Monday, 5 December 2011


If I let myself, I may start to believe that the magazine cover girls (whose photos are air-brushed and trimmed in, mind you!) are the norm and that the rest of us are somehow deeply flawed. What I get then is the soundtrack of "I hate myself" or "I hate what I see in the mirror" playing over and over again in my head, fuelling my endless dieting cycles and painful frustration.

If I am to have any measure of success, it is crucial that I permanently press stop on that soundtrack and work to genuinely accept my size and, by extension, myself. For someone who has been listening to this self-disgust soundtrack forever, size acceptance is pretty scary. Does accepting yourself the way you are imply that change may be impossible? 

What I am trying to say is that; denial is not acceptance. Rather, self-acceptance means adopting a NON-JUDGEMENTAL STANCE toward yourself. It's the ability to see things as they are in the moment without harmful, self-critical voices interrupting your view of yourself.  Self-acceptance is instrumental to reaching your healthy, natural weight. Size-acceptance means focusing on the things you like about yourself while working to modify what you don't like.
This process is at the core of the dialectic of CHANGE/ACCEPTANCE. If I get back to a DBT skill of weighing up the PRO'S and CON'S of tolerating distress, I must ask; "How well has not liking myself worked so far?"  The truth is, it hasn't. In fact, if I dislike my body, it's that much easier for me to abuse it.

If I try to apply this to my own life and situation, I feel less able to be as practical as is needed to fully commit to this. Maybe the skill TURNING THE MIND might be of use here as I prepare myself for acceptance of my body. I must turn my mind towards accepting the reality that my natural weight and size are not what I feel they should be. I am not part of the 5% of women who are long, lean and have model measurements. Therefore I must commit to choosing that my reality is that I have hips and broad shoulders which are all part of being a woman.

I am not happy with my legs, they are riddled with varicose veins and often retain water. That is a fact. Starving myself is not going to change it. So for today, I am making a commitment to RADICALY ACCEPT that these things are part of me, I may not like them, nor say that I am happy about them, but they are there.


  1. When I first was told to "radically accept" a part of myself, I pretty much broke out in a fit of swearing saying this and that about how the hell is that helpful.
    I don't think I was ready for DBT at that point, despite being offered it in an in patient setting.
    I just couldn't grasp it.
    I now know that it was how it was being given to me.
    I use DBT skills without realising, the woman I love does, and the women I work with professionally who are in recovery use them.
    It is about examples and understanding.
    Anyone can give you a skill, but how you have articulated this will help many many people understand it rather than by just being told to "radically accept." <3

  2. Sia, remember that the patient cannot fail DBT, only the therapist can! Exactly! That is the whole reason I started this blog. The example I have been given are too detached from my life to use!
    I struggle so much with the notion that I am expected to just ACCEPT all the bad things that have happened to me. That is why I am not trying to accept them just yet. Start slow, that is what we were told. I even found myself accepting that it was raining today, I couldn't change it, nor was I overtly happy that my make up was running down my face, but once I embraced acceptance, i noticed a wee sigh of relief escape my mouth. xxx