A couple years ago I stumbled upon the #bopo movement during the launch of Periscope. (which I soon replaced with Facebook live & YouTube live)
#bopo stands for Body Positivity in case you’re like bo… what?
You may have also heard of a similar movement called #haes which stands for “health at every size.” Or perhaps another associated movement #effyourbeautystandards
Let me start with a few things FIRST before we dive into exactly how a movement that focuses on body awesomeness could be holding you back and doing you more harm than good.
Seriously, you’ll want to hear me out on this one & read to the end - or watch the video above - It’s pretty major.
This movement was many heart-wrenching, oppressive years (um… decades) in the making. It’s intention was to give plus-sized women (& men) a platform for self-acceptance, regardless of what they looked like.
No more shame. No more feeling bad about the bodies they were born into or weight that was gained as a child. No more feeling wrong about themselves regardless of efforts, while losing weight to fit society standards eluded them. Something had to be done to band together & rise up. #amentothat
As you may know, I’m a fitness & mindset coach who has her own history of self-hatred and loathing when it comes to body image (and thankfully I have since found peace).
At the heart of the mindset work I teach is body positivity. You’ve GOT to feel good about yourself on some level even if that’s focusing on what you can DO, rather than what you look like if you are going to rock it out in your life and get where you want to go. Feeling good about your body is the foundation of self-esteem and confidence in all areas.
The more you resist where you are right now, the more anguish you will feel because the act of rejecting “what is” is like drawing a thick line in the sand keeping you from crossing to the other side of having a body you actually LIKE, nevermind love.
As the saying goes, “What you resist, persists.” Keep pushing & fighting and going up against something and you’ll just get more of the same. (There’s more I can say on that concept, but I’ll save it for another post. ? )
To sum it up: Body acceptance and feeling good about yourself is no doubt part of the secret formula release the struggle around food and exercise.
Notice, I said PART.
There’s another part of acceptance that is just as important to acknowledge and it is this:
We as human beings have an innate drive to expand, improve and do better & better. We constantly want MORE.
It is in our DNA to want to improve because it means the survival of our species…. AND we seek improvement and advancement to come in the easiest way possible.
A bigger house, advancement in your career, expanding your family, exploring new places…. And in this case, feeling better & better about the body you live in every. single. day. A body that you cannot escape.
To sum it up so far:
- You must be willing to accept and come to terms with your physical form on some level NOW if you want to better yourself.
- It is in your nature to want more, do better & constantly improve. This concept is referred to as the Law of Increase.
- We prefer the above two to happen on a path of least resistance. In other words, the easiest way possible. Some would refer to this as laziness, but in reality it’s about allowing it to happen.
Now, back to the #bopo community where it gets interesting.
One day I was skimming through one of the #ditchthescale #bopo private groups on facebook & saw that a woman posted about hating her cellulite.
I had been on a nerd-adventure studying fascia for the past 2 years so I was like “yes! I got this. I can help this girl feel better because once she understands that cellulite is just an aesthetic symptom revealing a bigger story about bound up connective tissue underneath, and once she knows what to do to release it, then she doesn’t need to feel bad about how she looks! She’ll have more knowledge about where this natural occurrence stems from. She doesn’t have to make it mean that she’s not thin enough/pretty enough/sexy enough. Cellulite is none of those things when you look at the science!”
Well. I got ripped a new one when I started sharing about connective tissue and a method I used to heal my fascia which ultimately, as a side effect, leads to smoother legs.
Apparently, sharing any SCIENCE about the human body is a #boponono.
My comments were attacked & my posts were deleted by the admin.
From that point forward, I felt less connected to the #bopo community and felt stronger to go my own way, which meant getting back on my path to expand RealFit as a movement in itself.
A movement that is founded on the concept that the only thing that really matters is the “study of one.” (ONE = YOU) And YOU are the only one who determines what YOU want to look like, act like, BE like in this world.
Since that happened over a year ago, other fitness and food professionals have also shared their concerns about such a community that doesn’t welcome other conversations or approaches to overall health & well-being.
It’s extremely concerning to me that conversation on the SCIENCE of your body is not being welcomed in a community about people’s BODIES!
The way I see it it that there is so much we just don’t know about the human condition. Especially the mind-body connection with emotions and mental health.
It’s important that we stay open to dialogue and exploration in such areas that seem like a mystery, still after all these years in research and science… we have more to uncover.
If you feel conflicted and confused, you aren’t alone in that.
WANTING to lose weight doesn’t make you someone who doesn’t accept yourself, nor does it make you someone who doesn’t accept others for NOT losing weight.
On the contrary, it could very well mean that you are striving to be the healthiest you that you can be at the size you are at. And that my friend, is “health at every size” on RealFit terms.
Have a story to share about how the body positivity community has helped you?
Have a story to share about how it’s held you back or created a feeling of more shame for even wanting to lose weight?
Feel free to post below or send me an email through our contact us form in case you have something you’d like to share on a more private level. You are welcome to share it with me. ❤️