body positivity

How Pokémon GO Helped my Body Image

I have never been an athletic person.  I’ve always been horrible at sports, and had no interest in playing them.  This didn’t really bother me when I was younger, as I had always had many other interests.  The older I got, the more people that I knew who actually were athletic. My sister was a competitive athlete, and is now a power-lifter.  My first boyfriend was a football player.  My best friends included ballerinas, skiers, soccer players and synchronized swimmers. And there I was, with no talents to my name.

Once my eating disorder began to develop, I thought of how much easier it would be to lose weight if I could play sports.  Because this wasn’t really an option for me, I began to go to the gym.  At 13, I lied about my age, got a membership, and started going regularly.  I was finally able to say that I worked out, instead of playing sports, but was still active.  My gym-going turned in to a bit of an obsession, walking hand-in-hand with my anorexia.  At my sickest, I was going to the gym 6-7 days a week, sometimes twice a day.  I didn’t exercise to be healthy; I exercised to lose weight.  And, because of this, I still find that I cannot go to the gym for the right reasons, and it ends up fueling my disordered thoughts.  To prevent another relapse, I have had to quit going to the gym altogether.

Now at 19, and still surrounded by fitness experts and fitstagrams, not being able to be active is a bit of a downer.  Sure, I go on hikes and am not particularly weak, but I’ve missed the endorphin release that you get from physical activities.  This is where Pokémon GO comes in.

Pokémon GO has been everywhere in the news lately, so it would be hard to pretend that you don’t know the game’s premise.  It involves a lot of walking.  Whether you’re walking around to catch more Pokémon, or trying to get your 2, 5, or 10km eggs to hatch, it’s impossible to be any good at the game unless you’re out and moving.

As someone who has grown up being somewhat obsessed with the Pokémon games, even with artwork of the game on my walls, it was the perfect thing for me.  Not only am I able to play a fun game that all of my friends play, but I finally have a reason to exercise that doesn’t trigger my eating disorder.  I am comfortable going on walks that can be longer than 5km every day, and feel healthy doing it.  I am back to being able to do things that help my body become stronger, without the obsessions behind it (other than the obsession of evolving my pocket monsters).  Being able to walk and do something that I enjoy has increased my confidence in myself. My body image has only been getting better, as I’m no longer stuck in the house avoiding all things triggering.  I am focusing on myself, while still being active and social, all because of one game.

Thank you, Pokémon GO, for giving me everything that I’ve needed.  

instagram

brielarson: It shocked me to find this photo because I remember the day so well. I was respected enough to be honored at the Maui Film Festival - but not known enough to have a stylist or “glam squad”. I found this Madewell dress in my closet. The most I knew how to do for grooming was pin half of it back and blink on a few coats of mascara. Before we went to the ceremony I felt flashes of embarrassment - I worried I was too fat, too ugly, too depressingly banal to be honored. I cringed to take photos. But today I see this moment and feel only love for myself. There is nothing wrong with this person. She is honest and beautiful and committed to showing up for this life. I wish I saw myself then as I see myself now. There is no need to waste your time working to be anything other than you. So hey, #tbt - thank you for the chance to honor all the hilarious ways we didn’t know ourselves upon first meeting, and all the exciting new ways we get to know ourselves while we keep living.

(via Brie on Instagram)

Women should be allowed to grow. This subject about body hair was always a big influence on me as a kid. I was always teased about my thick eyebrows, upper lip hair and arm hair, as if it was something strange to the world that a girl would have body hair. I was told to shave and to fix myself to look pretty and I’ve always felt like I was pretty until people and society shoved their ideas down my throat. It’s taken me a long time to love and accept my body the way it it. With hair and all. It’s something so natural that even we bash other women for having body hair and it shouldn’t be like that. We have the choice to shave, wax, whatever or not to do any of that and either way is okay. It’s as if women are supposed to be these flawless, airbrushed, goddesses that society forgets that we are HUMANS. Humans who should be allowed to grow as a garden does.

Being frank about Baek's abs

I was freaking out for them at first, even screaming the house down tbh, but now I just don’t care, now knowing what extents he went through to work for them. 

 He worked SO HARD, and I appreciate that. But the fact he chewed and spat out food for three months, avoided grains (an essential for your body), and worked out all at once is so harmful for your body. Heck, all of these things could be considered part of an eating disorder. Like this isn’t a hardcore diet guys; this is NOT EATING AT ALL. 

 I get its his choice as to what he wants to do with his body, but when it gets to a harmful extent like that under such pressure to “show his nutella”, I don’t approve. He said he didn’t even want to strip in the first place, and honestly, if he never wanted to, he never should have. That is a perfectly reasonable choice for his body, and he gets all rights to it. 

 But personally, the worst of all is that he only did it for us fans and not for himself. He never wanted to strip, he wanted to eat lots, and he was happy with being himself. But then after that whole Nutella abs joke, there was so much pressure for him to strip because everyone else in EXO was doing it and also the fact that he “made a promise to”. 

 Honestly, when you’re finally given the back stories, you just begin to wonder how the other members got those “dream bodies”. I hope they all just work out a lot and eat healthy, but I’m concerned that they’re either severely dieting or even not eating enough. I’m also concerned about if they even wanted to show it all off. EXO members are humans like us, they should have basic rights as to what they want to do with their bodies without anyone else controlling them.

 Going back to the most recent case, I think Baekhyun should do what makes him happy and not just what satisfies the fans, because fans that truly love their idols would be happy when their idols are happy as well. 

 Now that he’s fulfilled that promise to us all, I hope you all are satisfied enough so Baek can eat more now (which he said he was going to do so thank god).

 Let’s love Baekhyun for the purest, most unchanged way he is okay guys?

EDIT: Alright thinking back at it, I think that “eating disorder” is a bit of an overstatement now (was kind of in a rage back then), but personally I’m just not particularly favorable of how he got there and why he did it.