Body Neutrality V’s Body Positivity

Body positivity, urging people to love their bodies regardless of what they look like or how they feel has become the new hot trend.

The concept of personal self-improvement has become blurred.

This self love, body image acceptance movement is great, don’t get me wrong but can you love your body and still want to improve it, change it, better yourself ? Body Neutrality sets the focus on improving our bodies to get optimal health. Body neutrality encourages us to see our bodies as a functional vessel.

The way I see it wanting to improve your body or better yourself can be totally the opposite to not loving yourself. Are you perfect just the way you are ? Is it ok to want to improve your body by bettering your health and fitness ? It’s not always a cosmetic issue !

I am all for body positivity as long the definition includes 

  • Being kind to your body 
  • Being kind to other peoples bodies 
  • Working to improve your body 

Food or diet shaming is no better or different than fat shaming and neither is ok. You can love yourself and still want to improve yourself. Loving your body to the detriment of your health is actually destructive.

When did it become ok to judge someone for wanting to feel better, look better, have more energy or be healthier. If you are happy with the way you and the way you feel then that’s ok, for you. If you are not and you want to make some changes or improvements then you go for it !

Body Neutrality means you may not always love your body everyday but you can appreciate everything your body can do for you.

It’s is perfectly OK not to be happy with your body, it’s perfectly ok to want to fit into your jeans without a muffin top. To feel comfortable, not feel bloated, to put on your swimsuit and strut down the beach without feeling like you want to cover your body with a towel. In fact it has a kind of sexy confidence about it. Who knows where you start to feel comfortable. Only you. This does not mean you don’t love yourself.

Let’s be perfectly clear though, obsessive behaviour is not healthy. It all comes down to balance, a healthy relationship with food and exercise. For example, If you struggle to weigh yourself without experiencing anxiety then you are allowing the scales to define you. This is not healthy. If you are consistently in a calorie deficit below your Basal Metabolic Rate. and obsessing about food. This is not healthy.

Be kind to your body

Improve yourself in a healthy sustainable way. Get off the “fad diet” merry-ground. This health and fitness thing is a forever game. The more you try and go for the short term fix and look for speedy progress the sooner you will fail. “Work to improve your body”. It is imperative to our overall health, gut health and mental health to fuel our bodies well. To lower our risk of disease and illness. Obesity should not be a cosmetic concern. Obesity is a disorder that increases our risk of health problems and disease.  

”Being kind to other peoples Bodies”

Our food choices often come with judgement from those around us. There is frequently a morality we attach to food.

The “fat” person eating the burger is judged. Do they really need to be eating that ??

The person who is 25% body fat and wants to be 20% is judged because they should love their body the way it is. 

The skinny person is judged … well, obviously they have an eating disorder.

Maybe it’s medications, illness, thyroid, hormones, mental health …who knows, there could be a thousand reason, all of which are quite frankly not your business. 

We don’t have the right to comment on what some else chooses to eat unless they have asked us for our advice. Nor the right to decide if someone else should or should not want to lose that extra body fat, gain lean muscle or improve their health. 

We don’t know …. we don’t walk in their shoes, we are not them. 

Working to improve your body

Body Positivity can make us feel like frauds.

We all have those days when we just don’t like what we see looking back at us in the mirror. Some things we can change and others we can’t. Who’s got stretch marks ? We don’t love them but we can’t change them so we need to accept them. Body Positivity encourages you to love them…… nope, no way, don’t want to. Can you accept, your story, your journey?  It is your story and self-improvement can continue all your life, it’s really up to you

Now my fat rolls are a different story. I look at them, I don’t like them. I feel bloated, heavy and uncomfortable, my clothes feel tight. Now this is something I can improve. I can change how I feel about this. I can make improvements to my body that will make me feel better, be healthier, feel sexier and fitter. Guess what ? Hell yes, this is also ok !

Making improvements to our bodies and our health does NOT mean we don’t love ourselves or our bodies ! Don’t let this trend tell you that you have to love your rolls, don’t let them shame you because you want to make a change. Body Neutrality means taking a neutral perspective towards yours body. You don’t have to cultivate a love for your body.

It’s ok to want to improve our bodies, as long as we do this in a healthy and sustainable way. But how? This can sometimes be easier said than done. It can be a struggle to change your mindset. You might need a little help and guidance, maybe consider a Nutrition Coach

You can love your body and want to improve it or change it. In recent years the body image acceptance movement has grown massively. A raised awareness of disordered eating has created a wonderful positive change.

“Loving your body, respecting your body and wanting to improve or better yourself” are ideas that should coexist.

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Simone Alice

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