Earlier this year I held a Body Confidence Workshop in an attempt to help people start to realise that their appearance should not be something that holds a negative impact on their life. That society has brainwashed us to believe there is a ‘perfect’ way to look and if you don’t adhere to these stereotypes then you are not only ugly but unworthy.
I wanted to help offer some little tasks and activities to help move away from this self-discrimination and have people think about things, potentially in a way they never had before.
I was lucky enough to be joined by the wonderful Dominique Binns as a guest speaker. And one thing she said during the chat has stuck ever since, playing on my mind on loop.
“The problem is never the problem”
This statement really resonated with me and I think most of us can learn something from it.
What does it mean? (Or what did I take it to mean)
Have you ever lost your cool and maybe started shouting at someone over something and then realised later on that you weren’t actually that bothered about what happened but it was just the thing that tipped you over the edge? The thing that added just that bit too much to the scale and you couldn’t help but react?
Well, we are so focused on the reason were unhappy being related to our looks that we decide our appearance is the problem. We tell ourselves that we will be happy when we are lighter, we will find a relationship when we wobble less, we will be able to move up in our job when we look the part. And so we focus so much on what we will be capable of once we look a certain way that we believe our issues and reasons for not being happy/where we want to be are all related to our bodies.
But just like that one tiny thing tipping you over the edge resulting on you exploding at the poor barista that got your coffee order wrong… your looks aren’t really the problem. It goes much deeper than that.
Your body is the poor barista that is taking all your shit just because it’s easier to blame them than confront everything else.
You aren’t happy in your job – blame your body.
You aren’t happy in your relationship – blame your body.
You aren’t happy being single – blame your body.
You aren’t happy how you spend your weekends – blame your body.
You aren’t happy sitting on the couch, binge-watching Netflix eating Maltesers – blame your body.
You aren’t happy spending your ‘down time’ in the gym or meal prepping – blame your body.
Your poor body is taking all of the blame for your unhappiness when in actual fact it is the only thing that is constantly there for you throughout this journey, supporting you but also reacting to the way you treat it.
Just think about it… if you treated your best friend the way you treat your body it probably wouldn’t take too long for your friend to say “see ya!” and move away from your toxicity. Unfortunately for your body it cant get away, it can just react to how you treat it. However we treat our bodies with hatred and disgust and then blame it even more for reacting; for gaining weight, for being too tired to function, for breaking out…
Just think what could happen if we treated our bodies with love and respect…
Take a minute to imagine your body as a separate entity, as your best friend. Imagine your poor, deflated, beaten body standing vulnerably in front of you. Imagine hugging your body so tightly and apologising for the way you’ve treated it. And don’t stop hugging until you feel your body hug you back. Until you promise to stop treating your body as if it is the problem.
Your body is not the problem.
Your face is not the problem.
Your wobbly bits are not the problem.
The number on – the scales, the tape measure or your clothes are not the problem.
The way you view yourself is the problem.
The way you treat yourself is the problem.
The fact you’re in a job you hate is the problem.
The fact you are in a relationship with the wrong person is the problem.
The fact you believe you need to be in relationship to be loved is the problem.
Your problem could be one, or a collection, of many things. But your appearance/your body IS NOT one of them.
Stop waiting for your ideal body as if all your issues will be solved/easier to tackle when you have it. Instead focus on appreciating and respecting your body as you would your best friend and tackle the real problems head on.
I know it’s tough, I have had to accept this truth myself … on many occasions. It’s not a simple fix. A quick realisation that allows you to love yourself. It’s work and it’s effort. It’s learning new habits and thought patterns. Sometimes you will revert back to old habits and patterns but the more you try to move away from the negative spiral of blaming your body for everything the less you’ll take steps backwards and instead move on to happier times.
So before you allow yourself to break down, to hate what you see in the mirror, to put your life on hold until you look a certain way or even before you scream at someone for getting your coffee order wrong, remember the problem is never the problem.
#bettyoucan #bettican #bettwecan