I was in the dentist chair the other day, swimming in the warm waters of Nitrious. If you follow this blog, you know dental visits are far from my favorite thing. The assistant warned me there was going to be a loud noise, and the grinding from a machine on the other side of the room started. Blame it on the “juice,” but I began to do a little dance to what I heard as music.
My dentist began to chuckle. It reminded her of a machine a friend had in their barn as a kid. It was one of those vintage belt machines that would vibrate the pounds away. (Now that I’m off the nitrious, I’m wondering why my dance reminded her of that. I’ll try not to think about it too much.)
This began a conversation about weight loss. The dentist’s father apparently used to buy her mom every quick fix weight loss gadget on TV. Both the dentist and assistant began to chuckle.
I, however, was horrified. How is it that I still end up in the middle of a conversation about weight loss? Even in the middle of getting a filling?
This, my friends, is an example why it is so hard to start the journey of body positivity. It’s not just about battling the advertisements and the media. We have to wade through the comments and stories from our friends, family, acquaintances, and even dentists. Everything reminds us that losing weight is perceived as the primary focus for most people. It is truly a constant, the reminder that our society is singularly focused on the outward appearance being the only true indicator of health.
As hard as all this makes it to start the journey, it also makes it hard to stay on the path. We are surrounded by people and messages that tell us that if we change how we look our lives will be transformed. We will be loved. We will be successful. We will be perfect.
Of course, anyone who takes an objective look at life will know this is total bullshit. I’m happy to lend my voice, no matter how small, to the movement fighting these unhealthy messages. This is a great time in our society, when so many advocates are standing up against marketing strategies companies use to line their pockets with our dissatisfaction.
No matter whether you are strapped to a dental chair, or stuck at a table in the middle of a conversation about weight loss, remember you still have a choice. We may have to be around society’s messages, but we don’t have to believe them. We don’t have to take them to heart. We certainly don’t have to live them.
Rock on, brothers and sisters. You are perfect the way you are. You are successful at whatever you believe in. You are loved.