If you really want to empower women (or yourself), stop telling them how to feel about their bodies and goals.
Just a few thoughts on the self-love movement we have going on right now (which I love BTW)…
If you really (really really), want to empower women (or yourself). Stop telling them how to feel about their bodies and goals. I know you are trying to help with this self love campaign, and overall it is a good message. At first I was feeling like FINALLY, people are starting to get it! However, telling people not to feel bad about things that make them feel bad is just another way of shaming. It seems like the message has started to get twisted. Shame on you for feeling ashamed! Who would have thought? Ha!
While I agree that it is good to not hold on to every last thing (90/10 anyone?), it is normal to feel disappointed or upset when you don’t achieve the things you set out to do. Should you accept yourself for who you are? Yes! Pick up the pieces and move on, by all means. But that doesn’t mean you should have to feel guilty for wanting more.
Telling someone that they should never have feeling for things that make them feel something, is not helping the situation. Then they just secretly feel bad for not being able to always rise above and not give a crap. When that happens, the emails start with, “I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do”. It adds another layer of guilt. So now they feel bad for not achieving the goal, AND for being emotional about it (or even wanting it in the first place). I tell people all the time to let it go, when they are upset for eating off plan, or whatever. It isn’t good to carry that I agree. Still I don’t think coddling is empowering. So I won’t pat you on the back and say that you are fine the way you are. It is insulting to disregard someones feelings as invalid. My opinion means nothing, so empathy is the best I can do.
I believe that we should appreciate our bodies for what they can do, rather than what they look like. That is why I train now (mostly), but it didn’t start out that way. That doesn’t mean that *I* don’t strive for improvement. Should I then feel guilty for having a physique goal? Is working toward changing the way your body looks, automatically conforming to social pressure to be (thin, acceptable, feminine, etc). After reading all the blogs, articles, Facebook rants that are going around lately you would sure think so!
I train for the way it makes me feel, sure. Does it hurt? Yes! Would I give it up? Heck no. It takes sacrifice, comes with frustration, and yes sometimes even disappointment in my results when I look in the mirror. Feeling that twinge of disappointment is what motivates me to work harder, and learn more. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have a physique goal, I know others that do as well. I refuse to feel bad because of that. Building each other up, without tearing others down is possible. Self discipline isn’t usually a bad thing.
As usual, a simple Facebook post ended up being long enough to be a blog. Oh well. Lol! If you made it this far, thanks for reading.