There’s a huge movement going on right now in the world, and that’s the “Body-Positive” or “Body Acceptance” movement. One of the things that people first think about with this movement is that it’s a “fat acceptance” movement, but the reality is, it isn’t. It’s an anti-shaming movement meant to bring awareness and positivity to women (and men) about their (and other’s) bodies.

The premise behind the Body-Positive movement is this: Love yourself just the way you are, so you have more of a desire to take care of yourself.

LOVE  YOURSELF

LOVE  YOURSELF

L O V E    Y O U R S E L F

That’s hard. It’s VERY hard. Especially for those of us that spent the majority of our lives completely hating everything about the way we looked, how we ate, etc.
But the bottom line is this:

IF WE DON’T LOVE OURSELVES, WE WON’T WANT TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES

Let’s face it – we spent YEARS of our lives in a state of self-loathing.
We hated ourselves for being fat. So we starved ourselves. Then we ended up overeating. Then we hated ourselves for overeating …
This is the cycle. I’m sure it’s familiar to everyone reading this.

Body-Positivity is not always fat-acceptance (although sometimes it is). It is accepting your body for what it is and making a choice to take care of it.
Taking care of it means eating healthy, nourishing foods; moving in a loving way; taking care of your sleeping habits; taking time to pamper yourself; and spending time with positive people that encourage you.

So what does this mean for someone who’s had WLS?
A lot.
We had WLS for one main purpose – to get healthy. Sure, vanity had something to do with it for some, but the majority of us spent years dieting, having issues with mobility, having breathing problems, being pre-diabetic or diabetic, with hypertension and all kinds of other health issues.  The first step in this journey was taking that ultimate step for ourselves. That move took courage. It took us standing up and saying, “I love myself too much to continue allowing these issues to harm me”.
Why does that stop once the surgery is over?

We become obsessive over our food choices.
We become obsessive over our exercise routines. 
We become so obsessive that if we have a treat ONCE or we miss ONE workout, we beat ourselves up.
We become so obsessive that sometimes we lose sight and the round of self-loathing begins again. 

We have to take a moment to step back and look at who we are from the inside out, rather from the outside in.
We have to stand up and look in the mirror and say, “Hey! I love you! Just as you are.”
Even when we mess up.
Even when we eat something we’re not supposed to.
Even when we hit a stall or gain a few pounds.
Even when we’re not perfect –
ESPECIALLY when we’re not perfect.

One thing I want to point out –
Loving yourself the way you are does NOT mean that you don’t want to lose weight. Desiring to lose weight can fall into that quite easily – as long as you’re wanting to lose weight for the RIGHT reasons.
For example –
I regained about 20-25 lbs. When I regained, my osteoarthritis got worse, my mobility got worse, and I started feeling horrible all the time.
I need to lose some of that regain. Not because I don’t like the way I look – I’m okay with the way I look. I have curves, I have a waistline, I have a STUNNING collarbone … I like the way I look.
I need to lose that regain because my joints hurt and my body is not happy.
And I love my body too much to treat it that way.

So, as you can see, being Body-Positive does have a place in the WLS world. It’s not fat-acceptance, rather it’s refusing to shame yourself for not fitting into what society says you should look like. It’s loving yourself as you are, so that you have more of a desire to take care of yourself.

What do you think? Leave us a comment or come join the conversation in our Facebook Group!