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It is easy to think of the body acceptance journey as a hike to the summit of a mountain.
When you are feeling positive, you can imagine planting your flag, boldly and solidly in the ground. You can see yourself looking out upon a beautiful view that stretches out before you, all the way to the horizon. You can hear yourself utter the words, 'I made it.' But the summit can also seem treacherous. Your journey to the peak is threatened by oxygen so thin your lungs threaten to collapse. The steps are so steep and so unsteady that you can't find your footing. Your baggage weighs more upon you with every moment, threatening to tumble you down the mountain.
From base camp, you wonder if the view will be clouded. You imagine your flag falling under the weight of the snow on the peak. You consider that even if you make it to the top, it is only momentary.
You tell yourself, 'I don't have the legs for this. The stamina. The courage. I think I'll just stay here, at the bottom.' And disheartened, you decide never to ascend. Sound familiar?
Perhaps it is helpful to shake off that analogy and instead, think of body acceptance as something more familiar. More attainable. Something like a savings plan.
When you begin, your deposits are small and infrequent. You wonder if your balance will ever grow into something worthwhile.
But you keep at it, investing small, as and when you can. You chip in the passing compliments in the toilet queue, the good hair days, the moments when you feel strong, fierce, powerful, meaningful.
There are bills and fines and blowouts, cropping up and subtracting from your balance. And some weeks, investing in your account will feel impossible.
But one day, perhaps sooner than you expect, you look at your balance and think 'wow. I didn't realise. This is really growing into something.' >>CONTINUES>>