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SERENASEA: Acceptance and Approval

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019


I really enjoyed SERENASEA's recent blog about acceptance and approval of our bodies.

We may find it difficult to accept the size our body is when we eat intuitively.

We may mourn the end of the myth that we can diet ourselves into a particular society-approved body shape and size.

(Although of course we NEVER believe it's possible to diet ourselves into a particular shoe size. Or eye colour!!)

The SERENASEA blog also offers a link to Deborah Raphael's resource materials: my mind my body.

And from there to the Intuitive Eating forum.

Approval. Why are we (particularly women) so focused on external approval?

Why do we buy clothes in a particular size that we've pre-decided is "our" size and then beat ourselves up when they don't fit and then try to diet aggressively until they DO fit?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Body kindness.

Because aggressive dieting does not result in physical health. It damages our metabolisms and results in an endless cycle of loss and regain. With ultimately higher body weight than the "set point" at which our individual bodies feel most comfortable. And then higher yet again . . .

Even worse: aggressive dieting is absolutely damaging to our mental health: our calm confidence, our ability to live IN the moment. To BElong in our own skins -- where we belong. And where we long to BE.

SERENASEA borrows some very specific strategies from Deborah Raphael for moving from externally-focused approval to inside-out acceptance.

OK, we mourn. What we are never going to be, regardless of our efforting and discipline. And the total diversion of our energies into an unreachable goal . . …

But we can move on. We can focus on appreciating all our bodies do for us: breathing and moving and experiencing, Miraculously.

We can replace negative thoughts about our bodies with neutral thoughts. And then perhaps -- how daring -- some positive thoughts?

And, most important of all, and because we are NOT just bodes presented and permanently on display for external approval, we can permit ourselves some positive thoughts about our essential character traits?

Who we really are?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Another thought-provoking blog! Thank you for sharing!
    224 days ago
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    225 days ago
    Ahhh … BFF and I just compared quilting thimble sizes … mine is a 4.5 to her 4. BUT … I weigh less.

    226 days ago
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    228 days ago
    emoticon for sharing.
    228 days ago
    Well - first off - I am in love with Overworked Janet's mom!

    I don't know when it happened - when I stopped hating what my body was for not being something different. Sometime in my late 40's I think - even though I still had another episode of weight gain/weight loss to go through - no wait! two more of them. Sometime around when I read Faye Weldon's book Life and Loves of a She Devil. The main character had a complete makeover - as in bone transplant surgery to make her legs longer and hair transplants to make her hair shampoo commercial worthy. All to get revenge on a lousy husband who dumped her. The absurdity of that idea - of extreme pain and misery and self hatred to the point of chopping up the body and having it surgically remade - just struck me as speaking to a deeper sadness - self hatred.

    Oh - I still had the bulging tummy - but that's all it was. Not something to be hacked away. I won't say that book was a turning point for me - everything was way more gradual than that - but the book seemed to satirize the sadness = one of the few snarky books I've ever enjoyed. And for sure - I don't hate my body any more. Not the wrinkles. Not the backfat. Not any part of it. It's one of my best friends.
    228 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    228 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Thanks for the link.
    Our bodies are indeed magnificent.
    I'll be checking out that website.
    228 days ago
    Wonderful blog I feel myself relaxing as I read it :) thanks
    228 days ago
    228 days ago
    I have had trouble accepting my body but not for my appearance even though I was bullied about it, but for it continually falling apart and getting worse and worse. So weight and appearance never mattered to me as my diseases were much more concerning. But I am getting to be at peace with my body, showing it more loving kindness then I ever have. Not pushing it like I used to. Being able to perform a gentle movement like Qigong helps. I wouldn't have had the patience with it before. I was all about cardio and getting my heart rate up. Not really useful when its too much. Sometimes gentle movement is called for. I am really liking being at peace and meditating.
    Here is to finding our happy place with loving kindness and acceptance.
    229 days ago
    It is an on-going battle. In regards to external pressures and influences, as long as society stays focused on the "beautiful" and the "beautiful" continues to play into the trap, it will be a struggle.

    229 days ago
    After losing 178 lbs. since 2008 (joined spark) I finally am in the weight area that I would like to be, am very happy with my physical appearance. Since joining spark I have never had a hungry day! What more can I say except I would like to continue my IE experiment.
    229 days ago
    Thanks for sharing SERENASEA's blog and your thoughts. Going to go give it a read. Reading your blog sent so many thoughts drifting past. Wow!

    Likely going to post a blog in response to both blogs.
    229 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    229 days ago
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  • GABY1948
    I love this blog...it sure hit home here and I don't think at any weight have I loved or even liked my body.
    Great thinking material here....I almost want to frame it! emoticon emoticon
    229 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/19/2019 9:04:33 AM
    Thank you so much. I suspect I am very badly in need of this message.

    What is blocking me from accepting? I have a history of gaining weight, sometimes 50 pounds or more, when I just try to relax and eat. That can't be my best self. And I hate the out of control eating that happens to me when I just try to relax. And I have years of living at a BMI of 22 or less and still not seeing a perfect body, but one that is pretty comfortable. Nonetheless, I will check out this author and see if there is a message here I can use. It does seem foolish to live my 70's so hung up on weight.

    Again, thank you for a positive message. When it comes to IE I keep thinking I tried that and it doesn't work for me. Maybe "it didn't work for me" is more accurate and with more information and work it might.
    229 days ago
    Shoe size:
    My mother always told me it takes a large foundation to build a cathedral when discussing my size 10s.
    229 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    This is so important. Thanks for sharing the blog (which I just read).

    Right now I love my body. Could it look better? Sure.....but then I wouldn't be me. But it does so much for me and taking care of it is my responsibility and pleasure. Working out, eating right, getting massages, sleep, all those good things are things that my body deserves. And it thanks me every day!
    229 days ago
    229 days ago
    Our bodies are really amazing things, aren't they? If we just live at peace with them, and LISTEN to what they tell us. Thanks for another link to a great Spark blogger. Loved this: "Think of all that your body does for you (movement, breathing, function)."
    229 days ago
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    229 days ago
    Thank you for sharing her link! Appreciate it.
    229 days ago
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