Guestpost #64: Liz Jukovsky – Ten things I’ve learned from accepting my body

Bio: Liz is a repeat poster. Yay! Liz Jukovsky is an improviser, comedian, writer, and actor from Boston, Massachusetts. She studied Anthropology at the University of Toronto and has lived in Toronto for five years. You can find her profile and upcoming improv shows at http://www.impatient.ca/people/liz-jukovsky/ or check out her twitter @Eljukjuk.

  1. Acceptance doesn’t mean complacency. I used to go through phases of what I thought was acceptance – it was actually me sitting on my ass, bingeing on whole boxes of cereal, and telling myself “what’s the point of exercising or being active, I’ll always be ‘fat’.” Take it easy on yourself and trust that with a little motivation (not guilt) you can get on track again. If you’re not the gym type, just find something to get you out of the house.
  2. Acceptance does mean compassion. Nowadays, I still probably don’t participate in enough physical activity and I could still eat a whole lot better. But I know these are things I need to improve and I’m taking steps towards doing so. I don’t buy cereal  anymore and I certainly don’t think of my body as some sort of burden or lost cause. The less I beat myself up, the easier it is for me to get over the fact that I haven’t gone to the gym in months, the sooner I get back on the wagon, and the less likely I’ll be to expect failure based on previous lows.
  3. Acceptance isn’t enough. Love should be the goal. And I’m saying that as someone who hasn’t reached it yet.
  4. Go to the gym, if not for the workout, at least for the locker room experience. You will see literally every body type imaginable there.  And the women you might envy for their “perfect” bodies, you’ll discover, have “imperfections” of their own ranging from giant/small nipples, to pancake/floppy/tiny boobs, to back fat, to flabby ass, to cellulite, to spider veins, to knobby knees. Give yourself bonus points for finding crazy birthmarks that look like countries.
  5. Realize that there is either a wide majority or a sizeable minority that totes wants your bod. Plenty of folks are brain-washed into wanting the ideal of mainstream beauty, but many who have a “type” end up falling in love or lust with someone who doesn’t fit their original criteria. And anyone who wants nothing more than a Megan Fox look-alike is proooobably a dick anyway (let’s be real).
  6. More of a do-it-yourself addendum to 5: Enter the most accurate classification for your body type into google + “xxx” — see how many people want to do dirty, dirty things to you??!
  7. The plus size fashion industry shouldn’t exist. The women I know who are size 14 aren’t  “plus size” in industry’s sense of the word. They’re actually average or just a bit heavier than average. The segregation of size 14+ from sizes 1-12 makes healthy women who happen to fall into the former category feel as though they are abnormal or inferior. Although I appreciate seeing plus sized mannequins on display at plus stores like Penningtons and plus department store sections, I think abolishing those categories and integrating the displays would send a way more positive message to women sizes 14 and up (“look, you’re not a leper! you don’t have to hide in the back of the store behind the sale items!”).
  8. The naked human body was designed to arouse. So what if you have a belly or arm fat? Don’t underestimate the biological appeal of breasts, buttocks, and genitals (of every shape and size). Your fat/boney/flabby/hairy ass will make you irresistible! It is science’s will! Or God’s will, if you’re into that!
  9. Trying to change your body drastically always ends in either physical or emotional damage. Anorexics have heart trouble, bulemics get stomach ulcers, extreme dieters gain the weight back and then some, smokers stay skinny for a while but end up ruining their cardiovascular systems and thus their ability to exercise efficiently (plus they smell bad and have stained teeth…).
  10. Media is only as much of an influence as you make it. Magazines and television do have a big effect on modern beauty standards, but every norm has dissenting forces. The internet is a positive influence in this regard: blogs like thebodypositive.org and feminist entertainment sites like jezebel.com are a good way to escape the often body-negative messages of the mainstream. That said, I have an unhealthy love for tv and enjoy the occasional fashion mag. I think one can watch as much tv and read as many mags as one wants, as long as one remains critical and balances their consumption with other positive influences. Go have a drink with friends that make you feel good, flirt or dance with someone cute, go for a picnic, read a book in a park. Have fun & be sexy. It’s a lot easier than Cosmo would have you believe.

2 Comments

Filed under tenthingsivelearned, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Guestpost #64: Liz Jukovsky – Ten things I’ve learned from accepting my body

  1. LOVE all of this. Plus size? Get a grip.

    I’m fighting menopause, severe arthritis and weight gain that has nothing to do with consuming cream pies or potato chips — but a metabolism thumbing its nose at me and a hip so painful I can barely move half the time. Don’t ever judge someone’s size when you have no idea what their issues are in fighting it!

  2. Melissa

    I love my country shaped birthmark!

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