Love EVERY Body - Body Positivity Workshop

Hello dears!

Thanks to all of you who have expressed interest in the body positive challenge I proposed in this post. I've had a few more thoughts since then so this will lay out the groundwork and explain the premise behind it a bit more.

Firstly, a couple of you who emailed me expressed a preference for the name Love EVERY Body, so that's what it shall be called.

More about Love EVERY Body.

Love EVERY Body will be a monthly body positivity workshop FOR ALL SIZES OF BODIES where we will attempt to slowly chip away at the body snark which permeates the media, water cooler conversations at work, and so many of women's thoughts.  

It's not our fault. We have become accustomed to being in a state of apology for our bodies, often from very young ages. We grow up expecting to have our bodies policed by others, and as such the ownership of our bodies falls out of our hands. It's time to claim back ownership and realise WE hold the power to feel good within ourselves, and the opinions of others ISN'T what we should base our self esteem or self confidence on.

Rather than trying to turn around decades of of negative thoughts and judgements about our own and (other women's bodies) in an instant, I propose we break the body down into separate areas to concentrate on each month. I don't just want to talk about the aesthetic aspects of our bodies, but ALL the good things they do which we may not take into account when we 'value' them through critical eyes. We're so accustomed to beating ourselves up for not looking like Miranda bloody Kerr that we forget all the amazing things our bodies do (and we do in them) which are equally as important and joyful as the way we look, if not more so. Little by little I want us to notice and remember the great things about us until the balance swings away from 'Meh' and turns towards 'Yeah!'

If we can learn to look at our bodies in a new way - by shutting out our negative thoughts and concentrating on the great things about us - I believe we can raise our self esteem and start to think more kindly, not only towards ourselves, but toward other women too. It's about celebrating our differences and realising just because someone is of a different body type to us, it doesn't mean they're any less deserving of all good things.

Instead of concentrating on arms which flap when we wave, think more about how lovely they are when they hug people. Instead of thinking about slightly-less-pert boobs, be thankful you were able to nourish a child with them. Instead of thinking how fat your bum may be, remember it makes it a comfortable cushion to sit on. :)

We ALL have beautiful things about us aesthetically, and it's entirely right and healthy to take those into account, so feel free to do that in each monthly assignment. Vanity is a huge part of self care and self esteem, so tell us what you love about yourself in each exercise. If you're having a hard time finding something aesthetically beautiful about yourself, look a little deeper within, and you'll find something amazing to tide you over until you CAN see the physical beauty in yourself. Let the other people in this community lift you up. We will be your cheerleaders until you get used to seeing how gorgeous you are. Once we are up and running I'd like everyone to comment on three random posts from within the community each month (or more, of course!) because when you look for the best in other people, it's easier to think kindly of yourself.

I propose we post on the first Sunday of every month. I will send an email 2 weeks before each post is due with a reminder of the area we'll be covering. Our first post will be due on Sunday December 1st, which is about 2 weeks away so hopefully that'll give everyone time to think about the first assignment.

EMAIL ME TO REGISTER - I will put a link to your blog/Tumblr on the dedicated page for Love EVERY Body on my blog, so also let me know in your email what your link is and if you're happy to be linked in this way.

For this month's assignment I'd like you to write a letter to your body, acknowledging the things you've been through together. For example: What accidents and illnesses have you had? Do you have scars, tattoos? Have you been operated on? What have you been through in your body, good and bad? What highs and lows have there been? Does your body make you feel happy, sad, disappointed? Do you feel at one with your body or is it the enemy? What parts do you like and dislike? What parts do you want to work on being happier with? These are just suggestions. Make your post your own and feel free to add photos, art, a poem, or any other creative endeavour.

(We'll be coming back to the first post at the end of the challenge. When we've done all the assignments I want us to come back and revisit this post, writing another letter to our bodies, to see if we feel happier with the areas we disliked and if we are feeling more positive about ourselves in general.)

Any questions, suggestions? Let me know in the comments - and don't forget to email me so I can include you in the monthly round robin reminders!  

Also please let me know which link to use for you (where you'll be posting) - blog link, Tumblr link, etc.

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