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031: My Journey to Self-Acceptance as an SSBBW – Bex Bedford

Rebecca “Bex” Bedford is a self-acceptance champion, body positive activist, public speaker, and entrepreneur. In 2013, Bex started her vlog channel on YouTube, and it quickly gained traction garnering hundreds of thousands of views. In her videos, she speaks frankly about all facets of life as a person of extended size, her struggles, and triumphs with self love and self acceptance, and topical commentary on current events in the plus-size world. Her initial YouTube channel was named “Being an SSBBW” (Super Sized Big Beautiful Woman), yet Bex felt like the acronym no longer represented her message, but felt more exclusive, focusing too much on looks, size, and gender. In 2019, Bex made the leap to change her brand to Bex Bedford, which affords her the ability to just be herself, not bound by any one notion or group, allowing her to be her true authentic self.

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The journey of self-acceptance that Bex has been through.
  • How Bex responds to people making fun of her in public and online.
  • A bit about Bex’s dating experiences. 

Connect with Bex:

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Interview Transcript

Rebecca, thank you so much for taking the time to hang with me today.

Thank you for having me on. I’m really excited to be here.

I want to share with you from the very beginning that as we’re talking about some of these issues, they can obviously be sensitive in nature and as I am not the master of this language that you are probably a master of, I would just like to ask for your grace and for your forgiveness upfront if I say a word or a phrase that’s not helpful. Feel free to just point it out and let me know.

Okay. Alright, I will do that.

First of all, I know that an acronym that you use quite a bit is SSBBW. As I was doing some research about you, it was the first time that I had heard that acronym. For people who aren’t familiar with what that is, what does it mean and why would you use that term?

Many, many years ago when I was just starting to come out of my shell, I was trying to find people who were like me. I was trying to find a community of others like me and I was also trying to find a way to describe myself. So, as I was putting in keywords, I already knew BBW because that’s in pop culture. Drake did a song about BBW. I typed in BBW, which is “Big Beautiful Woman” and it came up with other words like that, and one that came up was  SSBBW, which means “Super-Sized Big Beautiful Woman”. And because I’m of extended size, I was just like, “Okay, that’s me.” So, when I’m describing myself to people or dating, I can be accurate in what it is that I’m describing. I’ve kind of adapted that to myself and when I first started to get into YouTube, it was the first word that popped into my brain. It’s not really a term that I like, but it is something that was helpful for me in the beginning when I was getting into this whole scene.

Tell us a little bit about your own journey of self-acceptance. I assume it began early in life because you’re still a pretty young person, but tell me a little bit about that journey.

I’ve struggled with weight my whole life but a big turning point for me was when I was about 18 or 19 years old. I went out to dinner with my sister and I was a little bit overweight at the time but at that age you’re just trying to figure out who you are and trying to find confidence in yourself and you’re discovering things about yourself. As I was sitting in the restaurant with my sister, there was a table of young college boys next to us and they spent probably 45 minutes making fun of me. It was just constant the entire time and I was devastated. I tried to put on a brave face but it got even worse when I stood up to go pay the bill. They were laughing so loudly and it had a huge effect on me.

After that it was slowly at first, but within two years I pretty much became a hermit. I found a job where I could work third shift away from other people. There was nobody else in the building but one other person and nobody had to see me. I bought a house away from my friends and family and I stopped talking to them. For a good eight years I was pretty much a hermit. The only time I would leave my house was to go do my job where nobody saw me. I wasted my entire twenties dealing with this and in those years, I also developed a food addiction because I really hated myself. I thought that I was just this sub-human, disgusting being and that nobody should have to lay their eyes on me.

The turning point for me came when I was out driving and I was about to run out of gas on the side of the road. Every gas station that I went to had people at it and I was so afraid of people seeing me, that I was willing to run out of gas. I’m sputtering because I couldn’t find that one gas station where nobody was out pumping gas, so that I can get gas myself. I just realized, “I can’t live this way. This isn’t living,” so I went to my doctor to ask for help.

I had previously gone to my doctor before about possibly getting weight loss surgery, but I was turned down twice because that was in the early days and I didn’t have anything wrong other than my size. I didn’t have high blood pressure or blood sugar or anything like that, so they kept turning me down. I finally tried again and they told me, “Okay, Rebecca, you still don’t have anything wrong with you, but if you go through six-months of therapy and you’re going to the doctor every single month and they both concur that you need weight loss surgery, we will give it to you. We’ll approve you.”

That was the insurance company? They were the one that was not approving you initially?

Right, it was insurance company that came with these requirements. They told me, “You have to do this in order for us to give you the go-ahead to get this surgery.” I was like, “Yes!” So, I talked to my doctor and I found a therapist and within the first two sessions it was really apparent with my therapist that there was a lot of stuff that I was not dealing with and I had some serious issues that I needed to work through. I definitely wasn’t a candidate for weight loss surgery. It took me awhile to speak the words, “I have a food addiction,” and recognize that for myself. It took me a while to acknowledge that that was a truth that I had to deal with.

When you say, “I wasn’t a candidate for weight loss surgery”, is that because you had a food addiction and that it was just going to turn into a relapse situation?

Yeah, and my therapist agreed that with the food addiction I probably would have botched the surgery. I could have hurt myself. Because when you have weight loss surgery, you can only eat a certain number of things and I was not mentally healthy enough to be able to follow the guidelines that would be necessary for weight loss surgery. I still had a lot of things to work at.

There were things that I had repressed and things that I didn’t want to speak out loud. I worked with her for a good four to five years and that’s a long time. It took me a good two and a half years of therapy for me to even be able to go grocery shopping in a store and to give myself permission to believe that I’m a valued human and to be able to go out and do this.

How did you do it before?

I had a food addiction and one of the things with food addictions is that you’re obsessive. I had this whole obsessive regime where I wouldn’t go in a store but I would get fast-food and food delivery. But it wouldn’t just be any kind of fast-food or food delivery, I had to know the employees who were working at each store so they wouldn’t see me multiple times in a week or too often. Or I couldn’t let the delivery guy see me too often. I had to know who was working and when. It’s funny, I had a food addiction and I gained so much weight, but there would be days and days where I wouldn’t eat anything because the circumstances had to be just right for me to be able to go get the food that I wanted.

And then when I did get the food, I kind of just sunk into this euphoria. It hit all those spots in my brain like, “Oh, yes.” So, there was definitely a behavior pattern that went along with the food addiction. I had to have things a certain way in order to be able to eat food and it took me a long time to be able to go in a grocery store and actually buy food that I could cook and make. It took me awhile because I started off going to the store really early in the morning when hardly anybody would be there and I could ease myself into it. It was probably a good ten years after the restaurant incident before I went to a restaurant again.

It was really extreme and it took me a long time to let people see who I really was. And although therapy helped me a lot and it helped me start to put myself out there, when my therapy ended and I moved, I still had a lot of work I had to do with myself. I still wasn’t there yet. And even though I was going out into the world a little bit more, I really had to continue to look within myself and get in touch with who I was and figure out what my truth was. Once I was able to do that, I was able to get to a really great place, but it was a lot of work. I was able to get to that place of, good or bad, I can love myself and accept myself as I am today. Not tomorrow or the future or the Rebecca a hundred pounds later, but knowing that I am worthy of love and kindness and respect. Knowing that I am able to live my life out loud, today. It took me awhile to get that through my head, but once it did, the entire world opened to me. And now I’m on this crazy journey where I’m talking to people about it.

That’s so amazing. As that began to happen to you and when you started to come to that realization, what were some of the shifts in your lifestyle? You said you were able to go out to the grocery store, but what are some other things that began to open up to you as possibilities?

I started to see my family and see my friends again. I allowed myself to start building relationships with people. I was so afraid to do that before because then there would be an expectation of me. If I was in a relationship or if I had friends and family, they would expect me to come do things with them or be there for them in ways that I couldn’t at that time. Another big shift was I started dating and that was a huge step for me to actually try to start dating considering I thought for so long that I was just this horrible, disgusting person. So, when I started gaining this confidence, I started dating. I was like, “Wow, this isn’t so bad.” I found out it wasn’t impossible for me to date and get into relationships and do all these things.

Another one was working a job that I was sincerely happy at and with a company who valued my work ethic and my skillset. I stayed in the other company for ten years because I was comfortable. I was very smart and I was driven and I wanted so much to say, “I want to be a supervisor. I want to go up in management.” But that meant I’d have to work during the day and be around people and that was just impossible for me to do at that time. I felt like I wasn’t valued as a person there. So, when I started going out into the world, I found a company that I absolutely loved and have been with them ever since. It’s a young company, they value my skillset and I’m in management now. So, there are all these little things but I’m also doing so many other things. Not only am I working in my day job, I do voiceover work and I do my YouTube channel as well. There’s so many things that I’m doing that I never would have thought eight years ago would have been possible. It’s pretty amazing.

I’m assuming you probably hear a lot of things, and probably the most common thing that someone who isn’t informed or educated or knows you might say, “Why don’t you just lose weight?” I’m sure you’ve heard that a bazillion times.

Oh, yeah, I get that a lot. I get a lot of hate and a lot of trolls on a daily basis.

Okay, we’ll talk about that in a minute, but when somebody says that to you, what goes through your mind?

Honestly, nothing now. Because, guess what? I am losing weight. It’s a process. From when I was at my biggest to now, I’ve lost a hundred pounds. I don’t sit there every day and obsess over it and say, “I’m on a weight loss plan,” or, “I need to get down to a certain size.” It’s just learning to deal with my food addiction and trying to learn how to have a good relationship with food and find that balance. It’s not going to be something that’s overnight. They don’t know my journey and they don’t understand that when they see me, and I understand that.

The old Rebecca would have been hurt and upset and wanting to hide away. Now, I just know that they don’t know who I am. I’ll tell them, “You don’t know what my journey is. I’ll get to where I want to get, when I want to get there.” That’s pretty much what it is. I’ll get to the size that I want to get to, when I want to get there, when it feels good to me and in my process. You don’t have to understand it or like it or agree with it, but my journey is my journey and your journey is your journey.

Of course, and even as you say that, I have heard or seen online some individuals that would not feel comfortable using the term “struggling with their weight.” They might say, “Hey, this is just who I am and I’m not looking to lose weight. Just because I’m a certain weight, doesn’t mean that I’m wrong or bad or different. I just am what I am.” But I hear from you that you’re wanting to lose weight. How does that play out for you? Obviously,  everybody’s on their own journey but why would you say that you want to lose weight, versus others who would say, “No, I’m good”?

It’s not that I want to lose weight. Like I said before, it’s not like I have a weight loss plan and a weight loss goal, it all comes down to health and how I feel. There are times where I may be feeling great in my body and in my skin and I’m moving great and things are going good for me and that’s great. But if I find that I’m not moving great or I’m not feeling good, I listen to my body and if that means it’s time, “Hey Rebecca, you need to sit down and look at what it is that you’re doing. How are you eating? How you are feeding your body? Why don’t you feel good?” Then I’ll make those adjustments to do that. And when you do that, you lose weight. When you’re feeling healthy, it’s just a natural bi-product.

So, it’s not something I have a goal to do, but for me because I’m not anybody else, I know that as I get older and carrying the amount of weight that I’m going to be carrying, it’s going to be harder on my joints. I know that eventually it’s going to be something that will hurt more. It’ll be more difficult and it’ll be something I’ll have to shift my gears a little bit more and focus a little bit more on. But it’s never about being uncomfortable with who I am or wanting to be thin or skinny or fit into anybody’s idea of what beauty is. For me, it’s always listening to my body and making sure my health is okay. Making sure that I’m moving and living a good, full life. And the moment I can’t do that, I have to make some adjustments.

What are some of challenges that you would experience that maybe I wouldn’t experience in the world?

Obviously, I’m a bigger size, so anywhere that I go I have to be conscious of seating and I have to be conscious of what my capabilities are for walking. Recently I was in Vegas and Vegas is a walking town. I had to be conscious of, “What are my capabilities? I can’t walk for ten miles like somebody else can, but how can I experience this in a way that would be good for me?” So, I looked at the maps where I was walking and made plans for myself, “Okay, I can sit there and rest and I can go there and relax.” I have to think about those things that maybe other people don’t have to think about.

When I fly, I have to think about how I fly because I want myself to be comfortable and I want other passengers to be comfortable as well. Thankfully Southwest is my preferred airline. There’s no plug here, but they have a customer size policy and they help you to get a second seat so that everybody is comfortable and I’m not invading anybody’s space. That’s something that I think about. I don’t want to invade anybody’s space, but I do want to be comfortable. I don’t expect the world to adapt to me, so I adapt to the world in the best way that I can.

I’m always think about seating like arms on chairs and I don’t want to go to a restaurant with wicker seating. I just want to make sure that everybody is comfortable including myself. Also, where I shop for clothing and stuff. It’s a little bit more difficult than say, normal sized people or straight sized people – I don’t know what the term is for that. You could probably go into any store and buy clothing for your size but typically for me, I have to do more online shopping. There are a few stores I can go in and shop for my clothing, but typically it’s online. So, just little things like that.

You talked a few minutes ago about haters or trolls online, and I would assume as you mentioned, they are just like the college students. My teenage kids and I were looking through your YouTube and Instagram comments last night and it’s just brutal what people say. Obviously, YouTube is known as a troll farm and it’s just horrible, but how do you deal with people who say things to you both online and in real life?

Yeah and Vegas was a prime example. I had people laughing at me and that’s fine for them. There was one time, I thought it was hysterical but other people might take offense to it. There was this big group of middle-aged Korean woman that came on a tour. They had English guides and everything and they were very shocked when they saw me and they wanted to take pictures with me. They weren’t being cruel but they just hadn’t seen someone my size before. It was very shocking to them. I thought it was funny and I understood the interest and the surprise of it. Some of my friends and family where horrified by it but I was like, “No, it’s nothing.”

You should have charged.

I probably should have put a sign up, “Photo Ops, five bucks a picture,” that type of thing. But when it comes to trolls, you’ll notice that I leave all the comments on all of my posts. I don’t block them. I don’t delete them and there’s a reason why. When I talk on my YouTube channel and I do these things, I talk about being able to be self-accepting. And in that self-accepting, there is a big thing about control. You are in control of your life. You are in control of the way you view life and your belief systems. At the end of your life, when you look back, it’s all you. So, when I realized that, I also understood that it was up to me on whether or not I was going to adapt somebody else’s ideology for myself. So, if somebody was going to call me a fat troll or a pig or tell me that I need to be slaughtered or whatever wonderful things that they tell me on a daily basis, I am in control in whether or not I’m going to accept that belief and bring it onto myself and adapt it to myself.

I leave those comments up so that I can show people that I have gone and done the work and that I have gotten to a place where I know so surely of who I am, both the good and the bad. Believe me, there are bad parts to myself too. I’m so aware of it that I know that any comment that somebody says to me, it doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t faze me because I’m too aware of who I am. And when I speak about it and I try to teach other people to go through that and get to that place too, I want to show them that, “Hey, you’re going to get hate. I get hate. You’re going to go through life, you’re going to get hate from your family, your friends, your partners, people online. There are going to be instances where that comes up and, in those moments,  it’s going to be the toughest. But it’s those moments where you’ve got to look inside yourself and you have to remember who you are and remember that you’re in control and be able to differentiate fact from fiction.”

We have this insane desire to be liked by everybody, especially nowadays in social media. There is this drive to have the most likes on Instagram and have the most followers and show this beautiful and perfect lifestyle, but that’s not real life. That’s fake life. That’s photoshopped life. I want to show people that this is real life and that these are things that you may have to contend with, but that you also have the power to move through it and smile at those people that are hating on you because you’re the only one that knows what’s going on in your life.

So, when those people say something to me, honestly, I feel kind of bad for them. If that’s the way that they’re spending their life, in hate and anger. I know that I don’t want to live my life that way and I know what I feel like when I’m angry and I’m hating; I feel bad that they’re going through their lives experiencing that too and then spreading it out in the world. Everybody is allowed their opinion. They can say whatever they want to say. I keep that up to show people that they do have a power to move through that.

That is such a powerful message. No matter who you are or what your external appearance is, we all need to know this. We all need to understand that we can accept ourselves and know that whatever negativity comes our way, it doesn’t have to define us. I had a metaphor that I used awhile back, “It doesn’t have to knock your glass over.” If I have a cup or a glass that’s full of me and my identity is inside and somebody bumps up against my glass and it tips over and spills me out everywhere and it knocks me out of whack. No, it doesn’t have to do that. I can stay upright. My identity is within me. It’s powerful.

To shift gears a little bit and feel free to say, “I’ll pass,” on any of these questions, but you talk about dating. Tell me about dating, because I know everybody is attracted to different people in different ways. Talk to me about dating as an SSBBW.

I’m very fortunate. I have a very active dating life and I have had ever since I’ve gotten out into the community. Obviously, as you know in the mainstream plus sized people are not very well received. I’ve dated a few guys and known quite a few guys who don’t publicly date big women even though they’re sexually attracted to them. I’ve come across both. People who love it and embrace it and they live out in the world. And there’s a lot of them, “No, I don’t want people to know that,” because there’s this stigma that if you like or are attracted to big women, there’s something wrong with you or you aren’t normal or you’re fetishizing everything. And there is a big fetish community in liking bigger sized women or men. I know that and I have seen that in my dating life. It’s been a bit of a learning curve.

There’s also just a whole bunch of normal guys that just like big women. I have dated CEO’s of companies and musicians and I’ve dated car repair men. Every spectrum that you could think of, I’ve been very fortunate enough to be able to date an interact with and most of them are still friends. So, honestly, there’s no shortage of men and women that are attracted to people of size. It’s just not talked about because it’s taboo. It’s thought of as gross and there’s that stigma attached to it.

There is plus sized dating sites out there that you can sign up for, and I did in the beginning but honestly my favorite dating website is a normal dating site, OkCupid. It’s a little bit more in-depth. I feel like you can talk a little bit more. It’s not so much a hookup site but it’s more of a dating site. And although it doesn’t specialize in people of size and it just has everybody on there, it’s still a really good site. So, as a person of size, I don’t have to go to the specialized websites. I can still go on normal sites and find normal, everyday guys in my area or around the world to date. I’ve been very fortunate actually.

Would you see yourself wanting to get married or have children someday? What do you envision for that aspect of your life? Your family is listening, by the way.

Believe me, my mom calls me on a daily basis, “When are you getting married? When are you having kids?” The thing is, when I look at relationships and when I think about partners and the different kind of relationship dynamics that I’ve had over the years, I can say for certain that I cannot go into any relationship with goals or expectations. When I meet that person that is going to light up my world, that’s something that we need to decide together. We may decide that we want a monogamous relationship and we might not want to have kids, but that’s something that we decide together. We may say we want to be poly or maybe we just don’t want to get married and we just want to live together. Whatever that is, it has to be something that we decide together, and it has to be something that feels right for the both of us.

I just feel like when you go into dating or you go into relationships and you’re expecting something, “I want to have kids. I want to have that house. I want to have this,” you’re going to end up picking the wrong person. I am totally okay with being with my cats and dating for the rest of my life and being single. I was hermit for eight years, believe me, being alone is perfectly fine with me. I’m okay with that. If I have to wait to build something with somebody that is somebody that I truly love and I connect with on every level that I’m searching for, I’m okay to wait. And if I have kids, I have kids. If I don’t, I don’t.

You can always have cats.

I love cats. I only have one, but it’s like the starter pack for the crazy cat lady. So, one day, maybe.

What’s its name?

It’s a her and her name is Kitty.

Oh my, goodness. You couldn’t have been more creative?

Technically it’s Psycho Kitty. She’s eighteen years old now, but when I first got her she would run around like a crazy cat and roll on her back and do these crazy things. I’m just like, “You’re psycho, kitty.” So, I called her Psycho for a long time and now it’s just Kitty.

I keep telling my family that I really want a hairless cat. We’ve never had a cat and my family says they don’t like cats; we have a dog. But I would love a hairless cat. I live in Southern California, so we go to the fancy mall and everybody brings their dog out on leashes. So, I’m thinking if I could have a hairless cat on a leash, I would be the coolest guy at this outlet mall.

Actually, you probably would get a lot of people stopping and staring.

Sure, and a lot of pictures. I’d be wanting to charge for pictures then. I’d have a lineup of Korean tourists.

I’m sure. I wonder what that would feel like to pet a hairless cat.

I don’t know, but I’d like to do it.

Talk to me about people struggling with self-acceptance. Whether it’s because of their outward appearance; you’re talking about weight, but there are so many things in our culture, whether it’s a disability or something else, people might feel like they’re struggling with self-acceptance. I struggle with self-acceptance and I would be considered just an average person. What would you say to people who are struggling with self-acceptance?

That’s a really good question because when I talk about self-acceptance, I do speak about how it’s a human problem. It’s not just a weight problem. As you said, everybody goes through these moments in their lives where they don’t like their job or their car or their house or they don’t like the way that they interact with people. I mean, how many times have you had a conversation with somebody and you go home and you beat yourself up over it? You just feel like, “Ugh, why did I say that? Why did I do that?” So, what I always talk about and what I’ve touched upon before is getting to that place of true self-reflection.

We often talk about all the good things about ourselves and our good qualities and stuff like that. But I don’t care who you are, everyone has a dark side to them. Everybody has that negative portion to themselves and I reference the yin and the yang, because I think it’s a perfect representation of the human condition. We all have these parts of ourselves that we may not speak about. We might hide it from our partners or other people in our life but deep down inside, we beat ourselves up about it. We judge ourselves about it and we get stuck in this vicious thought process and this cycle of, “Oh, God. I can’t believe I thought that or I did that,” and then later, “Oh, I can’t believe I’m beating myself up for thinking that and doing that.” It just goes around and around and around and you’re just stuck. All of a sudden, it’s become behavior and now it’s part of your everyday life and so you’re doing it across the board.

So, when you look within yourself and you say, “Okay, everybody has shit parts about them,” and when you understand that you have these bits about you, that’s when you can look at yourself as a whole. When I admitted I had a food addiction or any addict who has an addiction, first you have to admit that there’s a problem before you can move forward. So, when you look at yourself and you say, “Okay, these are the parts of myself that I don’t like. These are the parts of myself that I do like,” when you look at the things that you don’t like, you then have to figure out if you’re willing to deal with the consequences of staying in that space or changing it.

I like to use this example because it’s non-weight related, but there are times where I get super, super busy and I neglect my friends and family. I don’t reach out first. I don’t answer their text messages. I kind of go back in my hermit mode, but I’m legitimately busy doing a million things at once. I’m thinking about them in my head, so I don’t think I’m neglecting them. I’m talking to them in my head like they know what’s going on, but then I realize I haven’t answered that text message in three weeks or I haven’t done something I was supposed to. I realize that I’m hurting these people and they come to me and they’ll say, “You’re not good at communicating. You’re not good at reaching out and this is hurting me.” This is failure of mine and it’s something that I continuously work on. There was a time in my life where I beat myself up about it and I was like, “God, I feel really shitty about this. And how do I even reach out to this person now? How do I even fix this situation?” But it was either, “Rebecca, you’re going to make the steps to fix it and try to be more available and try to communicate and try to repair. Or, you stay with consequences and you acknowledge that the consequences are that you’re going to lose some relationships and this is going to be what’s going to happen.”

And sometimes for some people, those consequences are acceptable and that’s fine with them. But at least you understand what the consequences of your actions are. I know this is getting a little bit off your question and you might wonder where this is going for self-acceptance, but it’s very, very important. Those faults and those little bits of ourselves, that is what we beat ourselves up about the most when it comes to self-acceptance. I could talk all day long about my positive parts and the things that I love about myself, but it’s those little things that get us caught in those negative thought circles. So, when you look at yourself and say, “Hey, I may have things I have to work on,” or “Maybe I don’t want to work on them at all,” but now you’re knowing that you can love and accept yourself as a whole; good and bad.

I’m not doing it because I’m on some path of enlightenment or I’m losing weight or I’m going to go do this job. But to be able to say, “Hey I’m a gamer who lives at home and I don’t have a girlfriend, but that’s okay because I’m the shit and I love myself now, good or bad. I’m going to accept who I am now.” I honestly believe that when you get to that space of accepting what is negative and what is good, you get to a place of good mental health. That’s when you’re going to start making decisions that improve your life and that’s when you start realizing that you can break that thought cycle of self-hatred and of self-deprecation. All of a sudden, it doesn’t last for three weeks and it only lasts for three hours and you can break it and you can move on. That’s what I think self-acceptance is all about. It’s learning to love the whole and not the parts and that’s what I would tell anybody on their path to learning self-acceptance.

I love it. You’re saying we’re a whole person and that we can’t just love the pretty parts, but we have to also accept the challenging parts and the parts that we maybe don’t value at this moment or the parts that other people don’t value. It’s about learning how to love our whole selves. I also hear what you’re saying is, as we love our whole selves, we actually begin to have the grace to improve or it creates space to improve our lives?

Absolutely.

If we’re just hating ourselves, we’re probably going to result in some sort of self-medicating behavior. Like for me, it’s probably going to be something fried; fried chicken, fried catfish, fried okra.

Right.

Food for me has been a medication in the past. But if we focus on not just the positive, but self-acceptance, “I’m on a journey, I’m growing, I’m learning.” It creates space for growth.

Right and to acknowledge the fact that for some people, they don’t want to change certain things about themselves. And if that’s the case and that’s a very real reality and something I do speak about, then accepting the consequences to that and being real with yourself. Understanding that, “This is going to happen, but that’s okay. I’m still going to love the whole and I’m still going to get to that. I’m still going to love everything and not get into that headspace of negativity.”

I know a lot of people who like to live their life playing the victim and they always have to be the victim. I’ve met some people on their journey who just want to be that. They don’t want to be anything other. They’ve accepted that as a part of what they want to do and that is something that they want to hang onto and that’s just their reality. So, like I said, not everything comes out rainbows and sunshine, but for the majority of people it does help them start improving.

I don’t look at self-acceptance as a path to enlightenment or a journey of progress to a better way of living. I think it’s a better headspace for mental health in your life. Most often the bi-product will be that enlightenment and that good headspace, but you should never do this because anybody else is making you feel that you need to. Like I said with weight loss, it doesn’t work when you’re doing it because society tells you or your partner is telling you or anybody else is telling you. When you’re looking at yourself and you’re saying, “I love you so much that I’m going to start listening to my body. I’m going to start doing the things that my body is telling me to do, not because anybody else is telling me,” then you’re going to be successful. That’s when it’s going to be long-lasting and you’re going to have a rich and full life.

I love it. Alright, so we want to direct people toward your website, YouTube channel and all of that. I think the best place for them to go will be your website, which is www.bexbedford.com, correct?

Yes.

We’ll put all of the links to all of your social media accounts in our show notes, of course. Bex, it is so awesome to meet you. You are beautiful and you’re super smart and I love the way that you articulate your experience in the world and I think you’re just so inspiring as you’re connecting with people and sharing your message of self-acceptance. Thank you for what you’re doing.

Thank you so much for having me, it’s been so much fun.


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