Years ago I was watching a comedian wax poetic about his love life, despairing at the pressure handed to him whenever a female he was interested in having sex with would ask him “does this outfit make me look fat?” His answer? “No, your fat makes you look fat.”
Pretty harsh right? This was back when I still used the word fat as a curse word, as a bitter slur that served as proof of my unworthiness. I was offended for the (clearly fictional) female lead in this story, and all the others that would come later. How dare he be so cruel. And how dare he be so, I don’t know…honest? Ugh.
But something about that “joke” stuck with me for years, and if I ever found myself about to ask someone that question, I would remind myself of the answer.
Because it is the asking, not the answer, that has something to tell me about the way I am feeling. And really, there is no right answer to that question and it IS a lot of pressure to put on someone. These days neither “yes, that outfit makes you look fat” nor “no, that outfit makes you look skinny!” provide descriptors I care to use about my body.
Either answer is putting a lot of onus on articles of clothing to “make” you look one way or another. When it really is best to just accept the way you look. Full stop.
As my friend Erin teaches, neutral is a good first step. Rather than looking at a photo and saying “ugh, my belly is TOO BIG to share this photo, try instead “this is what my body looks like in this photo.” Or even better, “my legs/hair/lighting/whatever looks GREAT in this photo!”
If great is too much, start with neutral. This is my body. This is my home.
And because the universe loves asking me to consider the things I believe about your inherent beauty and worthiness as they pertain to my actual physical body as well, I present to you my opportunity to do just that, exhibit A.
Recently I did a photo shoot with Krista Elise Photography for my new programs that are rolling out over the next little while. She did an excellent job and took dozens of beautiful photos including this one, of me in my favourite yoga pose.
My knee jerk reaction? Too big around the middle to share.
But even so, my eye is drawn to the symmetry, composition, and colours. And I can’t help but think I look strong. Focused. And maybe even graceful. Not to mention, this is an accurate representation of the way I looked that day.
Could I have prepped (at all) for the photoshoot and been marginally leaner? Surely. But I’m not in a place where I’m willing to do that to my body or brain right now.
Could I have sucked in my stomach or been standing at a slightly more flattering angle? Probably. But this is the moment that she caught. This is how I looked. And while I am carrying more fat around my abdomen than I would like, this body is strong, capable, and powerful.
This body is healthy and I believe more people need to see bodies like it doing healthy, graceful, hard things. Which is exactly why I’m rebranding and creating new programs for women in a much more visible way right now.
So here I am. Yes, my belly fat makes me look like I have belly fat. And no one died.
Thanks for reading,
PS After working out all the bugs with my beta group for the last couple of months and approximately 5,000 cups of coffee in front of my computer, I am thrilled to announce that registration for the RRM 366 is NOW OPEN → http://bit.ly/RRM3662017
The RRM 366 is an online social club with fun workouts, delicious meal ideas, and a kick ass community of badass women. There are workouts designed to BUILD muscle and BURN fat, ranging from 10-60 minutes and designed for beginner to advanced level exercisers.
ALL THE DETAILS: http://bit.ly/RRM3662017
The program will be open for registration through this Sunday, January 15th at midnight PST ONLY, so grab your spot here this week!