Words That Shape Me: I Am More Than My Body
Welcome to the Words That Shape Me series! In this series I’ll be posting my thoughts and what I’ve learned about each book. The books I review will be ones that have had a huge impact on my life and books that I believe can change your life as well. Check out more of the Words That Shape Me series here.
I feel like I haven’t posted a book review on this site in years, and that very well may be true. If that is the case, I am extremely excited to be bringing back the book reviews with this very important book: I Am More Than My Body by Bethany C Meyers. I was given an Advanced Reader Copy of the book as an ebook through NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. You can find my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. In this post I wanted to expand on my review, and the book, a little further.
In the book I Am More Than My Body, author Bethany C Meyers discusses what body neutrality is, how we can benefit from it, and how to shift to that perspective. Gone are the days of having to give in to the diet culture toxicity or feeling bad for not achieving the level of self love and body love as they say we are supposed to. We can simply just respect our body. This book shows us how to do just that.
What Is Body Neutrality
Before reading this book I had no idea what the term body neutrality meant. So I thought I’d dig into the term as I write this post. If I didn’t know what the term was, I’m guessing others don’t either. Let’s learn more together. Meyers describes it as “the practice of steering away from self-hate without the pressure of having to love our body.”
This gives you the freedom from the constant hate and stress you put your body through because it doesn’t look a certain way. Body neutrality says that it’s okay if you aren’t where you want to be in your self-love journey with your body, without forcing you to hurry up and “get there.” According to Very Well Mind, this practice also focuses on your body’s abilities and other non-physical characteristics.
For example, you can say that you love your eyes because they help you see ____. Another example that they provide is saying that, “My body is great in that it enables me to engage in activities I enjoy,” This practice can be life changing, and I’m about to tell you why.
Why Is This Important
The practice of body neutrality is important for many reasons. It can affect both you and the generations that come after you. The more that the message of body acceptance is spread, the healthier our bodies, and minds will become. Eating disorders will be less likely to form and those younger siblings, children, cousins, nieces/nephews, etc. will grow up without a negative view of their bodies.Can you imagine a world where toxic diet culture has ended and we aren’t bombarded by unrealistic expectations of how we should love our bodies no matter what?
The 3 Steps Of Body Neutrality
In this book the author lays out three steps to work towards having a more body neutral mindset. You want to acknowledge the feelings you have, explore why those feelings are there, and finally reconnect with your self worth. Let’s dig a little deeper into all three of these steps.
Acknowledge The Feelings
In this first step you want to take a step back and observe the feelings you are having about your body. This can be hard to do if you aren’t used to sitting with your feelings. It’s so important to give yourself that time to acknowledge what you are feeling in a neutral way. This step helps you assess what you are going through so that you can move on to exploring why those feelings are coming up.
Explore The Feelings
The author gives you two ways to go through this next step. You can complete an exercise that is found in the book, or if you’d rather go through this step in the moment you can ask yourself a reflective question. What is really going on here? Sometimes situations that have nothing to do with our body can cause us to spiral, then sometimes we realize the situation is much deeper. Either way, the only way to find out is to explore those feelings and figure out where they are coming from. Then it’s time for the final step.
Reconnect With Your Self Worth
In this last step we’re going to focus on showing our body some gratitude. When’s the last time you thought of all the good your body has done for you. It’s still standing after all the harsh yo-yo dieting you’ve put it through, it’s helped you fight off germs each time you’ve gotten sick, and so much more. Try coming up with at least three things your body has done, or can do, for you.
Congratulations! You’ve completed your first round of the body neutrality steps! Tell me how you feel in the comments below. Then keep reading because we’re not quite finished yet.
Nobody’s Perfect (cue the Hannah Montana song)
I know when you put things in steps it can make it seem simple. When we are talking about our body image that is anything but simple. The author of I Am More Than My Body was very transparent in the fact that this isn’t an easy, linier journey you’re about to go on. Getting your mindset to switch to a body neutral perspective is no easy feat, so don’t expect to be perfect. Just know that if you are trying you are doing the right thing. That’s something to be proud of.
Body neutrality is a term that we as a society do not talk about enough. I hope that with this new book getting into the hands of other people all over the world, more conversations will start happening. If you read I Am More Than My Body feel free to let me know your thoughts through social media by tagging me or using the hashtag #buddingjoyreads. Speaking of tagging, I created a bookstagram! You can follow me there for more reviews and book fun.