suit because recovery and ED awareness are topics dear to me and there’s a topic that’s been on my mind and sitting in my drafts folder for a while already. Time to talk about a sentence that changed my approach to body shaming.

Thinking-Out-Loud

Something just about every woman – dealing with an ED or not – struggles with is body image. Not surprising when a the glance at a single magazine rack at the store will offer you boatloads of advice on how to slim down. How to loose those ‘last few pounds’. When the media essentially tells us that every body – no matter how flawless it might be – needs constant working on it and watching your diet to at least maintain its current state. Better yet improve your shape. And that – in my opinion – is the first fault already. We’re constantly told to talk and think about ‘our bodies‘. Thereby essentially differing between our physique and psyche. Yet one of the most inspiring and mind-changing thoughts I read ages ago [not exaggerating here] was a single sentence:

You don’t have a body. You are a body.

Simple as that. It’s a sentence that has stuck with me forever since. A tiny change of a sentence – but a huge change of mindset. When we no longer criticize our bodies but see ourselves as a whole …

In fact, it has been ingrained with me in ways I didn’t notice. Several months ago I attended a workshop on self-presentation in application procedures. The first task all attendees got was to shortly present themselves pretending they were applying for their dream job in that very instant. On a random note: I absolutely dislike presenting myself in front of huge groups. Spontaneously at that? The horror. Given that I hastily introduced myself and talked a little about my To my surprise, the feedback I got from the instructors afterwards stressed one important point: I’d been the single person in a group of about twenty who presented herself not saying something along the lines of “my name is” or “I’m called” but using “I am”.

We are so much more than our physique. We are caring. Creative. Loud. Quiet. Cheery. Inspiring. Loving. Smart. Maybe you have a smile that’s contagious or your jokes make everyone laugh so hard they have to cry.

Note that I’m not saying I was perfect. I have bad days where I’m feeling discontent with myself. But whenever I’m about to think negatively about myself as in a body-shaming way  – think: “my legs are fat”, “my stomach is wobbly”- I stop myself. Judging any part of my physique negatively with the sentence above in mind would mean criticizing myself as a whole person. Really? Even on our ‘fluffy days‘ we’re no less caring. No less interested in others. No less creative. Loving. Genuine. Unique.

The way every single one of us is shaped isn’t something we can influence. It’s the genetic material that’s been ‘handed down’ from one generation to the next in our families. And isn’t it a beautiful thought to know that no other person in the world has the exact same genetics? It’s like …

Merken

13 thoughts on “Don’t have a body – be SOMEbody

  1. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    Beautiful post, lady. Maybe it has something to do with getting older, but I just reached a point where I couldn’t be bothered to put so much weight on my physical appearance anymore… It was like my eyes were opened to the things that really mattered, and the size or my jeans or the cut of my abs just wasn’t on that list. I always thought that being thinner would make me happier, when it pretty much and the opposite effect… The thinner I became, the more unhappy I became. I wish I could really get other people to understand that, but I almost feel like it’s something everyone has to learn for themselves…

  2. lovenataliemarie says:

    Is there a love option? This post left me speechless, because it is entirely true. I’ve never heard that quote, so thank you for introducing it to me! I need to remember that. I’m going to write it down and repeat it to myself. It’s all about your personality that makes you.. not your hair, or blemishes, or curves. You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you for this post.

  3. Ms.J says:

    What a profound statement..so few words, so powerful. I admit I tend to separate my body, my heart, my mind – without realizing, mind you – when they all are connected and make up ‘me’!
    So true about friends; I notice how their beauty shines through after growing closer to them..not at first glance.
    “Count your blessings, not your blemishes” <-that❤

  4. katalysthealth says:

    Wow girl, this is such an awesome and beautiful post. I’ve never actually thought about “being somebody.” I mean I have, obviously, in a certain way, but never in the way that you’ve kind of suggested here. I’m such a shallow person if Im going to be completely honest. I care way too much about my physical appearance (hence the ED) and some days it makes me feel like an idiot for doing so. I mean, why am I so upset that my hair is so straight and my thighs are a bit big when there are people out there who can’t walk or are deaf or have some horrible disease. I mean HOW SELFISH can I be? I get when you are in the midst of an ED its hard to think that way, but that’s what I try to do now. Im not my physical appearance, just like disabled people aren’t theirs. We are SO much more. My heart, my character, my sass, my bravery…THOSE are what I want people to remember about me…NOT my physical appearance.

  5. Christine says:

    Such a well-written and beautiful post. Sometimes, simple quotes such as that one can hold the most meaning. I think it’s something that all of us need to remember since, a lot of the times, we can get so caught up on changing our bodies instead of focusing on taking care of ourselves. Are bodies aren’t something to be played with! We are our bodies.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      You’re too sweet, Gina. Thank you and I’m glad you could take something away from the post. Accepting ourselves the way we are can be hard. It’s a little less so when keeping in mind we matter as whole persons not our physical appearance only. I still have to remind myself of this daily but I know it’ll get easier.

  6. Carli says:

    I have been quite absent from the blogworld lately, but am so glad I checked in today to read this post. What a beautifully written post, and such an important message. Reading this really changed my perspective on how I see myself and my body. It is difficult to be self-destructive when you look at yourself as a whole person, rather than just a body.

    Thank you for sharing this, and for being such an inspiration. You certainly have come so far in your struggles, and I hope you are proud of yourself…I know I am very proud of you!

  7. GiGi Eats Celebrities says:

    I can confidently say that I do adore every single FLAW of mine! We are all so unique and so many different ways! We need to embrace what we were given and OWN our imperfections! What is perfect anyways?!

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