a woman stretching
by
Larissa Parson
,
June 1, 2021

Your Body is Worthy

Your body will change over your lifetime in so many ways.

It’s hugely important to make a distinction between the pervasive “wellness culture” which frankly creates a feeling of inadequacy vs. a curiosity-filled exploration of what’s possible for our bodies.

Ahhhh, summer. The time of year when we pull out shorts and swimsuits and embrace ease and joy. Right?

It’s also the time of year when people feel an increase in shame for not meeting arbitrary beauty standards. This year, it’s all about the “Covid 15.”

For fuck’s sake.

All transitions disrupt your body's idea about what's “normal.” When I use the word “normal,” I mean whatever your individual baseline is. Finding the right words about change that come across as both encouraging and not ableist can be really tricky, especially for me, someone who is in the business of offering bodies more choices about how they move.

It’s hugely important to make a distinction between the pervasive “wellness culture” which frankly creates a feeling of inadequacy vs. a curiosity-filled exploration of what’s possible for our bodies.

So much of our self-talk comes from a place of feeling like our bodies “should” be anything other than what they are. Sometimes it's patriarchy or misogyny telling us that. Sometimes, it's ableism. We can embrace the paradoxical idea that our bodies are not problems just as they are AND that we can choose to move differently, for all kinds of reasons. I suggest we start from the point of view that everyone's “normal” is unique to their embodied life.

However, change happens. That’s just reality. Your body will change over your lifetime in so many ways. Not having access to your accustomed social life will change your body. Looking at Zoom all day will change your body. Trying a new movement practice will change your body. Drinking less (or more) coffee, sleeping more (or less), choosing to feel your feelings (or not). ALL of these things (and so many more) have an impact on your body. ⁠⁠

What if change in our bodies is like the change in seasons? Here in North Carolina, everyone complains about mud and pollen in the spring, and heat and humidity in the summer, but I don't hear many complaints about blooming flowers and shade as the weather warms.

You already have a body. What is missing is a sense of feeling at home in your body. When changes happen to our bodies, we feel like we've lost our sense of home. We focus on the pollen and the mud and the humidity. But sometimes, there are flowers to look at, too. Or we can put on some boots--we can't make the mud go away, but we can shift it to something we can manage. Some of us will jump in puddles. Some of us will stay home and cozy up with a cup of tea (or, in the summer, maybe it’s iced tea). Both of these choices are valid ways of honoring what our bodies need.

It can be really hard to reconnect with a body that you think of as "broken." But you're not broken, dear reader, and you don't need fixing.⁠⁠

Love talking about these kinds of ideas? Want to be part of a soft space where you can try them on and see how they feel? You might love The Slow Burn, my membership community. It costs about the same as drinking 3 fancy frozen lattes per week. And will help you get the patriarchy out of your body.

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From Larissa
I’m here for all womxn who want to exercise wisely so that we can get stronger and more comfortable in our bodies. I’m here to help you stop peeing your pants (or feeling like your core doesn’t work, or feel like your SI joint pain will never stop), so you can focus on what matters most to you.

This piece was originally published on Larissa's site


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