How To Be Brave In Your Body
The body positive movement has shifted to an almost glamorous state of popularity. Pictures of half nude women embracing imperfection are normalizing what a natural, untouched body looks like. While this is powerful, the sheer amount of bravery it takes to become more accepting of your body is not emphasized enough.
Bravery is an act of courage. It is showing up when nothing makes sense and fear is rampant. Bravery is a bridge linking two impressive thoughts: your desire for a better body image to the acceptance of that image.
We are told not to be scared, to just love our body as it is. The problem is, this message implies that your feelings don’t matter. What if instead we focused on bravery and still let our feelings come along for the ride?
You don’t need to be fearless or even fully committed to loving your body. Just agree that you will be brave.
When you think about complaining, find gratitude for what your body allows you to do.
When you want to criticize, remain curious about these thoughts.
When you are dwelling in the past, look for opportunities to learn.
When you feel shame, practice self-compassion.
It takes incredible bravery to decouple your identity from your body size, and to know who you are regardless if it changes. One of the biggest fears I see in people recovering from an eating disorder is that they will no longer know who they are if they gain weight. Believing that you have to look a certain way to please everyone else will keep you stuck. You discover who you really are when you stop trying to control your body and use that energy and brain space to engage in life.
Being brave in your body is about realizing you have been given gifts that you have to share with others. Yes, you have these gifts too! This is what makes you interesting, unique, valuable and worthy, and you can’t be these things if you are trying to be someone else.
The exciting thing is that you get to do life different than anyone else. You can cultivate your own goals, dreams, and passions. You can like snow and mountains when everyone else likes the beach. You can eat ice cream for breakfast or stay home on a Saturday night dancing to music and eating take-out.
Our bodies are temporary. How you make people feel, what you accomplish and the legend you create is not. It takes bravery to focus on aligning with your values over making your body more acceptable to others.
Let bravery be the infrastructure that supports you in building autonomy and confidence. Let it carry you to a place where you need less validation from others and you make your own happiness.