We’ve tended to veer away from highly controversial topics in the past and whilst some things are best left unsaid, this isn’t one of them. This article has been circling around in our head for quite some time now and we’ve finally taken the plunge and put our thoughts into words on this sensitive subject. Let’s talk about the body confidence movement…
What is body positivity?
The body positivity movement has gained a lot of momentum in the past couple of years, but what does it actually mean? The first point that needs emphasis is that body positivity is a completely subjective topic. What it means to one person can have an entirely different meaning to someone else. We’d define body positivity as feeling good good about yourself and content with your physical appearance. We sincerely believe that having a positive outlook on life is one of the keys to success, health and happiness. We’ve also talked about how the mental attitudes and thought processes you hold can literally transform your experience of life…for better or worse.
In other words, we’d say body positivity is about accepting and loving your body at all times, but having the courage to be able to change the things which could negatively affect your well-being. However, it seems that whilst many people would agree with the above definition, not all people harmonise with it. There’s a contingent of people who seem to think that being body positive also means embracing being overweight, obese and unhealthy. Now we’re just going to put it out there that through our combined experience in the fitness industry as Personal Trainers and online coaches, we’ve worked with hundreds of overweight individuals who have successfully lost weight and significantly improved their health and well-being. We are in NO way whatsoever targeting or discriminating against overweight people. What we would like to bring attention to however, is the culture of individuals who promote dangerous lifestyle choices that could negatively affects other peoples’ health in the name of being body positive.
If you’re obese and you’re actively seeking means in which to change your circumstances to improve your health and life, then we applaud you. We commend you for acknowledging what needs to change and having the initiative to try and change it. Hell, we’ll even do EVERYTHING we can to help you get there. However, if you’re obese, have come to terms with your deteriorating health and resigned to accept your weight, justified because you’re body confident whilst advocating other people to do the same, then that’s when we have a problem. Obesity is such a serious condition that the health implications of being obese are severe. Sleep apnea, increased risk of heart disease, cancer, liver disease and diabetes cover just a mere fraction of the list of health problems that piggyback obesity. If someone is happy with being obese and has weighed up the dangers of staying at their weight and is willing to live with these potentialities then that is their call. However, no individual should encourage others to follow suit and do the same in the name of body positivity. You wouldn’t encourage someone else to become chronically depressed, would you?
We understand that they love their bodies. We understand that they are happy and content with the way they are but we’re not going to say that eating yourself to a premature death is beautiful, because it’s not. Likewise, we’re not suggesting that everyone should aim to look like a fitness model. However, what we are saying is that if you truly loved your body, you wouldn’t be subjecting it to the enormous torture and strain you’re putting it under by choosing to live the way you are.
“But obese is just another word used to demonise individuals”.
You’re right, obese is just another word. However, obese also carries with it a lot of dangerous health implications that others words don’t carry. As a society, we’ don’t celebrate anything that could harm us or affect the security of our well-being. We wouldn’t encourage anorexia, so why do the same with obesity? Why has obesity suddenly not only become an acceptable lifestyle choice, but one in which that is actually glorified……..all in the name of body confidence?
We think that feeling beautiful and confident on your journey to health and well-being is an incredible thing and again, we respect completely ANY overweight person who is ready and willing to make a change. Not all people can control the circumstances and events that may have led to overeating and becoming overweight but we ALL have a choice to decide to make a change. A choice to nurture and respect our bodies so that they can function the way nature intended, not respect them when we fill them with junk food and don’t exercise.
How is it remotely fair to judge an alcoholic or a smoker for causing liver damage or lung cancer when there are people who are doing just as much damage with food and being praised for it? There’s a double standard in society when it comes to food and unless the problem is addressed quickly, more and more people will fall victim to this dangerous culture.
NOTE: If you would like to chat with us to discuss how we can help you lose weight, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.