When you surround yourself with ‘goal’ pictures – images of what you want to look like – in the hope of inspiring yourself to change, you also run the risk of marginalising and ostracising yourself.
What’s important? Progress and development, or love and acceptance? And what’s the difference?
Can you progress without first accepting where you’re at – without negative judgements – and if you can accept yourself, what motivates you to develop? Love or hatred? Judgement or hope? Why do we want more, and what’s good for us?
I know many people are convinced that striving for perfection and progressing towards a certain goal are positive actions and mindsets, and that acceptance equates to quitting on personal development and excellence. I used to think so. I’m not sure how it changed. It’s about perspective.
So what am I working towards? I’m surrounding myself more and more with images of beauty, power, and positivity that don’t support the status-quo. I’m trying to gather images that make me feel good about myself and that inspire me at the same time.
I’m not exploiting my fears and insecurities in the name of personal development any more.
I’m seeking out beauty in places where beauty isn’t usually seen. And as a result, more of the world is beautiful to me now than it once was.
I’m investing more in love and acceptance and less in criticism and compensation, and I feel as if I’m seeing the world more clearly.
The usual criticism for seeing beauty in fat is that we’re “promoting obesity”. Really? Ever try promoting obesity? Think it can be done? What I’m promoting is the action of caring for yourself, in a way that makes sense, in a way that nourishes – not in a way that exploits. And seeing things clearly. Seeing exercise and nutrition in context, as they are, not as we wish they were. Because you can only really start to take care of yourself when you believe that you are worthy of care, not ridicule. And in my experience, you can only start to train in a psychologically safe and productive way – let alone in an enjoyable, satisfying way – when you do it to build and develop yourself, as opposed to diminishing and breaking yourself down.
Or, y’know - when you do it for fun.
So I walk around my life, wearing pictures of Sumo Wrestlers on my chest, feeling good about myself, feeling the beauty and power of their imagery – feeling positive about body-shape and my perspective – but also wondering if other people think it’s strange that I’m walking around with pictures of fat dudes on my chest.