12/4/14: Body Fat

Cute title, right?

Well, I believe every opinion blog has to have a body acceptance post. I mean, body acceptance is EVERYWHERE in the media these days. Just look up “body acceptance” on Google images, and you’ll see what I mean.

Knowing that this is not an original topic in the slightest, I can only give original advice. There is a dichotomy on the issue of weight and appearance in society, at the moment: be as skinny as possible to an unhealthy point, using diets to get there, or accept your body at any size, curviness preferred. Both routes have some serious problems, some more blaring than others, but a happy medium needs to be reached and preached.

Obviously, starvation and intense dieting is not healthy. At all. I’ve never been a real anorexic, but I’ve gone through several periods in the last few years where I’d get sick and not eat for a few days, and love the power it brought me. I would turn into a raging control freak, pushing myself to eat less and less to prove my willpower. I would continue to eat about 500 calories a day for a few weeks until I shed ten pounds. I’d reach a place where I could barely stay awake and function, and eventually start eating again and gain back more weight than I started with. Moral of the story: bad, bad idea.

Models aren’t real anymore. They’re digitally created creatures, existing only on the pages of magazines and on computer screens. It isn’t a realistic or healthy weight to be at for anyone, and let’s be real here for the single girls out there: guys don’t prefer skinny girls. They prefer real and pretty and fit girls.

On the other end of the spectrum, obesity is a serious epidemic in this country. People die from obesity, as its a cause of heart failure and cancer and diabetes and all those terrifying things we hope never to develop. It’s not really healthy to accept your body at an obese state, because it’s life threatening. It’s obviously incredibly difficult to lose the weight; but at the same time, it’s very hard to stop smoking, but we insist people do anyways to avoid getting lung cancer.

So on to how you should address the issue of your very real, very fluctuating, very unpredictable body. Let’s get philosophical, because I always end up down that path anyways:

You have one chance (unless you believe in reincarnation, and I applaud you) on this planet to live. And you have exactly one body. Maybe that body has a few extra pounds of fat clinging happily to its midsection or thighs, and that’s ok. Because on your deathbed, of all the things you could possible regret, those five maniacal pounds probably won’t be one of the things haunting you as you take your last breaths.

Your body is an amazing thing, made up of millions of cells and trillions of atoms that somehow all came together in a mass of molecules and organs and tissue and a brain that allows you to live. It’s the device allowing you to hug and kiss and cuddle your children, swim at the beach, have mind-blowing sexual experiences. You owe it all to your allotted lump of carbon. And who doesn’t love carbon? I’m telling you, we are the stuff of diamonds and pencil lead. Ok, maybe pencil lead isn’t so glorious, but cool fact nonetheless.

Instead of worrying how that body looks all the time, just take care of it. It needs you to nurture it and give it love, like a baby. Give it healthy food and indulge it and cuddle yourself every once in a while (pillows work nicely too for this purpose if you don’t have a human to cuddle with). No matter how much plastic surgery is available in this world, you can’t really change your body. Your parents’ genes mixed at some point however many years ago you were born, and that’s how you look. Whether it’s like a rail or on the larger side, that’s not something you can help. As long as you are healthy, that’s really the issue.

I know, easier said than done, believe me. I’ve said it to myself a thousand times before, and some days I still have some serious bones to pick with my body. But then, on days when I get sick or my eczema flares up or my IBS gets out of wack, I begin to appreciate how amazing my body is and how thankful I am to be healthy most of the time. It’s constantly working for you, and you have to thank it once in a while. It’s always a process.

Just touch your skin for a minute. Feel it, caress it, run your fingers through your hair. Even give yourself a little self-loving (which can be interpreted any way you so choose). It’s you. And like you, it’s mortal, it’s trying it’s best, and it deserves to be loved and cared for.

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