Just because we follow a “Paleo” or “Primal” or “Ancestral” set of food values doesn’t mean we instantly heal all wounds from decades of media bombardment, crippled body image and disordered eating. No, CrossFitting a lot (or running a lot, or Zumba-ing a lot) can’t necessarily solve those problems either, especially if we’re doing them with the sole focus of “fixing” our bodies instead of our minds while continuing to allow self-dissatisfaction and body loathing to rule.
Those old wounds are emotional, and healing starts in thought. We can eat well and lift heavy and High-Energy-Latin-Dance our bodies into submission, but unless we’re moving the mind-set along with the kettlebell, I guarantee those wounds’ll still be there.
Obsessing over becoming some false ideal of “perfection” – whether extremely lean and well-muscled or svelte and “stick skinny” – is a toxic, counterproductive burden to bring to this lifestyle. Eat well, use your physical capacities (ie MOVE if you’re capable of moving) and work hard at something. Relish the process of discovering what your muscles and mind are capable of, and appreciate the vehicle for those accomplishments – your body – for the great things it’s doing, not for the body fat percentage it achieves (or doesn’t) along the way.
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All right, so I titled this post a bit modestly. What I wanted to call it was “Self Esteem Crack” or “F*ck yeah, Self Esteem!”
There has been some VERY cool self-regard/Gosh-darn-it-love-y’damn-self stuff bubbling up from the Ancestral Health blogosphere, and I highly encourage you to read/listen…and let me know your thoughts.
- Paleo for Women: THE blog for deconstructing the false ideals we, as a society, have generated; and for some serious Healthy Woman Food for Thought. (Added 06/21/2012)
- Diane and I discussed some “are we good/lean/fit enough?” worries in our podcast with Jimmy Moore…
- Krista of Stumptuous.com wrote a KILLER post (it was word porn all the way) on all the things it’s fracking OK to be…as long as you’re fracking moving forward: The House that Stumptuous Built
- …Krista’s post was inspired by Laura of Ancestralize Me. As Laura writes – and I agree – trying to force a state of extreme leanness on a body not naturally inclined towards leanness (many of us Paleo-oriented ladies are guilty of this) may mean sacrificing fertility and health for some supposed “ideal” that is really only a tired social construct. Read Paleo Women are Phat!
- Eileen, a certified badass at Life Beyond Rx wrote about overcoming a tense history with food and body image – and in doing so, she illuminates why, as Krista said, we don’t rebel against anything. Because we know that rebelling against something still makes that other thing the boss of us.We drive away into the sunset, following our own path.” My Strong is My Victory Over the Skinny Word.
- Diane discusses the pitfalls of attaching “negative emotions” to a body part and a technique for reversing that tendency: I Used to Hate My Thighs.
- And my own posts on why I’m Grateful for My
A$$– er, Hindquarters and another addressing why Strong is the new Strong. (Or the strong that always was. Whatever.)
What have YOU written on this topic? Share it – I want to read what you have to say!