In my four years of motherhood, my view on weight and dieting has changed dramatically. Perhaps it’s because I’ve started to truly see what’s important in life or maybe I’ve just hit a new level of maturity in my 30’s. Whatever the reason, I’ve learned one thing: My thoughts on these specific subjects are not popular.
I’m fat. I don’t have a problem saying that because it’s true and I’m honestly okay with it. I haven’t always been and my journey to self-acceptance has been a messy one.
After having my daughter, I gained a lot of weight. I realize that’s fairly normal but for me, the weight never went away. The stress of work life balance got the best of me and I found that no matter how hard I fought weight gain, I just couldn’t win the battle.
I kept fighting and fighting and fighting. Diet after diet, trying to go to bed late to squeeze in a workout – no matter how committed I was it all ended in disappointment. I hated my body and I lived for years feeling less than worthy.
But one day I woke up and had had enough. I was tired of the size of my body dictating my level of joy. I decided to start a journey of self-acceptance, and while it wasn’t easy at first I kept trying to find the beauty in who I had become. I started a Facebook community of plus size women to talk to, I followed tons of body positive influencers and I bought new clothes that made me feel good.
I surrounded myself with a new outlook.
For a quick moment of education before we get any further, it’s important to understand that you can be fat and healthy at the same time.
Seriously, you can – but this is where things get unpopular. There are many who criticize plus size people and the confidence they have due to what they believe is an absence of wanting to be healthy. That’s an ignorant look at the community.
Weight gain isn’t always about binging. It’s not always about eating a lot of sugar or large portions. Some people have health conditions that lead to it, others from life events like childbirth and still others from trying to cope with stress. We all live with the challenges of life, some just show it differently than others. It’s not fair to judge someone on their weight when you don’t know what they’ve been through.
Besides, what does it matter in the long run? Can’t we all just love each other?
Now that I have a few years under my belt on my self-acceptance journey, I’ve found that you can transform your thoughts when you are intentional about it. All of these things I’m advocating for, they weren’t something I understood in the past. It took an open mind and self-experience to get there.
I can’t lie, it’s a great place to be.
I feel free to be myself and just be happy about it. For far too long, I worried about pleasing others. I worried about them judging me and thinking I wasn’t good enough.
You hear that? My self-image revolved around what others thought, not what I wanted.
Look, I have no problem if you truly want to lose weight for yourself, just as long as it’s for you and not for anyone else. We each have to decide what’s best for us. It’s living in a state of mind where we allow others to dictate how we view ourselves that is unhealthy.
In the online world of social media we’re in today, we are surrounded with messages that tell us we need something more to live our best life. But the truth is, we don’t. You have everything you need to be happy living inside of you. You choose your thoughts. You choose your joy. It’s so easy to get distracted with things that turn out to be completely meaningless when you really break it down.
But what if we lived radically? What if we lived our lives against popular opinion and decided we are beautiful just the way we are?
This is what I’ve started to do for myself and it’s harder than it seems. Just about every lunch I have with friends ends up with them not ordering something because of the calorie count or hating themselves for indulging. Whatever happened to just eating food?
Anytime I bring up that I don’t feel the need to count calories because I want to enjoy my meal and stop worrying about my body, my comments are quickly dismissed. They are unpopular. People don’t want to hear things that don’t feel normal but I’m working on changing that.
I’m working on normalizing radically loving our bodies no matter their size. The shape of your body doesn’t matter.
Your family, your faith, the things that bring you joy.
“The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:
says the Teacher.
Everything is meaningless.”
What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?”