In this post, I want to discuss this question about body shape and size: does it matter? It’s a question tied into the concepts of Health At Every Size and body acceptance. And the answer is related to those same concepts.
It’s no secret that I’m a proponent of Health At Every Size. It means that your natural body shape and size–the one you have when you eat and exercise healthfully and normally– is the shape and size you’re supposed to be at. The healthiest shape and size for YOU.
And that natural, healthy body shape and size? It’s not determined by the “average” weight, jeans size, BMI, or fat percentage. Health can be found in any size. (For more info, this post on set point weight by Robyn aka The Real Life RD.)
I’m also a proponent of body acceptance. It’s something I’m still working on for myself. And although a certain brand of body positivity is becoming more and more popular, our society’s body shape and size ideals are still too narrow. Unattainable. We hear messages of ‘every shape is beautiful’ and ‘love your curves’. Yet the diet industry is booming, perhaps because it’s begun to adopt “body positive” disguises for its own messages.
So let’s ask the question again: body shape and size–does it matter? With regards to health and body acceptance, no. No, your body’s natural shape and size, the one it strives to be at, doesn’t matter in the sense that it doesn’t make you a better or worse person.
Body shape and size doesn’t determine your worth.
It doesn’t determine your health.
It doesn’t demonstrate your self-control or self-discipline.
It shouldn’t dictate what you eat.
It shouldn’t dictate how you move.
It shouldn’t dictate what you wear.
It shouldn’t change how you feel about yourself.
But in another very different, but still very real way, yes, it does matter.
It matters because it’s part of what makes you yourself. Your body is the one God gave you, designed for you. It carries you. You experience the world through it. It’s a part of what makes you different, unique.
Can it be hard to live in our world and accept that? For sure. Our society’s beauty standards are unattainable. And it may not even be your shape or size that bothers you. For example, my knees and elbows just look weird to me. But I don’t let that stop me from wearing clothes I like or let it influence how I feel about myself.
It might not be a continual thing, either. Maybe you (like everyone else in the world) get bloated sometimes. And on those days, you feel worse about yourself. (Read this post for more!)
All of these things are real and hard to deal with. But don’t let that stop you from radical acceptance of that fact that while your body shape and size has no bearing on your worth as a person, it’s a beautiful part of who you are.
Linking up for Thinking out Loud!