Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Body Positive New Year Challenge, Week One: Dressing Up

Sunday: self-massaged my tight leg muscles using oils
Monday: told a friend about the challenge
Tuesday: went to work dressed ready to dance
Wednesday: gave my students non-food items as prizes and gifts
Thursday: cried, briefly, in the morning
Friday: read a book about healing trauma in and through the body
Saturday: wrote my blog posts about the challenge

The first few days of this challenge were quite exciting, but it definitely became more difficult to think of what to do as the week went on and my attention drifted elsewhere.

My most body positive day was Tuesday, when I went to work dressed ready to dance. I really dressed up because my students had a major presentation that evening, but I realized in the morning that I really enjoyed moving my hips in that outfit. I felt good the whole day not because I was actually dancing, but because even walking reminded me of my body is amazing ability to dance and how much I enjoy it.

How do your clothes affect how you feel about your body? How do your feelings about your body affect the choices you make about what to wear? When is dressing up a body positive action, and when does trying to dress a certain way contribute to negative feelings about our bodies?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Body Positive New Year Challenge

I was reading and came across a post about New Year's resolutions to start dieting. The blogger pointed out that many of us also set New Year's resolutions to love our bodies for what they are and to enjoy our various curves and appetites. I took notes from the comments on that post with suggestions about how to set and keep such a resolution.

Now, I'm going to do it! Body positivity is an essential element in sex-positivity. Learning to love and listen to our bodies is intricately related to our embracing of a healthy sexuality, though different and separate in many ways. As I document my progress in this body positive challenge through a series of posts on this blog, I hope to explore that connection between body image and sexual health.

For now, here's an outline of my definition of this challenge:

• Every day, do one thing that supports a positive connection to my body.
• What I do each day must be unique, although I expect patterns to develop and similarities to be clear.
• What I do each day must be something active and/or interactive -- simply having a thought or feeling will not suffice.

My personal goals are to experience less physical pain, develop healthier habits, and have more energy. On the blog, I hope this challenge provides me with an opportunity to explore different ways we can initiate promoting body positivity and sex positivity in our individual lives and to open a discussion of the benefits and challenges of embarking on this process.

If you have any ideas about actions or steps that I can take as part of this challenge, please post a comment!