Body Acceptance

Woman sitting at a coffee shop with her computer

The struggle to accept your body as it is, today, is real and understandable.

The fact that our culture (as seen in all forms of media) projects the idea if you eat a certain way, your body will look or age with effortless beauty, only fuels false ideals and limits your ability to accept your here and now body. That's how the dieting-wellness-beauty industry makes its money - through a business model that says, "make people believe they need fixing or shouldn't age."

It's not you, it's them! Body acceptance is a practice in caring for yourself in spite of these projected false ideals. Like any practice, it takes conscious effort and awareness to do the best you can everyday.

Side note: conscious effort and awareness is not the same as perfection. Practice=Progress. And in this case, "doing 'C' or average work, is enough!

Body acceptance also involves the practice of embodiment. In the words of world renowned clinical psychologist and body image researcher, Niva Piran...

"Body journeys allow for a connection with a range of embodied experiences and the uncovering of social experiences that enhance or disrupt our embodiment. They validate and problematize often silenced experiences and mobilize girls and women to take on paths that enhance their embodiment and their well-being."

Dr. Piran, developed the innovative Developmental Theory of Embodiment, which describes both protective and harmful social ideas that influence girls' experience living in their bodies.

According to Dr. Piran there are multiple dimensions to the experience of embodiment. For example, how do girls experience body connection, agency, power, and attuned self care? Are they allowed to physically and verbally "show up" to state their truth's without risk of being shamed? Are they allowed to seek out their desires while resisting objectification?

Based on Dr. Piran's research, the protective factors that support positive female embodiment include, joyful movement, physical safety, and freedom from (or the support to stand up to) objectifiying appearance-based pressures and restrictive social standards or femininity. Protective factors also include experiences of social power in relation to her gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexual preferences, and health status.

If this idea really lights your curiosity fire and you'd like to learn more about Niva's Developmental Theory of Embodiment, check out her book,

"Journey's of Embodiment, Intersection of Body and Culture."

So, how does this all related to your body story...

Your ability to practice embodiment (and feel safe doing so) is an essential part of your human experience and it directly effects your ability to accept your here and now body.

And being able to accept your here and now body directly effects your ability to hear subtle hunger and fullness cues, as well as seek out your satisfaction needs. More on that later!

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