Embracing all there is about you…

Wow. What a night; full of insight, awe, absolute shock and lessons.  A night full of friendship, womanhood, camaraderie, agreement, disagreement and discussion.

And BOY my brain was working overtime once my head hit the pillow!

So…what had brought all of this about?  The Documentary: “Embrace” by Taryn Brumfitt.  I love documentaries such as this; not only for what they are about but for what they create after. The conversation, honesty, sharing and more after the fact.  I mean, for ME to be up until 11:30 pm EVEN on a Saturday night is shocking…so Taryn! You’re the only one who can get me to do that!

Embrace is the documentary all about Body Image – and the issues connected that so many seem to fall prey to. After seeing it…..no wonder we as females (and I’m not keeping men out of this; men suffer too) have insecurities, wishes, dreams about trying to reach that “perfect” place with our bodies when there is so much pressure out there.  To hear that many fashion magazines won’t put photos of women above size 8 (I believe … it was a late night….) on their covers – and if they DO, it’s been known for fashion designers, photographers, etc…to refuse to put their names to these photo shoots.  PFFT!  Whaaaaaa? Seriously? Oh I could go on about the multitude of topics this documentary opened our eyes up to. You should have heard the constant gasps of frustration, a few swear words here and there, along with the tears from such moving moments as when a woman with anorexia stressed to others NOT to try to starve yourself thin.

This movie struck so many chords in me, I swear I was a guitar. It had me thinking of how I see myself; what I feel about myself…and how I can take back the control of my mind with regards to this. And I know I wasn’t the only one in the room who felt this way. Everyone watching had their own thought-processes going on as they watched.

This group of women ranged from early 20’s to 60’s. We were from all walks of life, with many differences about us. We had many commonalities too.  And man did this movie get us talking in such meaningful ways about so many things: judgement, kindness, health, challenges, fears, accepting ourselves, being empathetic, children, families, video games (oh my lord, don’t get me started on Grand Theft Auto: we saw a scene where a guy picks up a prostitute, has sex with her…and as she walks away you see them pick out a gun from a multitude of options….and shoot her down.  LITTLE KIDS are playing these games or watching someone in their family. And that’s not expected to have an effect on them?!).

We agreed on so much; that much of the change of how girls see themselves will be in seeing women change their language of themselves; how they see themselves and showing how they appreciate everything about themselves.  I think there is also much more to it than that; yes, we as women can pave the way…but the damage has already been done and there are many children sadly without a parental role model…or without a positive role model.  We need media to embrace every type of woman and girl. We need these discussions to become SO everyday and often, that we see our girls roll their eyes at us and say “I KNOW Mommmmm…” since the message is embedded in them and they become a confident generation. We need education systems to get on board with these messages, we need coaches to get on board (not all; some are so positive but to those who tell young women to lose weight; they have NO idea the damage they are doing)…..we need everone getting on board to creating a healthier, happier generation.

Since the majority of photos are photoshopped, women and girls are striving to look like someone who actually isn’t real.

Right. So you are not reading this until tomorrow, I wanted to come to a close with what I took from this magical movie.

1) There are trolls out there and “unsupporters”.  Not everyone will love us. Doesn’t matter. Love yourself.

2) Our body is our vessel. It allows us to do INCREDIBLE things.  Appreciate it for what it DOES for you; don’t focus on what you feel is lacking. Love yourself. 

3) FAD DIETS are making billions off us annually. Time to send them a message. Wake up, be appreciative of the fact you can breathe, talk, love, LIVE. As one woman put it (and I’ve thought this often)…for every woman who doesn’t love her body – there is one who is very unwell, has lost the ability to move fully, or worse…who would do anything to have their body.  NO MORE DIETS. We all know the stats that people may lose weight on diets, but eventually gain the weight and more back after.  Love yourself.

4) Love where you are NOW.  Wake up. Do all you can to be the best to yourself that you can – eat as well as possible (which also means allowing yourself to enjoy life too; life isn’t about starving and cutting out all you love to be a certain weight. Love yourself.

5) Get to the core of your WHY.  If you want to lose weight for YOU: to have more energy, to be healthier, for YOU; go for it. However if your reasons are external: someone has made a comment, put pressure on you, or you are “conforming” to what’s in the media. STOP, girlfriend. Right now.  Re-think your why as a healthier one.  Create instead a healthy lifestyle; that allows you to smile, be happy, and love you as you are. I am a huge proponent of doing all you can for yourself and your happiness: eat well, be active – however to me being healthy is also, having fun, living life to the fullest, being surrounded by incredible people, resting, laughing, and having a chocolate covered almond here or there! If by doing all you can; in a healthy way that suits your lifestyle and has you happy rather than picking holes in yourself, yet you are a few pounds more than what you feel you should be, isn’t this okay?  Be happy with where you are!  Love yourself.

5) We need to change how society pressures people on weight. The judgement, the sadness, the hatred, the bullying. How? I’m working on that; check back soon…. Love yourself.

6) I learnt to completely love and appreciate myself. Here. Now. Today. Where I am. Done. Not tooting my own horn here (k….maybe a little honk!….)…but before watching the movie the women went around the room, introduced themselves and said how they knew me. What I got from this…was actually what they see in me and I can’t tell you how honoured, humbled and so absolute touched I was to hear what each had to say. Due to them…I am a different woman today. They all taught me that I have SO much to offer outside of the size of my legs (my thing…), even though my tummy is a bit rounder than I’d like it and even though I’m a couple of inches short for my body lol.  They showed me the IMPORTANT THINGS. I’d so much rather be imperfectly perfect in my mind and have their love than vice versa. If you are reading this, girlfriends. **thank you**. Love yourself. 

7) And lastly (but not really; just that this has gone on way too long I’m sure!); I learnt we get so much from conversation; sharing and inspiring. We feel the same about ourselves…so we need to share more to let others know they are not alone. That is also where we are going to be able to help our girls.

And that ladies, is where I leave you. Since I’ve got MANY ideas brewing today.

So to Taryn Brumfitt.  THANK YOU. Forget actors and actresses who win awards for acting. You should be winning awards for the education you are offering; insight you are creating, lessons you are teaching….and CHANGE you are making. You are nothing short of brilliant and a game-changer.

Lastly friends…please…..right now…