Loving Your Body Anyway is the Toughest Thing You’ll Ever Do

love-your-body-anyway Some days it’s just bloody tough being in the world isn’t it?

Dare I say, especially if you’re a woman because the world expects that women will look a certain way and that if you don’t naturally look that certain way, then you’d better be working your tail off to make sure that you’re at least being seen to be trying. So yeh it’s tough…

Take me f’instance. I’ve been doing this work for a long time. First it was all about me and my body and my weight and my various body bits that were just so, well, disappointing to me.

Then I got over myself.

I learned slowly and painfully that the way I thought about my body had a name: negative body image! (No I didn’t know it was a thing back then! :)) and I learned to not care what the world thinks of my body. Eventually I learned to completely love the body I was installed in.

Surprisingly, it turns out the world cares not much at all about my body – we’re all too busy worrying about ourselves. 🙂

Then I got bloody angry that I’d believed all that stuff for years, and I took myself back to school to figure out how to help other women stop caring more about what the world says it thinks about women’s bodies, and start caring much much more about what they want, dream and came here to do!

And some days it’s just bloody tough.

Like last night on ABC iView I watched a doco about the anti-ageing movement: injectables, lifts, inserts, tightening etc. I’ve written about how damaging that stuff is many times (my botox side effects posts are some of the most visited pages on BBC), to your health and long term self-esteem. So I thought the doco would be a bit of a laugh.

The women featured were obsessing over the tiniest little lines on their faces. The producer of the doco had to adjust the lighting and zoom right in to have some of the lines even show up for the camera. But to the women the lines were the centre of their lives; the fact that they existed and needed to be fixed brought everything else in their lives to a screaming halt.

Their greatest fear was that they would reach a point where they may not have enough money to keep “doing the work”.

The plastic surgeons were living in, I kid you not, giant mansions and surrounded by the best of everything. The women were desperately trying to dig up more credit and negotiating their way into repeat-customer discounts.

Like it was normal.

And, I’m in a business group where a bunch of personal trainers also hang out. To them restricting food and over-exercising is just “what it takes” to have “the look”.

I adore the mind of the group leader so I’ll stay for a while, but suffice to say – yes my buttons are being pushed in a huge way! Because every one of the women in the group are smart, energetic, passionate. They also think that life is about how they look. Many are already injecting botox and have breast implants and they’re only just in peeking view of 30.

So watching the doco last night seemed to compound that view and I went to bed incredibly down, feeling like I was drowning in a rising tide of fakery, wondering how the hell I can keep doing this work.

Then I ‘stumbled’ on this article (is anything ever an accident?) this morning about keeping on fighting.

It made me cry.

And determine to keep fighting – for you, for my daughters, for me.  And write this post.

Because it’s NOT normal to see yourself as having worth only because of your ‘hotness’.

It’s NOT normal to micromanage your food and overexercise to ensure that you match the current desirable look.

It’s NOT normal to spend your life’s energy and income to be hot above everything else.

It’s NOT normal to cut, fill, dye, bleach any part of your body to be that someone else – and to lose yourself.

It might be USUAL but I promise you, it’s not normal. I’m the first to say normal isn’t a fixed point, it’s a very wide range and what’s normal for you might not be normal for me.

But normal for a human being is eating a full range of natural foods until you’re full, having functional fitness to keep your body working well, loving all the things that are possible in life – yes including enjoying great nails, beautiful clothing and having your hair done because you like doing those things (not because you feel not-enough if you don’t do them!).

And if you’re lucky you get to spend your time with people you love and doing things that make your soul dance – most of the time anyway.

So yes, I’ll keep fighting to break through the noise that you’re only ‘enough’ if you’re chewing up your life energy by working your arse off to have the certain look, that you have to spray, dye, fill, cut, insert stuff to make your body and your SELF “good enough”.

I’ll keep fighting to help you truly feel all through your body that you don’t owe anyone anything, you don’t owe anyone yourself as a decoration, and you don’t have to show up as anyone other than you.

It’s okay to let go of wanting to have others approve of you, your body, your discipline, your own feelings of panic if you’re not making all of that effort!

You’re already good enough.

And loving your body anyway in the face of all that pressure to NOT love your body, to control and shape it, and put every ounce of your energy into doing that is very likely the toughest thing you’ll ever do, because you have to CHOOSE to love your body every single time you see an ad that says you’re not good enough, you see a women who HAS “the look”, or you despair about finding clothing that actually fits your unique body.

Every. Single. Time.

Keep making that choice, do the tough thing, love your so-imperfect self anyway!

Making that choice makes you a revolutionary, lovely.

Revolutionaries change the world. And we desperately need that change so that every woman in every generation following us never ever has to feel the awful twisting churning of ‘not good enough’ simply because of the body she was born in.

Keep choosing you.

No matter how tough it is, it’s also the best thing you’ll ever do.

Keep changing the world with every small choice of you. If you need extra support to keep choosing you, invest $7 in the Month of Good Days program so you get a reminder every day for a month that you are already amazing, already ENOUGH.

Much love,

sandy-ross sandy-sig

 

14 Comments

  1. Bonnie Hutchinson on July 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    YESSSSS!!!!!! Thank you so much, Sandy, for hanging in with your powerful beautiful message even on days when it’s tough.

    • Sandy Ross on July 10, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Thanks Bonnie 🙂 I love how the right comment can turn everything around hey? 🙂

  2. vestavictoriaJan on July 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Love your passion, Sandy – never, never lose it, it’s the fire and the burning that keeps us alive. I’ve said before though that often it’s we women who are our own problem, the way we internalise the lies so that it’s we who are driving the looks obsession without the need of any further prompting from commercial forces from the outside. We’re all good girls and we’ve learned our lessons so very well. After the 60’s and 70’s demonisation of saggy-titted braless, hairy legged feminists, it all went bimbo Barbie doll and lollipop-headed, porno-pneumatic ‘You can have it all’ over-achievers, and, sad to say, we women bought into it bigtime. The women in Pride and Prejudice, so very popular still today, were open about wanting to win in their society by beating of the competition and marrying the richest man possible: nowadays, we’re not so honest in admitting our motivation, but it’s still to beat off the competition to get the prize. Nowadays, the prize itself has (possibly) subtly changed (that’s a debateable point), but the tools for getting our hands on it remain the same:looks. Yes, a woman can get the money by getting the top job and the power for and by herself, but, without looks – nice effort, and top marks for trying, but…poor thing.

    • Sandy Ross on July 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm

      Hey Jan – yes you’re so right! The sexual revolution brought on by the pill really cut across the gains of feminism – at least we’re now starting to make some headway again 🙂

  3. Penny Chennell on July 10, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Yes…well done ….helpful and inspirational …thanks. Penny x

  4. Holly on July 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Amazing!! Thank you so much Sandy. It is so incredibly difficult with everything around me to keep going, but your post today has really helped me to keep fighting.

    • Sandy Ross on July 12, 2014 at 5:34 am

      Thanks Holly – keep choosing YOU! 🙂

  5. Lisa on July 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks Sandy for your passion and your great message of loving yourself as you are, not for your “look” but for what you were meant to be and do in this world. You said one thing in the article that I have not experienced in the same way as you have…. you said “it turns out the world cares not much at all.” My experience is that the world does seem to care. It is more difficult to find work, I have so called friends that have stopped calling, strangers have come up to me and tell me I would be better off if I lost weight, all because my body size and shape has changed. I am not saying I should care about what the world thinks, only that the world does seem to notice and “care” about body type and weight. Sigh. I am grateful for your emails and blogs because they are helping me to move past the awful feelings of not being good enough because of body size and shape. Please keep up your great work!

  6. Lisa on July 12, 2014 at 10:42 am

    What an incredible article!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

    • Sandy Ross on July 12, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Definitely – we need to talk more about that stuff – I have added it to my list – I seem to have released my inner ranter 😀

  7. aurélie on July 14, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Yes !! And a same simple but so hard to say “oui” from France… Best regards, Aurélie.

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