While fully acknowledging its potential for creating an international incident, I urge you to take The Rotund’s dare today:
I challenge you – no matter what your stance on the whole anti-dieting debate – to go a full day without saying anything negative about your body to another person. Don’t discuss your thighs or your plans for when you lose that final ten pounds. If someone compliments you, don’t casually put yourself down.
You know the proper response when someone says something nice to you? It’s “Thank you.”
Do your best not to look at your body and think negative things. This one is a little harder because we get into habits of thoughts but give it a try. If you find yourself having a negative thought about your body, stop and replace it with something positive. And I don’t mean a weasely kind of positive like, “Well, I guess my skin is okay.” No, make it something fierce and positive and really mean it.
Don’t get a salad for lunch unless you really want one and don’t assign moral value to food.
If other people are talking about their bodies in a negative way, change the subject.
Give this a try, a real try just for today. Then tell me about it. In the meantime, spread this around! Share it with your friends. Work together to think and say only positive things about your body and food today.
It seemed like many people in The Great Diet Debate expressed the feeling that they could get behind body positivity for everyone else but not for themselves. I don’t know how many of our readers are women, but I suspect this type of self-denial is especially common among those of us with two X chromosomes. Women in our culture are taught all of our lives to put ourselves last, to sacrifice our comfort and well-being for the sake of our children or our partners or our colleagues. It’s so easy to translate that mindset into hating our bodies: “Oh, you look beautiful, but I need to [lose 10 pounds / eat only celery / be punished].” I know the golden rule says that you should treat others as you’d want to be treated — that’s a pretty damn good rule of thumb, but you know what? Treat yourself as you want to be treated, too.