Sweaters and Stress: Remaining Body Positive in the Fall

Oct 21, 2020

Dec 12, 2020

So, we made it through another summer. Another summer typically filled with diet culture, body shaming, and myths around who’s bodies can even go to the beach (argh!) that need to be actively combated with acceptance and body positive rhetoric.

But hey, we are safe now right? Wrong! Body positivity is a constant process and ALWAYS needed, since the societal pressures that have created our current views on food and bodies don’t shut down when the weather starts to get cooler. This article is going to touch on some aspects of particularly October (spooky month!) that are important for body positive advocates to keep in mind, as well as some triggers that we can prepare to squash (Get it? Gourd? Pumpkin? Squash?)

1. Sweater weather: It can seem easier to be “at peace” with our bodies in the fall, when the temperatures start to be conducive to layering and ultimately covering our bodies for protection. It’s important to remember that just because folks aren’t necessarily putting their skin on display, doesn’t mean that any of the worries/fears/anxieties/issues that we all face to an extent around loving our bodies go away. In fact, the necessity of more clothing can be hard for folks who are on their body positive journeys, as it allows oneself to not necessarily be actively body positive everyday. What is there to be positive about when no one can see your body? SO MANY THINGS. Putting on a sweater is a perfect time to continue to find a home in your body, to reinforce positive mantras, to move in ways that feel good (bonus for cozy), and to show your body extra love!

2. Fall activities: have you ever thought about how many of the popular “fall activities” have to do with food? From apple picking to sweet fall treats (looking at you apple cider donuts), many folks who are repairing their relationship with food may find participating in these activities very difficult. Remember to never (never!) use rhetoric on an outing like that around needing to “work off this (insert fall food)” or shaming someone for enjoying a sweet treat, and to check in on your friends who you know may be finding this month particularly difficult.

3. Movement: with this shift in weather will come a shift in possible movement activities, especially certain sports or outdoor fun that can’t be done in the rain/snow. For many (including me!), moving outside is a huge part of my body positivity journey, and the idea that I may not be able to do that quite as often is daunting. Thankfully, body positive indoor movement spaces like Clarity exist, where we can encourage folks to find alternative movements that feel nourishing and fulfilling while they can’t necessarily move in the same ways they have been. Go easy on yourself in this time of transition, and be mindful of the community of body positive people you've hopefully cultivated around you. Tap into those resources to help move your movement!

4. Upcoming holidays: we all know what comes after Halloween: Thanksgiving. And then Christmas/New Years. Two HUGELY triggering and difficult times to maintain a good relationship with your body. I’ll be writing separate blog posts as these holidays inch closer, but this is your pre-seasonal reminder that consuming food is not a bad thing: it is survival and life. Being around family and friends for some during these holidays can be intense, especially with the sorts of diet and body shaming rhetoric around which many grew up. Let’s be aware heading into the out-of-the-ordinary food routines (that are wonderful, normal, human, and enough!), family get togethers (some of which we know are more daunting than others), and others’ New Year’s body resolutions (don’t even get us started) of how we are talking about food and bodies, and what ways we can prop each other up rather than tear each other down.

For all of the above and more, we here at Clarity feel so grateful to be able to support our family of members. We will always be here to remind you to move in ways that feel good, to work on loving and being in your body, and to pick you up when you stumble. Let’s have a lovely fall, and continue to change the world!!

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Sara Kass

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