Long before Body Positivity was a movement or even a concept, I believe that Mama was teaching it to me and my siblings. In her wisdom and experience she realized early on that the best sermon is the one that you live and not just preach.
Mama’s approach has really been helping me to see my aging body more positively as it changes and it’s also been helping me to raise my own daughter to be more positive about her own developing body.
Because I know that I am not the only one fighting to stay positive about my body image or trying to raise a daughter with a positive body image, I wanted to share with you guys 3 practical approaches that my mom took that have really helped me.
This will be the 1st of 3 posts that will focus on Body Positivity. In the second post, I will be sharing my own body image hack that has totally re-framed how I see my body. In the meantime, I hope that this post is helpful to you guys.
I’d love to hear what you are thinking on the subject. What are you doing to encourage and maintain a positive body image? Please share in the comments below.
So, without further ado. Here it goes …….
Focus more attention on being the best person that you can be on the inside because this is what truly makes you uniquely beautiful. This is the kind of beauty that doesn’t fade.
As I think back to conversations with Mama as a child and even as an adult, I can’t remember a single time that she obsessed over what she looked like, what we looked like or even what anybody else looked like. She was very genuine and never pretentious.
Her focus was always towards building up the kind of person that she was on the inside and not what other people saw on the outside.
She worked extremely hard to raise us to do the same.
Be kind and considerate to your body and accept the things about it that you can’t change. Celebrate it and be proud
Mama grew up on a farm in a small rural town in South GA. By the time she was a teen she was already wearing a size 12 shoe. Finding shoes in her size was often times impossible and when she couldn’t she would either have to cram her feet into a pair of smaller sized ladies’ shoe or she’d have to wear a pair of men’s shoes.
Eventually mama married and moved to a larger city where she was able to find a shoe store that carried her size. My siblings and I would go there with her sometimes.
I remember that the shoes in her size were never really that pretty, they all seemed to be boring flats that were rather plain looking. On top of all that they cost a lot of money; however, she was never put off by this because her biggest concern was always how they fit her feet. She’d never buy a pair without first trying them on and testing them out in the store and I suspect that she was more than willing to pay more for a comfortable pair of plain ladies’ shoes even if it meant having to buy them on layaway.
Because her feet were larger than any of the other females in our family it would have been understandable if she were a little self-conscious of them, but she wasn’t. Mama was never ashamed of her feet and she never tried to hide them. At this point in her life she was most likely thankful that she no longer had to stuff them into a smaller size or into a pair of men’s shoes. So, when the spring and summers rolled around, she always polished up her toenails and proudly put them on display in a pair of open sandals.
Take care of yourself physically and otherwise.
Last but not least, Mama took really good care of herself. She loved drinking water, eating homegrown, and exercising regularly. If she wasn’t dancing to one of her favorite aerobic cassette tapes, she was up early walking around the neighborhood.
In addition to eating well and exercising regularly and getting her rest, she never shied away from getting regular checkups and when she found herself feeling that she needed additional care for her mental and emotional well-being, she did what she could to get it.
Unfortunately, we lost mama 3 years ago due to complications related to Scleroderma. I am extremely grateful to have had her as my mom. She wasn’t perfect but she always did her best to set a good example for us kids.