Welcome to the first Body Positive University 101 article! There will be a new 101 article every Tuesday (available to all subscribers) and a new Body Positive University 201 article every Thursday (available to premium subscribers).
The human body is composed primarily of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium, and phosphorus. These are some of the very same elements that make up your pets, that cute turtle you found in a pond that one time, the fern on your desk, and even the stars.
Famous astrologer Carl Sagan once said this about our bodies:
Your body is part of the extraordinary natural world. You share an impressive amount of DNA with some of nature's most important players. It's easy to forget that you and your body are part of what makes this an extraordinary planet.
Because the dominant cultural message we have been taught and consistently receive about our bodies is this: "Something is definitely wrong with your body."
That toxic (and, ahem, false) message creates a sense of alienation and disconnection. That message creates the sense that your body is not an extension of something amazing - but rather is a lone aberration.
Your first Body Positive University lesson is about beginning to challenge that message. So, let's learn an easy trick that you can start using today. Ready?
A lot of our body shame thoughts sound like this:
"My body is too __________."
"My body isn't __________ enough."
Though these thoughts may be familiar, they are are painful. More importantly: they don't reflect the real author of those sentiments. This may be surprising to hear but you did not come up with these thoughts: they were taught to you by other people, media, and constant cultural messages.
Try this reframe next time one of those thoughts comes up:
"I was taught by the culture that my body is too ___________, but maybe that isn't true."
"I was taught by the culture that my body isn't ____________ enough, but maybe that isn't true."
This small reframe does 2 powerful things:
The phrase "I was taught by the culture" situates the true author of these thoughts as the culture - not yourself.
The phrase "but maybe that isn't true" creates a tiny window of opportunity for the belief to change slowly over time.
Try it this week. Remember:
Your body is just as cool as the most amazing things you'd find in a garden, a forest, or really anywhere on earth. Don't forget it.
All subscribers get access to weekly Body Positive University 101 articles. Premium subscribers also receive Body Positive University 201 articles, bonus content, and membership to monthly educational and community-building events in the Bread Pudding Brunch Society & Social Club Facebook group.