As body love advocates, we often encounter individuals and groups who are genuinely concerned about what they perceive as the danger of the body love movement. Most recently, we appeared on the One Bad Mother podcast (be sure to listen if you haven’t already, our interview is 42 minutes into the show!) and this issue came up again. We thought that since the body love movement is apparently so dangerous, we’d address this concern in its own blog post.
These concerns often come from people who are, for whatever reason, overly concerned about the health and fitness of other people. They ask us if our push for body acceptance and genuine love for our bodies might cause (most often) women to accept their bodies just as they are regardless of health or fitness level. This self-love and body acceptance would then be used as an excuse to sit on the couch and eat donuts all day every day till these poor, fat, sad women eventually die of heart disease.
Can you sense our tone here, people?
We’re going to break this “concern” down into bits and pieces to better understand the true danger of the body love movement. Ready?
Accepting Your Body Does Not Mean Not Wanting to Be Healthy
Part of our mission at Peachie Moms is to support mothers to love and accept their bodies. The thing we know to be true is that when you love something, you treat it really well. When we’re in our sweet spot of unconditional love for our bodies, we feed them really well, dress them in clothes that feel and fit wonderfully, and move consistently in ways that nourish the soul and the nervous system.
When you love your body, you’re sedentary when you need it and active when it feels just right. Oftentimes, in motherhood, you need a nap more than you need to sweat for an hour at the gym. You know it’s true.
Women with Big Bodies Don’t have to Want to Change Their Bodies
Newsflash: All bodies are good bodies. There are plenty of women of size who are perfectly happy and healthy (or are working toward health and happiness) in their larger bodies. Plus size people are entitled to love and accept their bodies the same as anyone else.
Body shame does not work when it comes to achieving health and fitness goals. We heard once that the best way to gain weight is to go on a diet. Trying to cut calories and food groups only serves to make us fatter and less fit in the long run. This is because living in a mental space where you’re restricting your food choices and hating your body doesn’t lead to health and happiness. We speak from personal experience – disordered eating habits are not healthy, no matter how much you appear to fit into the healthy, happy mold.
Body Size Does Not Indicate Health or Fitness Level
Research shows that there are perfectly healthy people of all sizes, shapes and colors in our country. The truth is, without lab work and a doctor to interpret those numbers, you simply cannot tell how healthy someone is. Our society absolutely labels fat people as unfit but we know that this isn’t true. No one can simply look at your body and know how healthy you are on the inside – nor should they!
What’s more, there are, in fact, studies that show that larger people actually live longer than others of cultural ideal size and shape. Turns out, having some extra cushion might help you live a longer and happier life! Who’s anti-that?
Now that we’ve examined the so-called dangers of the body love movement, we’re hoping you’re ready to embark on your own body love journey.
We promise, no harm ever came from loving yourself more. Nothing bad ever happened as a result of your taking better care of yourself on the inside or the outside. You can only become better, happier, healthier by loving and caring for yourself more.
We’re inviting you to check out our book, The Peachie Moms Guide to Body Love for Moms, to get you started on the path to unconditional body love and self-acceptance. You can get there – we can help!