Welcome to my brand new (and over due) personal blog! I’ve never had a blog, so I’m not quite sure how to begin this. I suppose I’ll start with a quick introduction- my name is Haeley and I am a body image activist, eating disorder advocate, feminist killjoy, and pug aficionado. I also enjoy eating any combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and sniffing old books.
Let’s move on.
This blog will be a special place for my passion-fueled ramblings, focusing mainly on the promotion of body positivity, but also about anything else I feel like writing about, semi-coherently, at any given time. Now, this is my first blog, and I hope to get better at this as I go, so bear with me in my progress here.
The title of my very first blog post shall be: Tips on Recovering from a ‘Bad Body’ Day.
I wanted to reflect on an experience I had the other day that encouraged me to begin this blog. I was having a bad body day- the first one in a long time. You know, one of those days when you think you suck, your appearance sucks, everything sucks, and the world can go eat worms- that kind of day. Woah Haeley, aren’t you supposed to be a body positive activist? Yeah, I totally am, but I’m not perfect, and even though I usually feel good about myself, everybody has those times when we feel less than awesome about the way we look.
I was in Target when my inner-critic decided to throw a beauty bitch-fit. I was wearing sweat pants, had no make up on, and was tired and sweaty from helping my grandma take down Christmas stuff. I was just crabby and felt gross. As we were waiting in line at the pharmacy, my mind began to wonder. “What if people are thinking about how gross I look? I’ll bet they’re all thinking, “damn that girl is nasty!”
I just felt gross in my body. I felt like it was too jiggily, too fatty, not toned enough- just plain nasty. Worse, I felt like my body was so weird- not like any other body I’ve ever seen, and certainly not like most 22-year-old bodies. I have struggled with these sorts of body-hate-battles for a long time. Although I am a recovered anorexic, and no longer struggle with eating disordered behaviors and thoughts (4 years symptom free, Woohoo!!) I still have some days when I feel less-than-fierce. However, these sorts of moods rarely last the whole day, because I am now able to get myself into a better place. Here are some things that I do to pick myself up from a bad body day:
1.) Listen to the people you love when they tell you that you are beautiful
No really-believe them. They believe the space you take up is precious, the sight and presence of you gives them joy. Believe them when they tell you that they love you as you are, and that you are good enough.
I was with my mom and my grandma when this bad-body day reared it’s ugly head. I opened up to them about how I was feeling, and they immediately refuted it, telling me all of these positive things about myself. And you know what my first reflex was? “Well it doesn’t count because you’re my mom”. “You have to say that, you’re my grandma”.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I fall into this crap-trap where I think, “well the people close to me don’t count”. But if not them, who? Why should I base my measure of self worth off of the judgment of strangers? Why should I be so preoccupied with being an attractive ornament, made up of the perfect bits and pieces? I realized a while ago that the best thing I could do was to listen to the people who see me as a whole, and who genuinely care about me. Next time you’re feeling down, try reaching out to the people you love for support and encouragement.
2.) Think about what your body does for you- and what you have been able to do in your body.
My body possesses amazing strength, no matter how much it jiggles. This is the body of a warrior. This is a body that has overcome so much adversity, and that helps me in everything that I do. When I get in bad moods, I like to think about all the things that my body allows me to do, like go to school, drink vodka, eat Chipotle burritos, watch my favorite T.V. shows, read my favorite books, laugh so hard that I snort, go for walks with my dog, provide a space for tattoos ect. What are some of your favorite things to do, and how does your body help you to do them?
3.) Remember that your body is a treasure, by virtue of being yours
Your body is your home, and since it is yours, it is something sacred. It exists to hold your, not to please other people. Sometimes I get disappointed with my body- it’s not flat, it’s not very lean or toned, and it has stretch marks and cellulite. My body is not perfect. I have scars that I don’t like to talk about; I have body parts that I don’t like to show people. But I have another way of looking at my body too. I have realized that my body bears the scars of change, growth, and renewal. Each imperfection is a story, each flaw is a marker that makes me, me. My body is not perfect, but it is mine, and that makes it special.
This isn’t all just Romanized bullshit. I’m serious. This is the body you were born in, the legs you learned to walk on, the arms that hold loved ones, the hands you write with, the lips you kiss with- you are a remarkable little shit, when you think about it. Isn’t that worth something more than constant self-ridicule?
4.) Maybe, just maybe, it’s not as bad as you think it is….
I wore a swimsuit last summer. Nobody died.
Nobody has ever become violently ill at the sight of my stomach.
Now, I’ve heard some criticisms about my body, for sure. But my body has never caused a catastrophe.
^^^This has literally never happened to me, even when I convinced myself it would.
I have found that nobody is a bigger asshole to me than me. In my experience, the saying “we are our worst critics” is very true. I seriously doubt anyone cares about my stomach has much as I do. I used to be mortally afraid that people would make mean comments about my body if I was wearing a swimsuit, shorts, a tank top, ect., but I realized that nobody could come up with something nastier than I had already thought myself. That may be true for you, too.
So give yourself some slack, dear reader. You are not Josie Grossy anymore. You are worthy of love, acceptance, and adoration exactly has you are now- NO EXCEPTIONS.