I've struggled with body issues for most of my life and continue to do so. My dissatisfaction with my size and my shape gets in my way of doing things I shouldn't think twice about: wearing a bathing suit, dressing for a special event, and yeah, I'ma be honest here – dating.
Intellectually I know that's foolish. I don't judge other women by their size; I notice sparkling eyes and personality and confidence. And there are times that I manage to get past myself and enjoy my life – it's a good one, I know, and my outer packaging means so little in relation to all my blessings. But I could do better at shoring up my own esteem and self-acceptance. In fact, I need to replace body shame with more than self-acceptance. I need to replace my body issues with body love. Many of us do.
I've found inspiration in my friend Liis Windischmann. We've known each other for ages, having started in the curvy-modelling scene around the same time more than 20 years ago. Even back then I always admired Liis's confidence, determination and seemingly innate understanding of how to succeed in a difficult industry. She's fearless, as well as smart, funny, warm and dynamic.
In the last few years, however, Liis' body has been through distressing times. She's learned through struggles with Hashimoto's disease and Gluten Ataxia how to be grateful for things I take for granted: the easy ability to go for a leisurely stroll; the co-ordination to use chopsticks; and at least enough strength to begin a new fitness regimen. She knows how precious it is to have a body that works as it should, regardless of its size. And she makes me re-think my own body views.
This Wednesday evening at 8pm ET, Liis (@LiisOnLife) is holding the first of her series of Twitter chats on body love; she's asked me (@JanineFalcon) to join her as her guest host. Please come chat with us as we talk about how we can help ourselves appreciate our whole selves, and at least begin to change negative body image into liberating and powerful body love. #BLC
Do you deal with negative body issues? Or have you found your way past them into positivity? We'd love your input. See you on Twitter Wednesday evening at 8pm ET? xo