Is Summer Body Confidence Really About Body Acceptance At Any Size?
Today's blog post comes from the (walking) desk of the CEO
So...after a lifetime of being inundated with both images of thin glamazons and op-eds about body acceptance at any size, it does leave a person questioning what an acceptable summer body truly is. We’ve been told so many narratives about body image- what matters, what doesn’t matter- and at the end of the day, it feels like an impossible rollercoaster of body-shaming that’s hard to come to peace with.
At least for me, I wake up most mornings and give the side-eye to my waistline. Did I magically drop 5 pounds in my sleep? Will I feel uber confident this coming weekend in my bikini at the beach or stay comfortably wrapped in my sarong? It's a daily struggle that I know most people relate to. When it comes to how I physically look, I doubt I'll ever fully be at peace with myself. That's the bare naked truth. What I have learned, however, especially as I get deeper into my 30s, deeper into my wellness practice, deeper into my biohacking experiments, and deeper into learning about toxins and big-food food practices here in the United States, is that ultimately what your dress size says, has nothing to do with how well you are on the inside.
Go with me here for a minute, because I've been all over the spectrum when it comes to weight and health, and I've learned that one does not always influence the other. When I started Love Wellness 7 years ago I was in my late twenties, doing high-intensity cardio almost daily, in a tragically abusive relationship, very thin, and very sick. Did I look good? Maybe. Did I look happy? Doubtful.
I was dealing with vitamin deficiencies and gut health issues that led to depression and chronic vaginal infections because I simply didn't know at the time what I do now about a) inflammation and what causes it and b) that healing your body is a delicate practice that takes not only the right tools but time. Bless the OB/GYN that introduced me to probiotics and boric acid for yeast infections so long ago; those life-changing tools gave me the hope I needed to start to see wellness through a holistic "it's all connected" lens. Those little helpers have been some of our best-selling vaginal health products at Love Wellness since day 1 and for good reason - because they address intimate health issues where they begin.
I learned in an instant back then that body confidence is not solely about the scale. It runs much deeper, into the depths of your immune system living in your gut. If you wake up every day chronically ill, most often by no fault of your own considering the shit we eat/breathe/live in, you have no shot at feeling the confidence you see coming from sparkly-eyed women of all sizes saying they have it all. And maybe they do, maybe they are happy! However, it’s important to remember that what you’re seeing, be it on social media, online, or in ads, you’re rarely getting the whole picture and not seeing what’s happening behind closed doors.
Body confidence, to me, comes down to a simple question: are you in good health or poor health? How do you even know? Obviously, some illnesses are very obvious and that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about low-level chronic illness that takes shape as some type of inflammation in the body that represents a break in the link on the gut-brain-vaginal axis. It could be depression or anxiety, frequent tummy troubles, skin rashes or irritation, vaginal infections or UTIs, weight gain, brain fog, and more. When your body is quietly telling you over and over again that something is off, you are not in good health, and it's that quiet, constant reminder that truly kills body confidence. How can you be confident in a body that is always betraying you?
It's very hard. That's another bare-naked truth for you. The upside here is that the body confidence I'm talking about is achievable, sustainable, and delightful once you have it because it's not about what you look like, but how you actually feel in this meat suit we call home, that matters. It takes effort, but the hardest part is simply waking up to the fact that the systems in our bodies are more intricately connected than we realize, few people in positions of power are well educated on this subject matter, and it's tough to maintain health on a planet that has been trashed with toxins.
So, where do you begin?
First, you need to understand what it is that you are dealing with. For me, it was mood disorders and intimate health issues. Both the brain and vagina are directly connected to the gut, meaning I was exposing myself to something through food that my body really, really didn't like. Identifying food sensitivities is a huge factor in taking the first step towards healing your whole body. Once I realized this, creating the plan and products for the whole body harmony we do at Love Wellness was easy. I'm so passionate about this that I have an incredible book coming out at the end of the year that breaks down the science behind the gut-brain-vagina axis for you and shares a helpful diet/healthy movement plan to help you heal.
Figuring out what is bugging you is critically important. Despite not being celiac, goodness can gluten mess me up. Gluten is responsible for all kinds of inflammation in the body because it's a contributing factor to a leaky gut. If your gut is leaky, you can bet you'll have issues in the brain and the vagina as well. They're connected by the vagus nerve, mucus/bacteria, and the endocrine pathway, so healing the gut generally will result in healing all.
Once your food sensitivities are identified and eliminated (which can take weeks, even months so don’t be discouraged), it's on you to supplement with helpful fiber and probiotics to continue to support your brilliant microbiome (shoutout to Sparkle Fiber and Gut Feelings Probiotics), eat a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients, and get some kind of low-impact exercise most days. Do these simple things, and body confidence will be yours, no photoshopping required.
More to come,
Founder/CEO of Love Wellness
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