Chapter 14: Body acceptance

It takes courage and guts to show up as yourself in this world without trying to change yourself or your appearance to be more easily accepted by others and society.

This module is also very close to my heart because I’ve suffered from poor body image since I was 9 years old until I started my healing journey in 2018. Now I am free from my body prison, happy, fully accepting and loving towards my body, however, she shows up each day.

So if I can do it, so can you beautiful, let’s go!


Body acceptance

A women’s soul

It’s time to celebrate all bodies and challenge the stereotypes we’ve associated with “fat” and “thin”. Let me ask you this: 

If you woke up to a zombie apocalypse and were the last human on earth, would you care about your weight? Your appearance? Body image would be a null concern in the absence of a culture that puts appearance on a pedestal. We are surrounded by messages and images that create a correlation between our body shape and confidence. We believe that if we fit these ridiculous ideals we’ll feel sexy, be loved, get more attention, be happy and our life will look like a Ralph Lauren ad…intense stares and yachts included. 

We intertwine our emotions with “fat” and “thin”, neither of which are actual feelings. Saying “I feel fat” is never about being fat – what we’re really saying is that we feel a certain way or that there is something wrong with us. Fat is a word that we need to neutralize. It’s a descriptor. Our culture has caused us to entangle fat with lazy, unlovable, unsexy, unhealthy, failure, not good enough, invisible, eats too much, doesn’t look after oneself etc. etc. Harsh words. But, these are the quotes from women when I ask them what it means to be fat. It’s no wonder we can’t accept our bodies or loosen the reins when it comes to dieting. 

We are afraid of the shameful stereotypes that we associate with being fat and the judgments that other people may have. It’s really important that you challenge the stereotypes that you’ve associated with it. Fat people can be happy and healthy. Thin people can be unhappy and unhealthy. Let’s stop making assumptions about people based on their appearance! All bodies are worthy of respect (including your own)! 

Step #1: Stop using “fat” or any other descriptor of bigness to describe how you feel about yourself. 

For example, instead of saying “I feel so big,” say “I’m feeling really uncomfortable in my body today and my inner bitch is telling me that I’m not good enough.” State what you’re actually feeling and remove bigness as a negative attribute. 

Step #2: Compliment a random person today. 

Catch them off-guard and say something kind. 

Step #3: Going forward, censor all negative statements about other people’s appearance and assumptions on their behaviours. 

Step #4: Pay attention to how you feel around other people. 

Do you find yourself observing other people’s appearances or eating habits in an envious or malicious way? If so, catch yourself and divert your attention to something different. Start to take note of positive traits in people and celebrate diversity. 

Note: Don’t get it twisted! Constructive criticism is acceptable. We can all use feedback to improve. 

Bonus Step #5: Read this great blog post from Ragen Chastain about reclaiming the word fat. It’s OK if this doesn’t resonate with you, but I leave it here for your consideration.


Making friends with your body

Body acceptance 

Suggested reading/listening/watching

The 4 stages of body image work

The missing link to healing body image

Listen to this interview with Kayla Anderson about body love

How body image is impacted by good girl programming – Holly Toronto

How to cope with weight gain

I’m jealous of other women’s bodies

How to stop hating your body – Taryn Brumfitt 👇🏽

Body positivity or body obsession? 👇🏽

The secret ingredient to feeling good in your body 👇🏽