‘Body Positive Power’ is Chicken Soup for My Soul!

I felt so many emotions while listening to this book in the pool during my evening swimmy swim time! Here are just a few: 

Rage against the insidious diet industry that is so deeply embedded in our culture, which means it will probably never die! If I never have to see another depressing “before” and victorious “after” diet promo ever again it’ll be too soon! Why must the “before” pictures looks so dismal? They can’t even crack a smile or wear a cute outfit just because they’re not a size 4? Just do as Megan says: don’t wait to be happy until you have six-pack abs. Life is too short for that nonsense.

Resentment against all the “concerned” family members in my life for shaming my appearance and conditioning me to believe that all fat people are losers to be mocked. 

Resistance against anything—and I mean ANYTHING—that is profiting from the big money-making diet culture business. Just because a “health and wellness” calorie-constricting plan says it’s not a diet, you better believe it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, y’all! 

Sadness for all the “Fitspo” Instagram followers for buying into sham diets and fat-phobic beliefs. 

And most importantly—pride for all the advocates who come out and fight against these messed up systems! Hooray to the Megan Cabbes, the Mernivators and the Aubrey Gordons of the world for starting a new awakening in defiance of the trolls creeping up in their posts!

This book really had me feeling the feels. I hate to use the word “brave” because it can be condescending, but it’s the only adjective I can think of that best describes this author. She really put it all out there, including her really frightening, near-death experience with anorexia. It chills me to think that I almost went down that path while I was religiously following my Weight Watchers points system. I learned later in therapy that, even though I was following the plan, I was most likely anorexic. 

Out of curiosity, I looked at some of the very few negative reviews from others who wanted more guidance for self-acceptance, not “rants” about diet culture. I get that, but it’s so important to understand the systems before you can get to that point of healing. You need to know why these deeply-engrained shameful feelings are perpetuated by our fat-phobic, diet industry obsessed culture. There’s just SO MUCH to unpack, and for me, it has taken years of therapy. And to be honest, I’m still not 100% there yet. I’m still counting calories on Lose It (the free version cause I ain’t giving money to the diet industry any more!) and over-exercising out of guilt from eating a cupcake. Hell, I still can’t even look at myself in the dang mirror! So yeah, I’m a work in progress. Thanks, diet culture. Thanks, crummy family members.

Overall, this book gave me a lot of comfort. We are surrounded with so much fat-shaming noise from our family, our friends, commercials and lousy people shouting insults in the streets. It’s tough out there for us non-skinny folks. When I hear someone say, “Go ahead and wear a crop top,” or “eat what you want without shame,” I feel like I’m being wrapped in a big hug. This really is chicken soup for the soul–and I’m not talking low-cal soup, either! This is the good stuff made by a loving grandmama with all the butter and noodles with some yummy breadsticks on the side!

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