Our obsession with picture-perfect bodies ages over decades. Truth be told: we have always equated self-worth with size. As for me and my house, I have never felt comfortable in my body and as the lockdown went on and on, I found myself longing for the body I had in years past. Even then, I thought I was fat. I realized in those moments that my lifetime relationship with my body was toxic.
Not to mention, all the memes in 2020 about quarantine weight. From the quarantine 15 to eating your month's worth of favorite snacks in one day, the innanets had us all feeling guilty for living and adapting to our new normal. As much as we wanted our unusual standards to disappear once 2021 arrived, that's not what transpired. It high key feels like we are basically in an extended version of 2020 with all that is happening in the world.
Our favorite auntie and all-around icon, Tracee Ellis Ross, reminded us of this when she recently posted a video recounting all that we have endured since the beginning of the lockdown. More importantly, she discusses her own struggles with her body and how she had to adjust her expectations while extending grace.
"I don't know about you guys, but after the insanity of the year that we have been through, over a year now that is, you know, it's still creeping along, I didn't like transform my body, exercise like a crazy woman and turn into a vegan. And, and as a result, you know, my body feels different.
"I sat more than I'm used to. I didn't do the same amount of cardio. I wasn't in the gym because of the circumstances of what we were all living in and are all living in. There was like this funnel that was like funneling joy into very small spaces."
The Black-ish star continues to say that joy is a major part of well-being and humanity. It's what makes us feel good. It sparks spontaneity and connection and those beautiful feelings were instantly funneled into our little individual spaces. We totally agreed with Tracee when she professed that most of the things that were in that little funnel were food and drinks because it brought us solace and comfort. The moment she started judging herself for making certain choices, she started asking, "What am I doing?" Which reminded her of a friend who had a contentious relationship with her body after having her first child and decided to write her body a "thank you" note.
"I realized that the softness that I'm experiencing in my body, a little bit of extra weight--all of us have our own version of that--is actually something to say, thank you for that. The softness that my body has been incredibly wise--that thank you for keeping me safe during COVID or if I was a body that got COVID keeping me healthy through and fighting through a virus--that with all the sharpness and harshness and violence and fear that has been around that perhaps the softness of my body is a blessing that it has been able to nurture me in a way that my mind could not...
"I really encourage and invite all of us to just receive the wisdom of our bodies right now and allow the softness, the weight--whatever that looks like and be grateful. Like, I feel like I've made it through this year. And in some ways I've gotten deeper. In some ways I've gotten bigger in some ways. I am forever changed in some ways... I don't think that my physical body is the most important thing to come out of this very difficult time... I think it is--this is a time for us to offer compassion everywhere to our bodies and to each other."
What a powerful, healthy way to reconnect with our bodies. I remember when I started therapy, one of the topics I was the most uncomfortable broaching was my relationship with my body. My therapist told me that one way to reconnect with parts of me that I don't love is by talking to those very parts. Y'all know I looked at her like she was crazy, right? What do I look like caressing my belly and talking to it? It's safe to say I told my therapist I would think about it.
Two days later, I was scrolling on Instagram and saw Lizzo caressing and talking to her belly.
She said in her caption:
"I started talking to my belly this year. Blowing her kisses and showering her with praises. I used to want to cut my stomach off, I hated it so much. But it's literally ME. I am learning to radically love every part of myself. Even if it means talking to myself every morning."
Both women serve as powerful reminders to love yourself, your whole self. But especially the parts of us that our hardest to love.
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Featured image via Tracee Ellis Ross/Instagram