Body changes can be uncomfortable.
Because we live in a culture that mistakenly teaches you that the worst possible thing that could ever happen to you is that you gain weight. Many internalise weight gain as a failure on their part or an inability to “stay on the bandwagon”. Many people I work with share deep, real shame around entering previous spaces they were a part of, for fear of what people will think of them when their body has changed. These spaces can be therapeutic based, movement based, social based. Thus, this shame moves us further away from engaging in positive behaviours.
My body has changed a lot. As I’ve moved from a fast-paced career in the fitness industry as a PT, to one that mostly sits in counsel with people each day. It’s felt uncomfortable at times. I’m human. We all live in this culture. But holding an understanding of where that discomfort stems from, what it means, & subsequently generating self-compassion, all really helps.
Being amidst spaces who instead offer you a chance to be held instead of judged or even ridiculed for your changing body, helps. Because shame was never, or will it ever be, a catalyst for positive, meaningful change. Knowing your body is meant to change cross your life might help. It’s actually normal for our bodies to change.
So, if your body has changed over the past year, or over your lifetime, this is just a friendly message than you’re not alone in any discomfort you may feel. In fact, from where I’m sitting, it’s universal. When we can zoom out & see the big picture (i.e. contextualise), see we are not the only ones (i.e. normalise), & share what we know with others (i.e. demystify), we move toward shame resilience in this universal shame trigger of body image. Shame works like making you feel as though you’re the only one struggling, that there is something wrong with you, & that you should be ashamed. *Credit for this paragraph goes to Brene Brown & her work on shame & resilience.
You’re not alone in your struggle with body image. Our culture places such a significant emphasis on bodies. Unfortunately, an emphasis that’s misplaced & causing real harm. Being able to approach this with critical awareness is important. The discomfort you feel is valid, but it doesn’t actually mean you have to change something about yourself. You can be with the discomfort without having to change yourself. Learning to sit with discomfort is powerful. Sit with it long enough until you come home to yourself, once again…
Reach out if you need. Because reaching out is the single most powerful act of resilience against shame <3