The Wisdom of Lizzo: Lessons on Loving Our Bodies

If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic migraines, you know that sometimes the painful, and often long-lasting symptoms can leave you feeling frustrated with yourself, your body, your doctors, and the people in your life. Sustaining a sense of self-love might feel out of reach when your own body seems to be fighting you. Enter Lizzo, queen of all things body positivity.

Lizzo is far more than just a talented musician. She is an inspiration for people whose bodies fall outside the mainstream notion of “perfect.” Instead, she teaches us to celebrate the imperfect, and to cherish our perceived flaws as unique ingredients of our identities.

“I love creating shapes with my body, and I love normalizing the dimples in my butt or the lumps in my thighs or my back fat or my stretch marks. I love normalizing my black-ass elbows. I think it’s beautiful.”

The depth of Lizzo’s self-appreciation is apparent in this quote given to Essence. In the same way Lizzo advocates for unconditional acceptance of her body, those suffering from chronic migraines can reframe their own perception of the condition.

Migraines can last for hours, or even days, triggered by anything from weather changes to a bad night’s sleep. As a result, there may be times when you feel as though you’re unable to offer, help, or work at the level you think is expected of you. Especially if you experience intense migraine symptoms, like nausea, dizziness, or sensitivity to light, it can be challenging to see beyond the pain.

When you don’t have the energy, or ability, to be as productive as you want to be, knowing your limits and setting boundaries can shift the focus from “what you can’t do right now” into “what you can do for yourself right now.” Learning how to minimize your pain, rather than pushing through it, can help resolve some of the negative self-talk migraine sufferers often endure.

Do you ever feel like you’ve outspent your self-care budget, simply because you had to take time off work due to your migraine? As Lizzo told NBC News:

“Self-care is really rooted in self-preservation, just like self-love is rooted in honesty. We have to start being more honest with what we need, and what we deserve, and start serving that to ourselves.”

The difference between self-health care (taking time off of work) and self-love (not blaming yourself for needing that time off) is the conscious effort to say “yes” to what you need most. A quiet, dark room might be what you need, and unapologetically asking for that space and time can be part of your self-care practice. Reframing how you perceive your own needs during your migraine, and being honest with those around you about what you are experiencing may be just what Lizzo ordered.

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