I am a strong believer in the concept of self-love, I strongly recommend it for everyone and anyone. When it comes to body positivity, that is another topic close to my heart. Being underweight most of my life, I know how important it is to love my body. Even the first thing I ever wrote for the public eye, was a write-up on body positivity. I am getting this out in the air because I don’t want you to think that I am disparaging self-love in any way. I just want you guys to realise that Self Love and Body Positivity are not an excuse to lead an Unhealthy Lifestyle.
I have often seen people on the internet and people I know, say things like “I love my body, I don’t want to change it. Hence, exercising is not for me”.
Do you realise, how this statement is problematic? Well, if you didn’t I will break it to you part by Part.
The first part of the sentence says “I love my body”, and there is nothing wrong with it. Each one of us should love our body, irrespective of how socially acceptable it is. The size and shape of your body are influenced by many factors that are beyond your control and hating yourself for your genes doesn’t make sense. Just to clarify, your parents aren’t at fault either. So, don’t go to them and play the blame game. Every aspect of your body is not under your influence and therefore loving it is your only option. Even if you wish to change it, you need to accept and love it first. The first step of change is learning to accept what already is. Hence, the first part of the sentence isn’t problematic at all.
Now, let us come to the second part “I don’t want to change it”. This statement is kind of in a grey area, it is not entirely wrong but in no way is this entirely correct. Loving your body doesn’t mean that you should not try to improve it. I am not saying this for the underweight and overweight individual but for everyone reading this. Even if your weight is ideal and you have the best metabolism, doesn’t mean that you indulge in every unhealthy activity there is. Eating only junk, having too much alcohol might seem not to have any effect on your body right now but they have long term repercussions. One negative effect could be a slow metabolism, meaning you can and will lose the blessing keeping you healthy, if you don’t value it.
For the other half, who do not fall in the ideal weight category. I am so proud of you guys for loving your body the way it is but not wanting to change it a little will only harm you. Making slight food changes and moving your body, not to get the model figure but to be a slightly healthier version of yourself is a mandate to lead a healthy life. Exposing yourself to junk and laziness, just because you love your body isn’t what body positivity is about. You don’t even need to aim for the ideal weight, you just need to indulge in healthy practices and the rest will take its course. Also, know that the ideal weight could be different for different people, based on their body structure and not just the weight and height.
The third part of the sentence makes me cringe, “Hence, exercising is not for me”. No matter who you are or how perfect you are, exercising is for everyone. Moving your body in some way whether is as simple as walking, is necessary for every individual. When you use self-love to validate your laziness, you are just making excuses. You can fool the world with it, but you can’t fool your body. Not giving your body the movement it needs can and will cost you. So, please I beg you to start any form of exercising today.
If you still haven’t been able to make sense out of Self Love and Body Positivity are not an excuse to lead an Unhealthy Lifestyle. Let me just say that, every time you use self-love as an excuse to not exercise or eat right, the only person getting affected is you. You are using a classic coping mechanism, and they never turn out to be good for anyone. This was not to scare you but give you clarity and to remind you to love your body the right way today.