My Anger Confession or Post Baby Bods Are Perfect

angry, frustrated girl with hands in her hair screaming - isolated on white
angry, frustrated girl with hands in her hair screaming – isolated on white

Something happened the other day that I want to share with you.

I’ve always had a problem with anger. I thought anger was bad and wouldn’t allow myself to feel it most of my life. I grew up repressing my anger. I don’t do that anymore, yet I’ve got to tell you that when I get REALLY angry—you know like at life’s big injustices, not just because my daughter’s room is a disaster (always), but real things that matter—well then, sometimes I don’t know what to do with the intensity of it. Usually I end up crying at some point.

I know. We all have our issues.

So, the other day I was looking at some posts online and I kept getting angrier and angrier. I used a few of the techniques that I teach to put on my observer hat and see if I was being personally triggered. There was a little bit of that and I’ll explain that in a minute, but most of it was the anger I feel when women are allowing themselves to be robbed of their worth and dignity.

You might think this is stupid. Or you might think I’m nuts. Or you just might not even get it at all. That’s ok.

You’ve probably heard me rant against diet culture numerous times and for good reason. It’s EVERYWHERE and so much of it we don’t even recognize as such because we are so inside of it ALL the time. But a particular one “before and after” just got me.

The first shot was a beautiful mother (by any standard) in her bikini a few months after giving birth. She had a tummy, because well, SHE HAD JUST RECENTLY GIVEN BIRTH TO ANOTHER WHOLE HUMAN BEING, but otherwise she was pretty slim.

The next shot is of her in her bikini looking pretty ripped. You can tell she is the kind who likes to grind at the gym—that’s all good.

But the “copy” about how much her body and energy had changed by using this product since she had a baby made me guffaw at first. No duh, she’s tired she has a newborn at home to take care of! You think she’s low on energy? And you think that “months later” with more sleep and everything else she needs she might be feeling a little better?frustrated-woman-using-her-laptop-250-thumb-250x250

But that isn’t what really got me mad. It was the idea behind it that there was SOMETHING WRONG with her post-pregnancy body. That she “needed” to get it “back into shape” because, God forbid she have a stomach where a HUMAN BEING WAS GROWING FOR 9 MONTHS!

To me this completely devalues a woman’s fertility and the amazing miracle that motherhood is. Instead of celebrating that, the focus was on getting her abs ripped again. Because you know, you don’t really have any value as a woman unless you look like a fitness model.

Now, I’ve never had the honor of giving birth and I’m not suggesting that motherhood makes you a “true” woman or anything like that.

“But Michelle,” my sister told me later. “I get that. I felt that pressure after I had given birth. You totally buy into it and you don’t realize how wrong it is. That mother doesn’t realize, she doesn’t even think the way you do about it.”

Hmmm. That doesn’t make me feel any better.

I’m telling you this story because I am fiercely dedicated to our freedom as women. And I’m determined to take as many of you with me that I can on that liberation journey.

I think we need to do something to change this devaluing of women and our bodies. At the very least, stop using women who had just given birth as the “BAD” BEFORE picture! I don’t get how other women aren’t seeing that as completely offensive. Instead, they complement the gal on losing weight and how “good” she looks now that you can’t tell her body had a baby.

We don’t even see how warped that is. We need freedom to be in our bodies however they are and to celebrate them for however they are!

But it seems most of us are trapped.

If you want more body freedom, I invite you to come along side some other brave women in my brand new group program. What would it be like for you to unravel the stories our culture tells us, so you can be confident in who you are in your body as a woman? When you start to put attention on this, I can show you how to dismantle those bad body thoughts and start to live from an empowered state of mind, in tune with your body’s intelligence. Freedom, in this case, is a state of mind.

I’ve written all about the Body Freedom Formula on this page and it just might be the perfect thing for you right now. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out by replying to this email. I’d love to have you join us.

Love,

Michelle

PS. We have moved our first BLE Monthly Community Call to next Monday, mainly because it’s more convenient for one of my partner’s in crime. You see, Friday seems to interfere with her date night! Our topic will be Surviving the Holidays with Grace & Sanity, plus Q&A. Hope you can join in the conversation.

 

Let’s start a positive conversation…

BeKindToYourselfSo accustomed are we to talking about ourselves with a razor-sharp tongue that we forget to spare a kind word every now and again. When we speak negatively about ourselves we are only perpetuating an already toxic culture and advocating the negative sense of self that so many of us have come to learn. Do we not have enough unfavourable body conversation thrown at us by the media, by advertisements, by social media popularity, by trolls and bullies? Why do we feel the need to continue with the barrage of insults when in the privacy of our own minds? This bombardment that we receive every day is enough to make even the most confident of people have a crisis of self-esteem: if the media isn’t commenting on our bodies, then it is focusing on our hair, our faces, our gender and sexuality, our eating and exercising habits. So how is…

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My Pale Skin

This happened in the summer and I didn’t post about it here (I did on FB!), so here is a short paragraph re-blogged from Curva. You can look up the full story. 🙂

Curva


Vlogger Em Ford aka My Pale Skin has released a new video showing the comments she had recieved on photos without any makeup on vs photos with makeup on.
The Internet can be a good place and a terrible place for body confidence and this is proof of the latter. It’s good to see people expose the way a keyboard can give people an armour to degrade and attack other people.
For me it shows the importance of Magazines like Curva to try and promote not only self confidence but people who have self confidence to build eachother up.
Well done Em! We all need to remember that people have more to offer than the what we see on the outside.
– Essie
@essie_dennis Instagram

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”One day you will be able to love yourself.” – Anneka’s body image journey

LEYAH SHANKS

The gorgeous Anneka is 28 and from Nottingham.

unnamed 


So, I was bulimic.
I came from quite the broken family and, spent most of my school life receiving constant taunts from other kids pretty much from primary school age upwards.
“You’re too fat to play with us.”

“You’re a tramp.”

“It’s not normal to have belly rolls.”


  Man, I hated school.
So in my teens, I got ill. Just your standard, run of the mill bug that caused me to be sick quite a few times and it made me feel empty and, kinda thin. Hey presto, I was hooked.
For many years I continued to make that empty feeling happen. My Mum was skint and there I was, eating her out of house and home and throwing away all that precious food down the toilet. I got found out when my sister opened the loo one day and…

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About

Tools for the Revolution

Source: About

Body Image Progress

Power, Peace, and the Porch Gym

I wanted to share some body positive successes I have had in the last week. I don’t always have “good body image days” (said in the same spirit as “good hair days”). My body positive attitude development has been an exercise in patience, just like my strength development.  But I had two experiences last week that showed me that I am making progress in this area, even if every day is not great.

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The 1% efficacy rate and weight loss as a prescription

Prescription

Talk to nearly any person over a size 12 and chances are, they have run into a doctor or medical professional who recommended that their health would improve if they would only lose weight.  Whether that person went to a podiatrist for help with their feet or a gyno for a pap smear or an optometrist to get an eye exam, chances are at least one of these medical professionals has stated that the solution for these health woes is that the patient simply lose weight.

Let’s take a look at that prescription for just a moment.  Just how likely is it that one of these people is going to lose any kind of significant weight (and keep it off for any period of time)?  A recent study, conducted by a team at King’s College suggests that this prescription is pretty unlikely to be successful.  For moderately fat people (BMI…

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Summer Sizzle Secrets with my guest Ragen Chastain

Summer Sizzle FB

WE had a great teleseminar last week with the wonderful Joy Bufalini talking about body shame, diet culture, not dieting, loving our bodies and other things!

This week (Wednesday) we are having the Q&A with the amazing speaker, writer and athlete of the blog “Dances With Fat“.

Submit your questions to be answered LIVE on the call. You can also ask questions during the Q&A, since that is the format. You will hear all about embodying the HAES perspective in practical ways, and we’ll be dealing with some touchy issues like body shaming “loved ones”….YEP.

Join us! This is a free series.

All calls are recorded if you can’t make it live.

Again you sign up here.

To Your Happy Body!

Michelle

Why I Stopped Aspiring to an Athletic Physique

I have a story to share along these lines (a bit) that I will share later. Until then, enjoy this one!

Power, Peace, and the Porch Gym

I have a long history of aspiring to an athletic body type.

When I was in high school I bought a book called “The NYC Ballet Workout: Fifty Stretches and Exercises Anyone Can Do For a Strong, Graceful, and Sculpted Body.”

That’s good marketing, isn’t it? As a vulnerable person, I believed it. Until I got discouraged and somehow forgot about the book and moved on to something else. I don’t remember what became of the effort to look more like a ballet dancer. Nothing dramatic or memorable, and obviously it didn’t work.

Then there were the various women’s bodybuilding books. Then the yoga. And the two marathons. And the frustration that came with not having a “runner’s body.” Surely if I persisted and kept at it long enough, I might look like those distance runners?

Then one day in 2011, I watched a video of a talk by Tom…

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Mental Wellness Summit…it takes more than a pill!

mental health head

I want to quickly let you know about a great free resource if you or someone you love suffers from depression or anxiety. These challenges are often closely tied to body image, which is close to my heart. I will be attending this summit for personal and professional reasons. If it interests you the information is below:

The Mental Wellness Summit is an educational and empowering experience that explores better ways to approach and treat mental health from a root cause perspective–it’s designed with everyone in mind.

WHY ATTEND?

Today’s powerful treatment options, including specialized diet and improved nutrition, integrative medicine, naturopathy and functional medicine, somatic therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, yoga and meditation, to name a few, are available but rarely considered for treating mental health every day. Let’s go beyond just psychiatry and pills, and explore the best options for wellness in this evolving field.

Register for FREE now at the following link:

https://vt239.isrefer.com/go/summitreg/BraveGirl/

The Mental Wellness Summit will benefit:

  • Health care practitioners and providers across the wellness spectrum
  • Anyone curious about or seeking solutions to mental health challenges
  • Family, friends, loved ones and coworkers who are supporting one another

Here are a few of the incredible experts who will speak at The Mental Wellness Summit:

  • Kelly Brogan, MD, Holistic Medicine and Root-Cause Resolution
  • Sayer Ji, GreenMedInfo.com, Deeper Into Mental Wellness Research
  • Peter Osborne, DC, Grainflammation, Food Toxicity and Microbes
  • Robert Whitaker, PhD, The Perils of Big Pharma
  • James Maskell, Revive Primary Care, Mental Health from Scratch

With 25 additional presenters sharing their expertise about mental wellness, this invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for men and women everywhere!

Better yet, if you register today, you’ll have access to the following FREE GIFTS as soon as you register!

  • Free Gift #1: Deeper Into Mental Wellness Researchby Sayer Ji
  • Free Gift #2: Holistic Medicine and Root-Cause Resolutionby Kelly Brogan
  • Free Gift #3: Microbiome: A New Frontier in Mental Healthby David Perlmutter

The Mental Wellness Summit is online and free from August 10-17, 2015!

Register for FREE at the following link today:

https://vt239.isrefer.com/go/summitreg/BraveGirl/

I’ll see you at the summit!

Michelle Hess, MA

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