Leader: Yes. Jane: Does that happen in small groups as well as larger ones -- amongst -- uh, intimate family and social relationships? Betty: With a small group of good friends that I've known for some time, I don't have that feeling, but in a classroom or with my family groups, when we have relatives in, or just a gathering of family friends, I stick in the background. Leader: You have to feel pretty strongly supported by a small group of people before you feel free to be yourself. All bodies are perfect as they are. This idea is foundational in the mainstream body positivity movement. The message is, succinctly, Don't change your body. Change the culture. When I first considered top surgery, I was concerned that people who read my articles, heard me speak, or looked to me as a leader in the body positivity movement would feel betrayed. What if they think I am a hypocrite? After all, I'd spent my life campaigning for self-acceptance and body acceptance. Here I was, apparently, not accepting my body. That's not entirely accurate. My personal and professional work in the body positivity movement did help me build up and achieve some measure of body acceptance. If anxious thoughts continue to keep you awake after you've tried implementing these tips, no worries; SLEEP AND THOUGHTS: Yesterday, you learned about the power of thoughts to impact your emotions. No surprise, they can also impact your ability to change your habits--including sleep. Some people hold beliefs around this that get in their way, like Sleep is an expendable resource or Successful people don't need a lot of sleep. As you go through the program, you'll learn tools for challenging those beliefs, but for now, it's helpful just to become aware of any beliefs that might be preventing you from fully utilizing today's skill. If You Have Difficulty Staying Asleep

For those nights when you wake up in the middle of the night, be mindful of what you did right before bedtime, and look for the culprit. Did you eat something different? Did you watch a dramatic television show? Did you have a glass of wine or smoke a cigarette right before bed? Laura: Laura. Leader: Laura, that's right. Kay: I think the thing I've got to work out is an acceptance of my personal situation. I've accepted it mentally and I see that I have several choices in what to do, but I want to accept them emotionally as well. This is probably due to the fact that I -- my husband was killed about two years ago in a very tragic sort of way. His plane went down in the Pacific. No one was saved. It was after the war was over and he was about ready to come home. And while I can see how it happened, I still don't accept it, and I want just the emotional acceptance of my life from here on. Leader: You've been able to work out something of an intellectual or rational understanding of the situation and what you should do, but you haven't yet been able to bring your feelings around to where they are, say, under control. Before my surgery, I could accept my body as a perfectly fine and even attractive body. I appreciated how my body functioned. I reveled in having all parts of my body touched--even and especially the breasts that looked so foreign to me. Yet, despite the relative state of body positivity I had achieved, there was no mirror that reflected my true self back to me. My body-positive gaze required conceptual gymnastics. Yes, that is indeed a fine body reflected in the mirror.

It just isn't mine. Given my leadership position in the body positivity community, I worried that other people would find it deeply ironic and even presume me untrustworthy when they learned that I struggled to belong not just among other people, but within my own body. Yet, my struggles, first for body acceptance and later for body liberation and belonging, are actually the source of my insight. My professional training, my time as a professor, and my lived experience of struggling to belong and be myself are the reasons I can offer tools and resources to help you belong in your body, too. All of those things can lead to an unsettled sleep. If a dream wakes you, try to remember as much of the dream as you can as soon as you wake up. Try to place yourself immediately back in the dream--as if you're the star of a movie and you're calling yourself back to the set for the next scene. This can help you fall back to sleep. Staring at the clock is counterproductive. It will only keep you awake, worrying that you won't get enough sleep. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it may also wake you up to go to the bathroom, drink water, and then go to the bathroom again. Doing so could lead to indigestion and an overall rocky night's sleep. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to get a drink or go to the bathroom, use only enough light so that you don't crash into anything. If you get up to read on an electronic device, use the nighttime setting or lower the brightness. Kay: If I'm walking down the street and I look into a shop window, perhaps see an article of clothing he would have liked, it throws me completely and I --. Leader: Find all these emotions welling back up. Kay: That's right. Maybe the odor of tobacco that he used, something of that sort; Mary: I have difficulty controlling my emotions, too -- feelings. Leader: Some similarity there.

Jane (to Kay): Did you have a happy relationship with him? Kay: Yes, I had a perfect relationship with him, one of the kind where each went 90 per cent of the way and it adds up to 50 per cent. And one of the things I think helped to do that: We had to depend on each other, because we lived a long time in a foreign country. We had no outside forces and we depended entirely upon each other. Body alteration has been liberating for me, letting me feel more at home in my skin. It wasn't a rejection of my body; Surgery was part of a freeing transition to body liberation. Now, I am more comfortable in my body, which means I can more often be my authentic self and am more accurately seen by others. All of this leads to greater intimacy and joy. I've dismissed the idea, which I used to promote, that we should never seek to change our bodies. I've stopped saying, This is the body you have, embrace it. Instead, I share a more liberating message: All bodies deserve respect and care. Respect and care take on different meaning for each of us. Too many of us feel alienated from our bodies. Bright lights may bring you fully awake and make it more difficult to get back to sleep. WHEN SLEEP PROBLEMS WON'T GO AWAY: Sometimes difficulties with sleep are caused by hormonal shifts or a sleep disorder that should be treated by your physician. Always discuss your concerns about your sleep with your doctor, particularly if you are falling asleep spontaneously during the day, have been told you snore or seem to be gasping for air when you sleep, if you awaken yourself or your partner by kicking your arms or legs, or repeatedly suffer from a restless feeling in your body at night. If you awaken not feeling refreshed, a hormonal imbalance or a more significant sleep disorder might need the attention of a physician or sleep expert. Making even one of these simple changes can yield big results. Start tonight, and within a few days, you're likely to see some pretty drastic improvement in how you feel and how you respond to stress.

What do you have to lose other than your exhaustion? My Plan for Sleeping Smart I choose to work on this skill because: The sleep-smart skills I will practice tonight are: Leader: You had a very warm relationship. He was almost your whole life. Kay: I had known him all my life, and I had not -- we didn't marry when we were very young; And I think it wasn't so much that 1 loved him, as that I was so secure in his love for me. Well, that was the greatest thing about it, you see. And I did love him, and I learned to appreciate him more and more. Jane: Did you -- were you ever insecure about people loving you before? Kay: Yes, I've never been very secure with anybody, my parents were divorced, I never had anybody who was all mine. Leader: You really found it in him, didn't you? And not only -- I recognized it and then I worked at it. This isn't your personal failing; It's not easy to experience personal body liberation in a culture where so many bodies are actively excluded and subject to stigma and discrimination; Not coincidentally, this alienation and lack of belonging--within myself and in every social space I occupied--was the beginning of my eating disorder and substance abuse, fueling a range of maladaptive behaviors that challenge me to this day. Being othered, and the body shame spurred by this separation from others, is not just a feeling. Being erased and devalued creates structural and material realities that make it harder to regulate our emotions, and influences our relationships, our health and longevity, our finances, our ability to realize dreams, and ultimately whether or not we will be accepted, loved, or even safe. Our pain gets internalized, wreaking havoc on our survival system and making us more vulnerable to a range of ills: learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lung disease, compromised immune systems, digestive disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, liver disease, and early death, as well as sexually transmitted infections, financial stress, poor academic and work performance, and insomnia, to name a few.