"Feel the feels, know that it is a finite length of time. Don't let the brain weasels win. – Gretchen Kappel."
Yesterday fucking sucked.
I'm pretty open about the fact that I often have "bad body days" (and even mentioned it in this article) because I never want you to assume that body activists have it all figured out/never feel the effects of our fucked up society. We do. And we do hard. Sometimes, if we're lucky it's a simple "Aw shit, today is sucky" but other days it's a complicated "I don't think I can ever get out of bed again" kind of feel. Yesterday was the latter.
It was debilitating. I didn't want to look in the mirror. I didn't want to get dressed because what's the point? I didn't want to eat food because it's "only gonna make me fatter." I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that my boyfriend thinks I'm sexy with me no matter how many times he reminded me that I was a "babehammer." I just couldn't shake the hate, even though my brain knew that it was bullshit. I wanted to cry but I was so angry that it was happening, I couldn't. Y'know those days? Of course you do.
So, as I often do when the world becomes too much, I took it to my friends and posted something on my Facebook that went like this:
"Woah. Today is a TOTAL can't-move-without-hating-myself-feeling-panicky-WTFisgoingon-theres-no-way-anyone-could-love-this BAD BODY DAY. Body activists- what do you do when you know all the things and do all the things and STILL have horrible body days? Needing some inspiration here."
And, because I'm surrounded by incredible humans who understand, the thread filled with incredible suggestions from activists of all kinds. I want to share them here because they're as diverse as they come + we all have these days + maybe one will speak to you:
"Honestly, I pout around feeling sorry for myself, beating up on myself because I'm 'supposed' to know better and I'm letting down everyone who looks to me as an example. Then I change my profile pic on FB to something I love and try to remember that I'll feel the way I feel in that pic sometime again. Or I change it to my zombie pic, cuz on that day, no one gave a F whether I was beautiful or not, including me." –Tigress Osborn
"Feel the feels, know that it is a finite length of time. Don't let the brain weasels win. –Gretchen Kappel
"As someone who has these days on the regular still, I remind myself that my body is but a vehicle for my awesome brain and winning personality. Or I put on my super Mandy cape and fly around for a bit. Fly, Super-Jes, fly!"- Mandy Anderson
"I always turn on my favorite music as loud as I can without the police being called and get my dance on.....That always puts me back in bad ass chick mode!....A little 90's Hip Hop & R&B does wonders for me! Some Tupac, Biggie, Mary J Blige, Missy Elliott....... Yeah I'm good!" – Kymberly Nichole
"I take a walk. Simple, right? But being outside forces me to breathe and focus on at least getting where I'm going, if not the beautiful things I can see outdoors if I try. It gives me a break from the self talk for a minute. Then I can try and refocus." – Jennifer Chambers
"Put on your favorite swimsuit and take fun selfies. Make a list of all the amazing things your body has done or experienced. Take more selfies." – Rachel Wiley
"Honestly I don't know. I have the same days and then I feel guilty because of what I do and knowing I should be figuring it out. I wish I could say I go take a bath and sit in the forest and listen for guidance but um…I just lay on the couch and watch House and avoid mirrors instead. All I can say is that I understand and have been there and the days do go away." – Amanda Trusty
"I spend the day naked, preferably with a partner who loves me. I let it feel terrible. I cry. And I remember that tomorrow is a new day. And above all, I remind myself not to beat myself up over having a bad body image day *and* being a body activist. I remind myself that this is exactly why I do what I do." – Melissa Fabello
"Remember everyone feels this way. Then I focus on what I can love about myself in that moment - and then go do something that scares the hell out of me. – Julia Sullivan
"I get righteously angry at the misogynistic culture and refuse to give any fucks. I remind myself that I'm tripping and that the walls aren't really melting. I go for a bike ride or do yoga or go to a movie or anything to distract myself from my mind." – Jeniffer Zimmerman
"I sit in it. I feel the feelings for what they are. Anger. Sadness. Frustration. All of it. If I can't feel it I can't figure out where it's stemming from. Once I know WHERE it's stemming from I can either decide to stay there forever, do something about WHATEVER it is that's eating at me, OR eat ice cream, cry about it, sit in my bathtub, and realize tomorrow is another day, but today I get to feel sad. I think as body posi activists we think we're never supposed to have bad body days. I certainly feel that way. But it happens. And sometimes ya just gotta lay in bed with the chubby hubby and just let it be. Don't let it swallow you, just let it be." – Adiba Nelson
"No fixin'. Make some space, say no to something. Allow the feels. Remember all of it comes from wisdom, somehow." – Hilary Kinavey
"Movement. Gets the endorphins going, gets me out of my head and into the world. Doesn't fix everything but it never fails to help."- Stacy Bias
"You love her too. The one who hates her body, love her too." – Sonya Renee Taylor
Blessed be the body love gods for giving me such a stellar support system.
I ended up having lunch with the boy (and forcing myself to get dressed like a babe), re-reading these tips, texting with my besties, watching Netflix (Elementary, anyone?), having super hot sex, and taking giant garbage bags to my house so I could de-clutter and make space for the new.
I also creeped on body positive babes that reminded me that it is possible to love yourself for yourself.
And now I'd like to know: What do YOU do when you have a beyond shitty bad body day? Leave your suggestions in the comments below (the FB ones disappear after a while) so whomever finds this later has even more resources to use.
Looking forward to hearing them so I can put them in my pocket for next time. Because, y'know, there will be a next time.