Hello all! Excited to be sharing another guest post from a dietetic intern I really admire! I found Christyna Johnson on twitter when she was speaking out against Weight Watchers as part of the #WakeUpWeightWatchers campaign, started following her on instagram, and she's become one of my favorite interns to follow. She has such a bright and positive personality, and feels like one of those people you want to be friends with IRL. I love how she breaks down complicated and hard topics in such an easy to understand, relatable way. Go read her blog, Encouraging Dietitian, follow on instagram at @EncouragingDietitian on instagram, or on twitter
Hey! Christyna here! Popping in to talk about body gratitude and how appreciating our bodies can go far beyond body acceptance and positivity.
I’ll tell you a little about me so we’re not total strangers! I’m originally from St. Louis Missouri. I’ve since lived in Arkansas for college, and Texas for grad school. I’m currently in Oklahoma completing my dietetic internship to become a dietitian. I love coffee and avocados, but I can promise you neither of those are the reason I’m a broke millennial. I love the beach and cuddly dogs. I believe that all bodies were created differently, on purpose, with a purpose.
Better? So back this Body Gratitude. What’s that? Why do I care? Is this another thing I need to attain?
Sometimes I feel overwhelmed on my quest to accept and look at my body positively. I have not reached that level when I can post selfies in my undies, or show off my stretch marks without embarrassment or shame. I’m still learning to accept that my body changes. And it will keep changing as long as there is air in my lungs. So this is where body gratitude is helping me bridge the gap between poor body image and body positivity.
Body Gratitude is the idea that my body will change over time. It will change as I go through life, it will perform differently as I mature. I can focus on what I see in the mirror, but that has mostly resulted in dissatisfaction and a constant longing for “results”.
OR! Or I can be grateful for experiences I have in this body. Each body is unique. We’re all created individually, so no two people experience this world the same. With that we can look at what most would say are basic experiences and find joy in them.
This could be as simple as being grateful that I can smell coffee in the morning. I can hug people I care about. I can pet a dog. I can experience joy from catching my favorite items on sale.
This could be experiencing the love that comes from being a parent. Enjoying the sound of rain falling from underneath a warm blanket.
The goal is that what your experiencing is not based on your weight or size. It’s not based on the contents of your bank account. It’s not based on your relationship status.
It’s based on your ability to find the good in your situation.
This is hard. Especially in the beginning.
I can remember realizing as a little girl that my body was different from the girls in my dance class. Then it was different from the girls at school. It was different from my mom. Different from most of my female family members. I can remember absolutely hating my body and doing everything in my power to force it into submission. At that bottom of that dark and lonely hole was absolute sadness. I didn’t love my body any more when I made it to a major goal weight. I didn’t feel more attractive. I couldn’t even tell I lost the weight. To me I looked exactly the same.
This displeasure with my physical appearance went with me everywhere. It moved with me to college, it graduated with me, it even moved to Texas with me.
Somewhere between intensive counseling and embracing my faith. I decided I couldn’t keep living from the idea that my body needed to look a certain way in order to be appreciated. So I changed my perspective.
I began by making a list, a very short list, but a list of what I appreciated that my body could experience.
I am grateful that my body can enjoy music.
That was it. That’s all I had. For me that one thing encompasses quite a lot. Music is my therapy. It’s my favorite form of expression. It’s my preferred method of communication. But that one sentence was able to unlock new levels of freedom.
From that place we can work each day to grow that list. To find reasons why our body should be celebrated. Because bodies should be celebrated! They are so incredibly unique and resilient.
So I want to encourage you to start your list today. Think about that one experience in this life that your body allows. Take some time to be grateful for that. And in the coming days think about that when you’re feeling insecure about how your body looks.
I hope this finds you well! I hope you know that you a loved, and valued, and chosen. Today is the best day to change you life!
You might also like: