Body Shaming Does Not Happen in a Bubble

Abuse and body shaming negatively impacts so many of us girls and women, though boys and men as well are going through increasing body pressures and standards and bullying around their bodies, and we have to spend precious energy and healing work on healing from emotional and verbal abuse on body shaming and weight issues.

I had to work years and years in order to accept and love my body, as is. I had been taught and shamed by my sexual abuser mother to hate and loathe my body. The abuse also taught me this. I had weight issues that I struggled with for a long time, partly due to having undiagnosed and untreated low level thyroid functioning. I had gained extra weight, gained over two decades, contributed by health disabilities, a back disability, and being given a series of anti-depressants that caused more weight gain. I had body dysmorphic disorder for decades. It was exhausting to hate and loathe myself and my body.

Just think of all the other healing work I could have done on healing from my child sexual abuse and the mother daughter sexual abuse if instead I could focus on them and not have to work on them and body issues and self hatred and body hatred caused by my abusers, others, my society, and bullies.

In addition, abuse and body shaming do not happen in a bubble, they are supported by cultural norms and standards that are unrealistic and violations of autonomy and personal pursuits of integrity, body love, freedom, happiness, and respect, and they negatively impact males and females around the world.

I want to lose more weight, have lost thirty pounds and kept those off for more than four years, and it is quite an up-and-down challenge with my disability and mobility issues. I want to lose weight because it helps my back disability and my whole body; I even have less pain throughout my body when I have weighed less and that is not insignificant. But my weight issues are not based on societal or gender standards as far as I am concerned. I don’t care. But that doesn’t mean that I am not a target of those standards.

I won’t hate myself because I was taught to hate myself and I won’t hate myself because someone else believes those lies and feels good about being cruel and hateful to someone else. This type of stuff does impact women and girls and even guys, and it surely had a huge part in my mother’s body hatred and her transferring that onto my sister and I.

I want to help myself to be happier and healthier and weight and activity level are important components of that. However other people and my culture do not dictate how I do that, how I love myself, nor how I live my life.

My love for myself isn’t based on approval from my culture, other women, men, or anybody about my body, it is based on my assessment of my characteristics, my skills, my personality, my inner system’s worth, and our beliefs and actions as we move through the world. We have worked hard and long to love our disabled body and that is a hard won victory. The two men who participated in body shaming me recently had and have no impact on that. I’m sure they have done this kind of hatred towards other women. They were very comfortable doing it and seemed to enjoy it a great deal.

It hasn’t been the only incident, it even happened once last week from a seriously deranged older woman who didn’t think that I was moving fast enough to her liking when she was trying/demanding that I move out of her way at the entrance to the post office, as I was trying to lock my bike, and she insulted me and jabbed her long fingernails into my mid-back three or four times and bullied me about my body, saying insulting things about my body, in an attempt to body shame me.

There were three ways to get into the door and she had to rush up behind me and harass me. I was not blocking the front door. She was nuts, to put it in psychological terms. I seriously told her exactly what I thought of her and told her to stay away from me, and that if she touched me again I was going to call the police on her. Being disabled I move and walk slower than some, some of the time, but I was not in her way. She chose to walk up behind me and harass me.

None of that has any effect on how I live my life. But I know that it effects others and their lives and how they limit themselves and how they stay home and don’t participate in their lives as much as they would if these kind of hateful people were not out there in the world.

A friend of mine in college told me about a time that she went to a workout center, and got made fun of by two jock guys, calling her fat. She had trouble going back again. This is not rare.

It is awful that a person gets body shamed when they are being physically active. I’ve read about this happening repeatedly by fat/body acceptance bloggers. If someone really cared about people or a specific person, they would not shame them when they are being physically active, they would do it when they weren’t being active. This would just be the rational thing to do. They don’t want to helpfully motivate others, they want to engage in hate speech and bullying for their own gratification.

I was recently on my bike when two men in a car made fun of me; one yelling out the window, Lose some weight! A rational person would think and say to themselves, hey this person is being active, they are taking care of their body, but really and seriously what they do is none of my business, so I will shut up.

A rational observer would thus conclude that encouraging or even bossing around another person to be active and/or lose weight is not the goal, the goal is to attempt to body shame, judge, and be hateful, judgmental and bullying towards another person. The goal is to make someone else feel bad because the bully is feeling small and diminished and don’t want to feel their own pain.

When I was regularly going to the gym, several years ago, no one came up to me or encouraged me or even tried to smile, wave, say hi, nod, introduce themselves; not one single athletic person, male or female, out of the numerous times I went there, out of the numerous athletes there. One woman who was overweight and working out there came up to me once and introduced herself and really treated me well, giving me feedback and encouragement. What a bright shining light she was.:) I try to be that kind of light for other people.

Update on Present for Favorite Body Part

For Christmas last year I decided to buy and give myself a present for my favorite body part and my least favorite body part, as exercises in self care and body love. I chose body lotion for my least favorite body part and hair conditioner for my favorite body part, my hair.

I love my hair. I have been in love with my hair since I was in my early twenties. It hasn’t always been a wonderful love affair, bed hair being something that I have really hated at times in my life, but it is a very strong love. I have dark brown hair and dark brown eyes and they have always been things, as an adult, that I am proud of and have a lot of love for.

I love the different colors in my hair and I love the soft, silky way that it feels when I touch my hair. I had noticed that my hair was not normal for the last few years. I think that a big part of the issue is that my health issues with my tummy and digestive system interferes with properly metabolizing all the vitamins and minerals that my body needs. Another issue is that I had gotten out of the habit of using conditioner.

When my tummy issues are very bad and when I take the strongest medication for that issue I have had hair loss and I love my hair so much, it is hard to cope with even some hair loss. I won’t take the strongest medication and I try my best to improve this health issue. I have tried doing less handling of my hair, less shampooing and no conditioning. But my hair got kind of dull.

So for my Christmas present I wanted to go out and buy a really nice conditioner for my hair. I wandered around the store several visits and just could not decide. There are so many things and then there was the gluten intolerance concern and I wanted to buy something that I knew for sure was gluten free. So I went home each time without anything. Finally I bought some shampoo/conditioner combination and that was awful, nothing improved and it felt wrong on my hair. I had had bad experiences with this product in the past, so I really regretted giving it another chance.

Finally I bought a conditioner that fit my hair type and started using it. The first and second times brought an improvement and that made me very happy and satisfied that I could take small steps to improve my body and to show love and care for it. I am continuing with that. Today when I showered, I shampooed and conditioned my hair. It just feels soo lovely. 🙂

Still Extra Stepping

I am happy to report that I am still doing the extra stepping exercise program through my manual treadmill and walking extra steps whenever I can get out and about. I also started using a stationary bike about three months ago, so that I could stay more active over the winter when I couldn’t get out to bike in the snow and cold, when it was too cold.

As always I would like to be a lot further along in my efforts of being more physically active. But some days it is just too much for me, so I don’t exercise a few days a week, usually. I am happy that the exercise helps moderate my moods, helps my muscles relax, decreases my level of pain in my legs and hips, and usually contributes to better sleep.

I haven’t lost any weight for months, but I also haven’t gained any. I’m not dieting or doing anything restrictive. I’d really rather be farther along on the weight issue, as weighing more always causes me more pain.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I really love myself and don’t care what others think of my body. It’s not just body acceptance but a real love and acceptance of who I am and what I do. It’s really kind of nice to be on this side of love. I think that doing Soul Retrieval work and self-esteem work has brought me to this place and I want to blog soon about both of those things in the near future.

A Present for My Least Favorite Body Part

For Christmas time I had decided to give a present to my least favorite and favorite body part. I wanted to update on how that is going.

For my least favorite body part I decided to buy some wonderful body lotion and use it on myself, especially for my least favorite body part, my bum.

There are two reasons that it is my least favorite body part.

It is in the area of my low back disability, so I have a lot of pain in this area of my body.

It is a part of my body that is very triggering to me and unfortunately a part of my body that others tend to, for some bizarre and inappropriate and boundary-less reason, bump into.

So the day after Christmas, I went to the store for body lotion. Unfortunately I forgot to get the lotion when I was on the second floor of the Target downtown store and discovered that right before I was going to check out and decided to go back upstairs to the back of the store to get the body lotion. I went upstairs and looked over the different kinds of lotion, taking some time in choosing the one that I liked the most.

I checked out and took my purchases home. I was very excited to go through my bags and pick out the lotion. I was shocked to find that the lotion was not in the bags. I was upset and angry at the thought that I might have dropped the lotion out of my bags. I looked over the receipt to find that the lotion had not been charged to me.

In thinking over what could have happened, I distinctly recalled putting the lotion onto the checkout counter. Then I remembered that someone had interrupted the cashier, asking for a pen. She must have put down the lotion and forgot about it, while I was still unloading my cart and not focusing on what the cashier was doing. That sort of bummed me out, cause it was lotion that I had picked out especially as a way of loving my body.

I sat and thought about how sometimes plans just fail. I decided I would try again on another day. I was sitting there thinking and my eyes noticed some lotion. It was a Christmas present from a relative. I thought, well it’s not my present, but it is still lotion and I can use it and buy more next time I am at the store.

The present was great lotion, all thick and creamy. I love it. When I got to the store again I bought the lotion that I had picked out, Toasted Sugar Body Cream. I love the smell! 🙂 Next time I think I will get vanilla bean lotion.

Give a Gift to Your Favorite Body Part

This wasn’t a suggestion from the book, but I thought that it was a good idea as well, especially since survivors of childhood abuse often don’t take good care of their bodies and have never learned good self-care. I thought that any extra encouragement to take better care of myself is a good idea.

For a long time, I’ve loved my hair. I have loved it’s color and it’s silkiness. So it was easy and quick to identify my favorite body part and pick a gift for it for this Christmas.

I decided to buy myself some very wonderful shampoo and conditioner and to use them. I often, unfortunately, omit conditioning my hair. I can really tell the difference, but I often don’t. Since I was almost out of conditioner, it is a good idea for me to buy it as a present, because in the past I would just keep forgetting to buy conditioner.

As a small present to myself yesterday evening I shampooed and conditioned my hair, leaving the conditioner in for a good while. It feels so wonderful and makes me happy. So I guess doing it is a gift both ways, to my hair and back to me in enjoyment.

What is your current favorite body part and what gift would you buy for yourself? Think about doing it.

Good and healing thoughts to all our favorite and least favorite body parts and everything in between.

Give A Gift to Your Least Favorite Body Part

I read this suggestion in a book on ideas for Christmas activities.

I didn’t have any trouble at all in picking out the part of my body that I liked the least. It is my bottom. It has been least favorite for some time.

It is a part of my body that is easily triggered if touched in some way by others. And bizarrely people, especially women, back up into me, my bottom, that is. I suppose that is because I tend to avoid being near men, so when it happens it is usually a woman. But I also think it is that so many women do not have proper body boundaries and are often trained that it is alright to invade the space of children and other women.

I cannot imagine brushing up against another woman’s bottom, with my body, my purse, my store cart or anything else. I cannot imagine not looking where I am going or not caring about that. I cannot imagine conducting myself like this in public, in stores.

I have to say that it happens more often now since I have moved into my own apartment, the last 18 months. It happens a few times a month. I hate that! And that is very upsetting and disgusting and triggering to me. Despite the fact that I am more diligent and do more body boundary work, it is still happening.

The fact that I have a low back disability only exacerbates this issue, as a collision into my body while I am standing absolutely still is absolutely none of my fault and hurts my body and often that pain lasts for some time, often more pain over days.

As well there is decades of being judged by others for my body and the negative beliefs I have come to accept about my body and my bottom. Well I do believe that my bottom is my business and my business alone, so I don’t accept those negative, body-hating beliefs any longer, but still I have to admit I’m not as loving and kind to that part of my body as I know it deserves. So I am going to try to work on that.

So I decided to give the gift of body lotion for my least favorite body part and to use it. I usually have lotion. I often use it. But just on a few body parts. I guess the ones that I feel the least amount of triggering and upset feelings about. I will be using it on my body and trying to think loving thoughts to my body parts when I do it. But especially I am going to buy some wonderful lotion that is creamy soft and smells wonderful.

What gift would you give to what part of your body? How hard would it be to actually use your gift?

Good and healing thoughts to all our least favorite body parts.

Healing Quotes 638-640

“Your body is the piece of the universe you’ve been given.”

~ Geneen Roth, Women Food And God

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“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust.”

~ Lawrence Kraus

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“It is a strange and wonderful fact to be here, walking around in a body, to have a whole world within you and a world at your fingertips outside you.  It is an immense privilege, and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here.  Rilke said, ‘Being here is so much,’ and it is uncanny how social reality can deaden and numb us so that the mystical wonder of our lives goes totally unnoticed.  We are here.  We are wildly and dangerously free.”

~ John O’Donohue