May 15 2018
Kathrine Switzer delivered the 2018 commencement address at her alma mater, Syracuse University on May 13, 2018.
In order to have a body that you love, you first have to love the body that you have.
Many of us get caught up in a cycle of focusing on what we want to change about our bodies that we forget to appreciate them as they are. We think about shaving off our love handles, perking up our breasts, flattening our tummies, toning up our lunch lady arms, and popping out our backsides.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take care of your body, or showing your body love through movement. But if you’re constantly trying to change, mutilate and tear your body apart because it doesn’t meet the standard of perfection you subscribe to, that’s a form of violence towards yourself. This type of violence towards yourself only keeps you stuck and prevents you from living at full amplitude.
My good friend and fellow TRUE Curves model Rosie Mercado has gone a journey of transformation as a way to show her body more love. However, even after losing 240 pounds, she finds that some people still criticize her body for its proportions, or accuse her of no longer being truly plus-sized.
“I will always have my big, luscious Latina butt and hips! And I am so happy to be a healthy size 14. I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am and wouldn’t change a thing,” says Rosie.
Even for someone who underwent as drastic a transformation as Rosie, loving her body as it is has been integral in enabling her success.
“If I only focused on the things I don’t like about my body, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Rosie. “I took it one step at a time, and maintained my commitment based on my desire to take amazing care of myself, not by obsessing over perfecting my shape.”
Maybe, like Rosie, you’re on a mission to improve your health. Maybe losing weight is a part of that, or maybe you’re just making an effort to fuel your body with healthier foods and get moving more regularly.
Regardless of what your specific goals are, don’t focus on the number on the scale or on trying to achieve a “perfect” body. This violent relationship with your body can get in the way of your health and fitness goals, as well as create a pretty miserable experience for you! Real love for your body starts with accepting it as it is, even if it’s not perfect.
This allows you to approach activities like running, weightlifting, and other forms of exercise as acts of self-love, rather than self-mutilation. This is why I like to refer to exercise as “showing my body love through movement,” because it constantly reminds me to stay focused on loving my body, rather than tearing it apart.
When you embrace your body as it is, you free up all kinds of energy and resources to not only achieve your health and fitness goals, but to also live at full amplitude in other areas of your life.
So what are you waiting for? Embrace your body as it is, and share your journey with us by using the hashtag #healthyatanysize on social media!