Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Body Positive

Did you know the body positive movement has been around since 1997, and there was a fat acceptance movement in the 60’s? I didn’t.  I learned about the movement well after being diagnosed with Lipedema in 2007.

It was actually only a few years ago when I joined a couple body positive support groups on facebook that I really began to understand the movement. One group was for fashion, and the other two were for fitness. All of these groups had one thing in common; they were filled with people like me, posting pictures of themselves in a very loving way.

At the time I just lurked. I wanted to find out where these people shopped. I wanted to see what other bodies my size were doing for fitness.

They had rules, too, no weight loss talk, period. They were perfect as is, in that very moment.

It really got me thinking about my body, my Lipedema body, how I saw it, and how I wanted to see it.

I knew what I did for my body, all the effort I put in to make it as strong and healthy as possible, and I knew if others looked at me, they would have no idea what I did for it, how I cared for it. 

I decided that I had to start showing others what I did, not only to explain what I was doing to my Lipedema Fitness support group members, but also so others could see my body doing fitness.

I had been training with my CrossFit coach and mates in the park for several years, but I started taking pictures and videos of what I was doing and where I was doing it. I posted those pictures and videos on the Lipedema Fitness support group first. Then eventually I started posting them on the body positive support groups, too.

I was blown away by the positive responses. The comments of inspiration and how they were trying the movements and modifications my coach was so good at coming up with.

One day, back in January, a member of one of those body positive fitness groups (Kristen Pednaud) commented on a video I posted (it was of me finally being able to lift a heavy bag from a squat position). Her comment was “OMG you’re a warrior” and then a few moments later she posted this cartoon image (that she drew of me) saying “I hope you don’t mind”.

Mind? It was amazing. I was in tears. 
Others commented on how our interaction with each other made them cry, and how much they would love to see the image (and others like it) on workout t-shirts and in gyms.

I looked at this piece of art she created of me and I felt like one of the Incredibles (no capes). She made me feel incredible. I literally drove around for days thinking someone turned me into a piece of art. She told me I looked like a super hero or a Viking and she had to draw it.

HOW COOL IS THAT!!! I took the video to see my form, to see where I can improve it, to share the movement with others, to show them a visual of what I do, to help explain it, and someone else got inspired to make art. I love that.

Kathryn Lynn Hack is an artist, a fellow Lipedema sister, and one heck of a dancer. She saw a picture I took of my shadow last year and she turned it into art. She took photos that my husband (Bob Cornute) took of me for her class, and she turned them into spectacular pieces of art. Art that I look at, and smile at, and truly love.

Kathryn has a gift. A way of showing us what she sees in us, and the more we see ourselves like others do, the more self-love we will create. You can check out her art on her Etsy page.

I so wish I was going to the FDRS Conference this year, and attending Kathryn’s session (Honoring our Bodies through Art), I cannot wait to see what everyone creates.

In the words of the incredible Peter Gabriel…
     In your eyes, I am complete.