I took my sweet time reading this book. I’d say about six months just because I wanted those lessons she was teaching in her book to really sink in.
Now, I can’t remember word for word what she said, but the feeling of this book really resonates with me even still and I find it has changed my line of thinking.
When I start to talk to myself in a way that I wouldn’t have originally thought of as self deprecating or harmful I catch myself now.
Why am I bullying myself? You can’t hate yourself into a body you love.
Which was a big point in her book.
You can’t be cruel and think you’ll end up happy. You can’t bash yourself and think that’s a form of self love because it’ll get you to a place where you love the end result of all your “hard work”.
But I don’t want my hard work to be a result of me bashing myself or constantly pulling at my body angry that it can’t be different just because I’m willing it to be so.
This is MY body. No one else has this body, so it’s important that I treat her with respect.
And fuck am I ever happier about that.
When my brain goes “Ugh. New stretch marks. Way to go fat ass.” I stop that in its tracks and think “So what?”.
“So what?” is my new key phrase to body positivity.
So what if I’ve gained weight to the point of new stretch marks. I learned to love the last ones, these new ones can be loved just the same.
So what if I’ve gained weight at all? That just shows I appreciate food and relaxation. I know I’m not actually a lazy person, I do things ALL the time. I work hard, so I deserve the relaxation and comfort that comes from eating and laying down.
So what if I eat a bag of chips in one sitting? I was fucking hungry to the point of inhaling it. I obviously NEEDED food.
I’m learning to listen to my body more. Not intuitive eat as a way of dieting. I will no longer diet. I’m done with that. (Hell yeah!) I will listen to my body on what foods it agrees with and which foods it craves. (And sometimes that craving is a goddamn apple! Who knew!!!)
I want to get back to a place where I move my body for the joy of moving my body. Like when you’re a kid and you run because you love that feeling of being free and the wind whipping through your hair.
And so what if I get winded halfway down the driveway. I can be breathless for the joy of it!
I don’t want to punish my body into a body worth having. I want to enjoy the body I have because it was worth having all along.
All the shapes and sizes I have been get a colossal “So what?”.
So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli isn’t too concerned about what size of pant she is wearing.
So what, that was Past Alli. Present Alli doesn’t want to give anymore energy or wasteful thought tangents on where her body SHOULD be. Instead living in the body I have now and being grateful that I am who I am and no one else is like me.
So what if someone else bashes their body? Not only will I not internalize it to the point of thinking “Does that person think I’m fat and hideous because they think THEY are fat and hideous?” I will stop THEM in their tracks and tell them to stop talking to my friend like that.
This book is so fucking important for all communities. It’s not only about body positivity and how Megan got to where she is, it’s about facts and figures and LGBTQ etc things, it’s about able bodied people (which is everyone. We all have bodies that are able to do stuff.) and it’s about how we value self worth.
It’s so important.
And so what if I don’t look like the girls in the magazines?
We’ve risen up so much the girls in the magazines have come out to say “Me either.”
Fuck I love this book.