Ok, let's get honest and real for the next few minutes. There are days (always have been, always will be) when you don't love the shape, size, age, or ability of your body.
There are days when hearing the latest inspiration from body-love promoters makes you want to crawl back in bed, covers up, unseen by the world and yourself.
To give you a little extra support this lovely month, we'll be talking about ways to respect your body from a place of self care even on the darkest days of body resentment. To start off...
For many women, my self included, our bellies are the most sensitive area of our body when it comes to trying to measure up to diet culture's beauty and wellness ideals. The media tells us that the flattest, fittest, firmest, toned-est stomachs are the most healthy and most desirable.
I'm guessing that, for many of you, trying to fit your body into a socially acceptable image involves cutting back on carbs, or added sugars or fats. You up your protein and non-starchy veg intake. You start pushing yourself through crunches, plank poses, and intense cardio sessions even when you're body is exhausted from a) not having eaten enough or b) trying to keep up with life.
Am I right?
Remember last week's post about how women's bodies have continued to physically shrink despite gaining more opportunities for social empowerment (voting, sexual freedom, etc)? Well, I've recently heard about a reason to celebrate our rounder middles...evidence based.
The wellness-industry (the newest guise of diet culture) has dramatically overlooked the fact that your amazing adult female body is capable of one of the most profound powers that allows human kind to exist - the ability to out live famine (in addition to creating, carrying, and birthing tiny humans).
According to Dr. Margo Maine's presentation, "Nine Truths About Eating Disorders in Midlife and Beyond," Women are hard wired to withstand poverty and famine, a young girl's body fat, prior to puberty, is around 12%. As she starts to develop, her body fat will settle in around 17%, which is enough to promote ovulation and menstruation (generally). A mature, adult woman's body will have around 22% body fat, which is enough energy to sustain her life with ovulation for 9 months of famine! Only 10% of women typically die in famine related conditions, while 50% of men will die due to their lower percentage of body fat.
Given the opportunity to do its thing, your body will also carry you well into old age with the protection of slowing your metabolism so that body fat percentage can increase once again during menopause. The hormonal shifts that occur during menopause contribute to about 8-12 pounds of weight gain BUT also contributes to supporting bone health and reducing symptoms of menopause such as the ever unpopular hot flashes.
The moral of this biological story...ladies, we were designed to be rounder, softer, and powerful enough not just to be CEO's, political leaders, vote, and be attractive as hell well into old age, BUT we're also designed to carry on our lineage in spite of whatever tragedies this world tries to throw at us. Fat is F**king Fabulous and the key to survival! Enjoy your week!