I Am Embracing … Slowly
Last week I finally saw the movie “Embrace”.
Embrace is a film made by Australian Mum Taryn Brumfitt. In 2013 she posted a Before and After photograph online which was the total opposite of your standard Before and After – the Before being after a bodybuilding competition and the After, totally natural, non-posed and not photoshopped.
Parts of her movie made me nod, get a little mad and I also cried, quite a bit.
Embrace is not just about women’s bodies.
It is about our image of our own bodies. It is about the fact that 90% of women surveyed were unhappy with their own bodies and it is about the shit we tell ourselves every day about how our bodies are gross or disgusting or not toned enough or that we are too fat. Embrace is very honest and it is also very confronting.
The images we have of ourselves, the things we tell ourselves, well it’s just bloody terrible. We wouldn’t tell kids that so why is it okay to talk to ourselves that way?
I can look at myself in the mirror and give you at least 10 things that I would like to change. What I realised watching this film, is that there is no guarantee that changing these things about my body might not make me any happier. Or any healthier.
It’s quite funny … before I arrived at the showing, I was tagged in a FaceBook post about a surgeon in Auckland offering boob jobs. I’d quite like a boob job – they have basically packed up and left me, they droop down to my waist and my nipples point to my toes. But that is another $10,000. On top of the $20,000 I have already spent (not including clothes and supplements and gym memberships). Will having perky tits make me happy? Will luscious bouncing boobs keep me healthy? Probably not.
The other side of the film that got me thinking, and it is perhaps an unpopular opinion, is whilst we should love ourselves. Full stop there.
We should love ourselves, we also need to respect ourselves. I’m not a great fan of the general body positively movement – in that basic size and shape don’t matter, everyone is beautiful. YES THATS TOTALLY TRUE. However, in my experience, obese is obese and it is not conducive to long-term health and vitality. I have been morbidly obese and I know the risks to my health and the co-morbidities that I had.
I much prefer the ‘tag line’ Health at Any Size as one shouldn’t be tied to the other – but then neither should a good body image!
For years I hated this body – for its size, its limitations, and its risks. Now it’s the healthiest it’s even been and I still loathe it.
I had weight loss surgery to help me reclaim my health. I just wish that it would also help me reclaim my self-worth and a better opinion of my shape.
Really though, for 42, given what it been through, it is in okay condition.
It hasn’t had kids, it’s not been in any major accidents but it has travelled the world both above and below the sea. As I said in the title, I’m slowly learning to embrace it. It is just a work in progress that watching one movie won’t fix. Regular exercise, nourishing food, good friends, mental health days, therapy … they are all part of the fix too.
Love your body – but please, ensure your body is healthy too.