Hey guys! It’s time for another book review. I love reading and have read my fair share of gems and… uh, not-so-gem-like books. Please know that I will ONLY review books that I have read and LOVE. My hope is that for those readers looking for more thorough knowledge than just a blog post may find the right book for them. You can check out my other book reviews here.
One of the messages that I try to continually share here on Thank Your Body (in various ways) is that your body is amazing. Your body. Amazing. Really, it is. In a world full of photoshopped ideals, body shaming, and guilt-driven fads it’s easy to fall into a body loathing trap. The sad reality keeps me cheering people on: You are amazing. Your body is amazing! Don’t believe the lies!
But here’s the thing… despite cheering others on, I’ve allowed myself to fall into the trap. I’ve begun to notice a change in my thoughts as the lies around me have taken root.
Postpartum thoughts on a postpartum body.
My first pregnancy was a breeze. I was stress-free, job-free, active and had oodles of spare time to focus on me, my health, and the growing babe inside. I gained “the perfect” amount of weight, bounced back to my pre-pregnancy body quickly, and wondered what all the hype was about postpartum recovery.
Needless to say, I got my share of humble pie this second time around.
I gained twice as much weight with baby #2. I’m about 5 weeks postpartum with more extra baggage than I’ve ever had before in my life. Even during my freshman year of college when I weighed my largest (and would never describe myself as thin), I was at least muscular and thick. Today I just feel flabby.
And I know… trust me I know, it’s crazy to be so down on myself. I just had a baby! But that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve allowed myself to get weighed down by some not-so-body-loving negative self talk.
It needs to end.
Elizabeth Walling, who wrote one of my favorite ebooks (The Nourished Metabolism) has a new book out that amazing: Love Your Body: The imperfect girl’s guide to positive body image.
Her own words are far too familiar:
For as long as I can remember, I did the whole yo-yo dieting things trying to “fix” my body. And let me tell you, I struggled with body hate every step of the way. No matter how much weight I lost, I never felt like I had “arrived” at the finish line. Whatever weight I was at, it was never good enough. In fact, the more rigid I became in my weight loss efforts, the more critical I became of my body. I noticed flaws I’d never paid attention to before. And thinking about these flaws all the time made me a pretty miserable person!” – Love Your Body
The Cost of Body Hate
So often we think focusing on our flaws doesn’t hurt anyone… some may even argue that it’s what motivates them. But Elizabeth makes a compelling case that body hate, body shaming, and not loving our bodies hurts us and those around us.
- The impact your image of your self has on your children
- The time wasted worrying about your flaws
- The money spent trying to “fix” or cover up your imperfections
- The relationships lost because you didn’t have the confidence to be yourself
- The memories missed because you were waiting for some “magical” time when your flaws were gone.
Good news: You don’t have to be perfect to love your body!
Love Your Body not only helps address both hidden or blatant self hate, it also provides real information to helping you love your body. When I first picked up this book I thought, “How can a book tell me to love my body?” But I was surprised by the action steps given. It’s about making the things that matter a priority.
But isn’t “loving your body” just an easy way to give up on making positive changes?
There is a fine line between accepting and loving your body and giving up on your body. Embracing your flaws is not an excuse for eating poorly, forgetting personal hygiene, neglecting fitness, or the like.
Think about it in another way: Let’s say I don’t know two words of Russian, and I’d like to learn how to speak it fluently. Does that mean I can’t love myself as a person until I know hot to speak Russian? Definitely not! – Love Your Body
Loving your body is about thanking your body. What’s motivating change? Do you see change as a battle against yourself OR are you seeking change because you know you are worth it.
You are worth it.
I wish everyone could get their hands on this book. There is a lot of good food for thought that is no needed in our self-critical world. I’m putting together my own action plan to help me embrace my body and the changes it has gone through to nourish a human being.