What makes a medical professional body positive?

This week we are talking all things medical bopo. I know health issues and seeing a doctor about them can be a huge source of anxiety so let’s figure out some strategies to make it better! Watch this video to learn more about what to look for in a bopo medical professional and/or health practitioner and find strategies for dealing with medical professionals in a more body positive way.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please share in the comments.

Xoxo Krystal

My 5 Top Tricks to Turn a Body-Loathing Day into a Body-Loving Day

We are always learning, always growing, always changing. Or at least life is always providing the opportunities for these things. In the beginning of my body love journey I thought, maybe one day I won’t have to think about this so much. Maybe one day I could fix this problem. Maybe one day all the mental, emotional and physical energy I put into loathing and punishing my body will be mine again. I used to wonder what people who didn’t have to work on their body (i.e. thin people) did with all the extra mental, emotional and physical energy that I was dedicating to the process of trying to comply with beauty and health standards. I know better now and I know that this struggle is definitely not one that “thin” people are immune to.  

I also know that loving your body is a lifelong journey.

That magical moment of never having body loathing or shame ever again will possibly, and probably, never come. Because if the world around me is forever changing, and my body continues to age and change, and my LIFE JOURNEY continues to follow its winding, bumpy and beautiful path, how could my relationship with my body remain unchanged? So that means there will be times when I might feel body-shame and body-loathing. Even as I work as a body positive advocate, there will still be these days. Yes, I put WAY less energy into hating, fixing and changing my body, and when I get the bad-body-feels they don’t last too long, but my relationship with my body will always be an ever-changing journey.

So I thought I would offer you my 5 top tricks to turn a body-loathing day into a body-loving day.

1 – Be a REBEL

IMG_5857

When I have thoughts of hating my body or that I am not good enough as I am to show up in the world, I like to use my rebellious nature to my advantage. I really don’t like being told what to do and I don’t do well with feeling like my choices are limited. Sometimes this part of my personality can be a challenge, but when it’s me and my self-limiting beliefs restricting me from living the life I want, I can take my inner-rebel and unleash her wrath on all that shame. ‘Take that negative self-talk! You can’t tell me what to do! I’m the boss of me!’

2 – Body Love Outfits

IMG_5858

I LOVE clothes and costume and make-up. I love using my body and face as a canvas for expressing my creativity. It is an important part of feeling free and authentic in my day to day life. However, big events that I get really excited about and create grandiose outfit visions for are often a trigger for my body-loathing. And the more excited I am, the more triggering they can be. Lately though, I have started doing this thing that’s changing it all. I’ll put on my ensemble of choice for the event, usually an ensemble that pushes me out of my comfort zone, and then I will stand in front of the mirror assessing the situation like I normally would. And the usual boring negative thoughts about my body may come up. If they do though, I say to myself and my body, “I am going to love you. I do love you. And I am going to keep loving you so hard that you will rock this outfit. I will love it so hard that everyone else will just have to get on board. This is a body love outfit.” And then I rock that outfit HARD!

3 – Move it and Lose it (the Loathing that is)

When I move my body in ways that feel nurturing, empowering, and delicious, I forget about all that body loathing and start enjoying my body here, exactly as it is, in the present moment. I forget about what I look like. I don’t care about how my body appears. I care only about how good it feels to exist in my body. Yoga asana is absolutely a practice that brings me back to loving and appreciating my body. But I also could truly dance forever. Dancing fills my soul and I feel most free when my body and mind are lost in moving to the music. When I move my body I feel free, I feel strong and I feel powerful.

20130527-IMG_9214 (2)

4 – Through My Eyes

When I am hating on my body, sometimes it is good for me to remember how I see the world. Where do I see beauty in the world? It shows up in a smile. In the warmth of a breeze on my skin. In feeling seen and heard and supported by my loved ones. It has nothing to do with conventional and commercial concepts of beauty. I fall in love with people for their humour, their incredible mind, and their heart. These things have nothing to do with the way they look. So maybe the way I look isn’t really that important in being able to show up in the world and be loved.

Anahata Mudra

5 – Flawed and Imperfect and That’s Okay

On that note, there are days where the positivity can’t drown out the negative thoughts. Days where I feel like I am not enough. Where I feel like I am not good enough to show up in the world. On those days, I let go. I accept that maybe, just maybe, I can still show up in the world as my flawed and imperfect self and maybe I can let people love me anyway. Maybe I can even let people love me because of those flaws and imperfections. And I turn to this quote from the wise Brene Brown, “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known.”

20130527-IMG_9349

So that is my wish for you – to allow people (even yourself) to love you “flaws”, “imperfections” and all!

Krystal

Brene Brown Quote

Bikini Body Project Day 12 – Taking Off the Turtleneck of Shame

Brene Brown Quote

What is shame?

Brené Brown famous shame researcher defines shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging. As an emotion, shame is not a motivator for changing these “flaws”. Shame does not drive us to action. Shame thrives on hiding in the shadows like a fungus.

The shame of growing breasts at an early age drove me to seek out turtleneck bathing suits. Who’s ever heard of turtleneck bathing suit? It’s incongruous and a bit ridiculous. However, I required the impossibility of showing any cleavage to even get into a swimsuit. And let me tell you, my mother had a heck of a time finding a turtleneck bathing suit! When she finally did, she was so proud to have helped her daughter in this way.

I don’t think she had any idea that at the age of 10, I experienced my first taste of sexual harassment. I was out on the playground when a boy my age reached out to grab at my newly formed breasts. I was so shocked when he did this because I was barely aware of them so how come they were so obvious to him? I guess it was at that moment that I decided to do whatever I could to hide them and not draw any attention to them. And that meant definitely no cleavage. Thus the search for a pre-teen turtleneck bathing suit.

And that is why when I wear my bikini today it is an act of rebellion for me. An act of hope. An act of light.

Letting the sun see my body is exposing the old, dark, hidden shame of my beautiful breasts (which I now fiercely love BTW) to the healing light of the world.

Shine the light of love on your shame and share your story with me!

We are not born ashamed of our bodies. – Brené Brown

Loads of love,

Krystal