Why The Body Acceptance Movement is Good For Your Business

07.04.18 04:08 AM By Rachel Klaver

I’m distinctly round. I’m sizably less than I was 12 months ago, but there is no getting aROUND it - I’m definitely of the more curvier variety of body. Despite the changed eating habits and lifestyle, it’s likely, unless I get “the op” I’ll always have a struggle with size in some way. Here’s the thing.Besides the fact I care about my health, and make sure I look after what I eat and how I move, I don’t spend a huge amount of time thinking about my size. I accept myself now today, and whoever I’m going to be tomorrow. I used to be crippled with fear about people accepting me. I’m fairly confident that, along with a body who really should never had carbs, is how I got to this point in the first place. But through a lot of hard work, and learning to listen to myself, and my own anxiety, learning to accept the cool stuff about me, I’ve learned I’m not defined by my body size.I’m defined by my mind and my heart. And what they have to contribute to my family, my friends, my team, my clients and anyone who chooses to read my thoughts. I believe Body Acceptance is a must have for ourselves, and our communitiesThere is a sector of people who often decry the #body acceptance movement as something that encourages people to just scoff more cream doughnuts and chips. But for me, the body acceptance movement is about people being comfortable in their own skin, and letting their personality shine out.People who oppose it generally I’ve observed) are either other previously fat people who still hate their bodies, or people who don’t put on 5 kilos simply passing a bakery.  These are people who do not understand the positive value of us loving the person we are - right now. For me, the more I’ve accepted my body for the now, the more I’ve changed my eating and exercise habits. Acceptance helps you create improvements for the now, instead of being fixated on what you’d do when things are “perfect”I’m in charge of sales at Identify. Imagine how awful I’d be if, at every new interaction I had to push back a tide of doubt around how I’d be judged as a fat person? (And yes, I did once have that issue, and yes, there have been times where I certainly have been judged. It’s a particularly hard thing for women who are expected to be beautiful - and beauty and thinness often goes hand and hand in perception)When I walk into a meeting, or onto a stage to speak, or take that opportunity to do a TV spot, my thoughts are about the value I’m going to add to the moment - not about how I look. Perhaps I’m slacker than most - At 46 I now rarely wear makeup, and I’ve cut my hair shorter to reduce time to get ready in the morning. I love myself a dress, but want to move quickly and comfortably so my feet are often in sneakers or flat shoes. And yes - maybe I don’t get the gig because someone has judged my ability from my size - but I’d consider that a limitation on their side, rather than mine. My brain certainly runs faster than my body does :D. If they can’t see behind their own lens, it’s not actually my problem. It’s theirs. But it isn’t just about me, and where I am in my own journeyWhen looking at the body confidence movement, I don’t just see the impact for one person.I see the impact across businesses world wide.Imagine having a team where people are spending their time understanding their value, without spending time worried about how they look in a team photo, or how they look in jeans.Our body confidence impacts our effectiveness - not just for those of us in sales, but anyone who needs to interact with other people.If we do not accept ourselves, we’re impacted and our ability to take the risks we need to take to learn. We get stuck.A team member with a low acceptance of themselves, of who they are, can stem from a feeling of not being at peace with the body they are in.Even if they are a high achiever, it’s at a great personal cost - either anxiety on the inside that cripples and spills out the moment the person is threatened, or a fear of even trying to break through to the next level.In my team, I have zero tolerance for self shaming, negative self talk about the body that got them there that morning, or talks around self hatred.There is no time for that when there are wins to be made, new things to try, and work to develop.Each person, accepting themselves, makes a better team. And a better team is good for business.