Weight Loss and Body Positivity

I decided to repost this for #fbf, because it’s still relevant, and I’m finally advocating for my health. Yup, I’m finally getting serious about losing some extra weight. What are your views on body positivity? Let me know in the comments. 

I have changed my view so many times on the topic of body positivity in relation to weight loss. I started out thinking body positivity was just another excuse for attention (the very existence of millions of Instagram accounts created for the sole purpose of the vapid need for praise and acceptance from strangers is just one tiny piece of evidence) and just one of the many ways people make it all about looks and appearance. Yes, I really felt this way (and if I am being honest, still feel this way about selfies and Instagram accounts filled to the brim with egocentric pictures). I also had a hard time watching people promote being unhealthy. Then, I changed my tune after learning more about the meaning behind body positivity. After this, I started to believe that being overweight doesn’t always mean being unhealthy. Thus, began my intense eating-everything-streak, simply in the name of being big and beautiful.

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I’m the ultimate hypocrite, though, because I just posted this on Saturday. 

There are many positive leaders forging the way in the body positivity movement, such as, Whitney Way Thore and her No Body Shame Campaign and model, Tess Holliday. The feedback these pioneers receive is undeniably positive, and the response to the movement is huge. I want to be a part of something so positive. I also want to finally feel like I am enough, rolls and cellulite and all. Yet, all the while I have had this niggling voice in the back of my head. I wanted, for awhile, to ignore the fact that Whitney preaches that being morbidly obese does not equate to health issues, yet, all the while, America watches as she battles pre-diabetes. Something just isn’t adding up.

One of my favorite bloggers, Cameron over at The World’s Biggest Fridge Magnet  recently posted an image. It was eye-opening. It showed how when extra weight is lost, it can vastly improve body functions. I have to say, my view of weight loss has not been the same since. I think that image was the slap in the fact that has allowed me to see the very real, very painful picture.

In the last 6 months, I have gotten a migraine, on average, once a month. Anyone suffering with true migraines, knows what this means to my livelihood. I was used to suffering only a few times a year. Now, I am in misery once a month. I have read numerous articles relating migraines to weight gain, specifically extra weight around the middle. The image Cameron shared showed an improvement of migraines when you lose weight by 57%. Bam.

That did it.

The fact that my jeans have reached their maximum weight load and squeeze painfully into my fat. The fact that I go through leggings like a pack of chewing gum to a person quitting smoking, because I rub the inner thighs out like nothing. The fact that I have to layer or my shirts show my zebra stripes. All of these things were seemingly not enough to motivate me to lose weight. It took the hard slap in the face of an info-graphic to make me wake up and realize my migraines were happening because of my weight.

It is not just the migraines. My feet and joints ache after a day of mild standing and walking. When I get up from a seated position I do the “old lady wobble” as my legs get used to supporting my weight. I am breathless and tired after a simple task, like making the bed.

This is not me, my body. This is not how I am meant to live. No matter how much I want to believe that the body positive movement says I should love my body, regardless, I am not happy with the effects on my health. I have known a slimmer, healthier self. The body I have now has begun to suffocate the life out of my soul. It is time. The time is now.

My realization that my fat is making me unhealthy does not negate the good that can come from the body positive movement. No. In fact, it is even more important that this issue be brought to life, because no matter how much weight you lose, if you don’t love yourself regardless of weight or appearance, no amount of weight loss will make you feel good.

To all of the body positive leaders out there, please continue forcing us to re-assess how we, as a society, place value on someone. Value should not be placed on appearance, regardless of how beautiful or unattractive it is. Despite this importance placed on self-appreciation and self-esteem, I really hope the message becomes clear about extra weight and the affect it can have on one’s health.

I am a living, breathing (for now) testament to the fact that weight, not meant for my build or body type (especially around the middle), is doing my body harm.

Let us absolutely preach body positivity, but let’s also be realists and face the facts. An obese woman can be beautiful, but she can also, at the same time, not be healthy due to the weight she carries, mentally and physically. I am 100% a proponent of feeling good about yourself, so let’s all work on that, but for the reason that we want to be alive and well as long as we can!

This was the thinnest I’ve ever been in my adult life, but I thought I was fat. Body positivity comes from within, at any size.

 

 

Author: fattymccupcakes

Just a thirty-something girl trying to love herself the way she is: fat, rolls, cellulite, and fabulousness.

89 thoughts on “Weight Loss and Body Positivity”

  1. As the girl who feels pain in her joints daily and walks like an old woman from it – my fat body is the cause. I used to weigh 400lbs. It killed my joints.

    When I lost the weight it was a delight to feel so little pain. But as I’ve gained weight I feel more pain. Its hard on my knees, my ankles and hips. And since I need all of those to remain mobile – being overweight is a problem not related to whether or not I OR anyone else thinks I look good.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! and a really good topic! I also think that it’s important to recognize that some people just can’t drop the weight – no matter how hard they try, due to certain circumstances (like a thyroid problem for example). And also, that the look of a person doesn’t determine how healthy they are. My mom went to a gym three times a week for about 2.5 years. She dropped some weight, but she shape never really changed. She felt better, some health problems cleared up, but her dress size didn’t change.

    Good luck on your journey to a healthier you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I completely understand that some people can’t just drop the weight. MOST people who are overweight have a hard time dropping the weight. I agree that you can’t just look at someone and assume the are unhealthy. That’s where the need for common decency and the body positive movement comes in. You can’t judge and place value on simply face value.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post! you’re absolutely correct in saying that a slimmer person is not automatically healthy and vice versa – we are all individuals. For the record I’m not overweight but I’m also not that healthy, I have friends who are heavier but far more healthier than I – good luck on your journey x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “because no matter how much weight you lose, if you donโ€™t love yourself regardless of weight or appearance, no amount of weight loss will make you feel good”

    My sister had the gastro-bypass surgery lost a bunch of weight and still calls herself fat and ugly. I walk that fine line with the body positive movement. I believe full force that we need to love our bodies and love ourselves but I find nothing wrong with people wanting to also lose weight. What it comes down to is how comfortable you are at your weight. I know I am not. When I walk for a long time my lower back begins to burn and my leg and arse go numb. I get winded walking up stairs causing me to absolutely hate them. I also dislike the gym. It feels like a place of punishment so I have been going to various classes to find an activity that I enjoy so that I am motivated to keep doing it. I want to drop weight so I feel better moving not to feel better about my appearance. I suffer from migraines. I did not know the correlation. I am now even more motivated to get some of this fat off me.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh and I am also on the fence about the Instagram accounts. I know I post a lot of pictures of myself but I spent so long being told I was hideous that I felt like shit about myself. This is kind of like my middle finger to my abusive ex! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post! To me, body positivity is all about lovingly caring for the body you have. Be that gaining weight (for sufferers of disordered eating), taking control of their body by unapologetically embracing their own awesomeness or exercising and eating healthier in attempt to live a long, healthy weight. We’re all at different places and should be allowed to go down our own journey.

    That being said, I’m also trying to lose weight. Well. Sort of. I’m exercising a hell of a lot more but still eating muffins. So. But the main reason is because I’m tired of always being in pain and my endometriosis is getting WAY out of control. Also, I don’t want to buy new jeans. But mostly it’s the pain. I’m equally pissed when someone implies that I’m “selling out” as I am by my coworkers that give me a shady look when I eat a bagel.

    No one but me has to live my life. Keep your opinions about it to yourself, please and thank you!

    That being said, I hope you have some relief from your migraines soon. I get a migraine the week before every period. They’re TERRIBLE.

    Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn, girl. I have the same problem with those darn muffins! I’m really trying to maintain my WW eating plan. I’m usually good until the weekend hits, then all hell breaks loose! I have a migraine about a week before my period every month too!! I’m really hoping they improve as I get healthier! Thanks for your support!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Happiness isn’t just five pounds away, then?

    Sigh.

    A topic near and dear to my heart. I wish I knew how to embrace the positive. I feel like I’ve been doing better, but if I were really “there” I wouldn’t need to weigh myself every day, would I? And I could probably trash the food scale.

    But I don’t.

    Losing weight is really, really hard. I wrote about why I think that is here: http://carrotsinmycarryon.com/2015/08/28/losing-weight-is-hard-because-math/ It’s harder when you’re not tall and not young.

    But, like rooting for the Eagles…hope triumphs over experience….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is SO hard. But, it’s so much harder to be happy with yourself, faults and all. I don’t even weigh myself. I can tell I’ve lost weight when my jeans fit again. As for weighing food, if that’s what you need to do to stay in your range of calories, go for it. However, I feel one can do without scales, in all forms.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Katie, this is a fantastic post!! I think that health really does need to stay at the forefront, and it’s often forgotten for “everyone’s beautiful”. Not that everyone isn’t beautiful but if you have to have joints replaced before you are 40 and have quadruple the chance of a cardiac attack, it NEEDS to be about health!!!! I think we need to be supporting everyone’s health- I don’t care what weight anyone is at, as long as it’s right for their body and their health ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  9. As someone who has battle my weight for most of my life, it was only after I consciously chose being healthy over image, that a shift was made. Yes, I am still overweight, but my body runs 100% better now that I have embraced a healthy eating lifestyle. Thanks for your honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I saw the inside of my eyelids while I was feeling like flaming hot shit during a migraine. I got more migraines…OH. Wait. The info graphic. Gah. I don’t even know where/how to find it now…if you visit Cameron’s blog, it will be there…somewhere ๐Ÿ˜œ

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally agree with you, I also had to take a hard look at myself over the last number of months, and since I started to drop some of those aweful weight, I am started to feel better, still have some more to go, but it’s working. I have reached a stop, and this has motivated me to start again. Thanks so much

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had written a long comment but then I realised I know nothing about weight loss and I was afraid it would sound condescending from such a ‘small’ girl as me. But your article is very well written, well thought too. I personally think that body positivity should be about feeling good in your own skin no matter how you look and feeling healthy and comfortable in your own body. You can be overweight and healthy โ€“ like you can be skinny and unhealthy! โ€“ but I draw the line when body positivity accounts start promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Best of luck on your program, I know you can do it and feel better about yourself and health wise. I need to lose some, I have become lethargic in the last month or so after gaining a few pounds. I think we all have a different tipping point where our bodies rebel.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Right there with you. Been a yoyo dieter all my adult life. Put it on. Take it off. Shake it all about and do the hokey pokey ….. I’ve had a big slap in the face too recently. Changed drs and she is going through me like a dose of salts. Checking everything and telling me the real news of what I have done to myself. Yep! So now is the time to take charge and change it all. And I have one hell of a dr who has dug in like a limpet mine making me accountable and responsible to do just that. Thing is she is so sweet and TINY and caring I just HAVE to do everything she says. Just what the dr ordered, lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck with yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL! The Hokey Pokey ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. I’m dying ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ’€. Seriously, it’s scary what the extra weight, that’s not meant to be there, does to us. I’m glad you have an amazing, proactive doctor!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m struggling to come to terms with my weight right now and not so secretly wish I was back at the size a much younger version of me bemoaned as being too fat (looking back, I looked good in those pictures so clearly my younger self hadn’t yet found her mind). But I’m not going to kill myself over it. I’m making better, though still not perfect, food choices (because – donuts) and trying to move around more often, but I’ve come to accept its a slow process there is only so much I can do at once in order to achieve a sustainable lifestyle change rather than flash result.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Did someone say donuts????

    Damn…I don’t do that anymore. Too many carbs.

    Keep with your program – you now have one of the greatest motivators on the face of the planet. Pain (and avoiding it in the future) is one of the best things out there for convincing people to change limiting lifestyle habits.

    That’s what got me into (and keeps me on) ketosis. The knees, the back, the stomach, and the heart – too many complaints from the body department to safely ignore any longer.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I’ve come into contact with a extreme body positive (fat acceptance?) woman who 100% believes it is scientific fact that being fat doesn’t make you unhealthy. I shared a progress picture of my weight loss on my own Face Book and she sent me a huge long private message calling me out for fat shaming and telling me I should think about all the fat peoples feelings that I was hurting. I’m body positive in the sense that I think you should be allowed to look however you want as long as you aren’t hurting anyone so I was really annoyed to be called out like this.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hello friends, this is amazing to see you have a goal and you are going there with plans while you respect and have a value for yourself.

    As someone to see patients and clients on daily basis who are trying to lose weight. I completely understand and respect you.

    I do this everyday and ask each and everyone of my clients to respect their own image and love it before trying to start this process and have learned it would really help to understand it’s not your image or your body that you are working on but your health and that is very respectful๐Ÿ’“ best of luck on your journey!
    Also, if you had any questions or if you needed any supports please let me know. I will be glad to share some of my experiences with you ๐Ÿ’“

    Liked by 2 people

  18. great blog! I too have struggled with similar issues. I have come to learn between research and my health in general, what we eat and how much we exercise directly relates to our health. It is about so much more than being overweight. I tried to do the body positive thing, but it was always hard to be comfortable mentally with a body that made me physically uncomfortable every day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a very good point-how hard it can be to be positive about a body that causes discomfort! I think that’s when a change needs to be made! That’s how I knew it needed to happen โ˜บ๏ธ.

      Like

  19. Yo-Yo dieting is I think a mandatory part of being a “heavy” person. No matter the size, if a person feels like they are fat, then they see themselves as heavy. Body positivity to me, is appreciating your body at whatever state you are in. If you’re to a point where you feel the negative effects of being unhealthy, then I encourage you to make the changes. I am speaking from my own demons here. I look back at pictures when I was a size 12-14 and I thought “Man, I’m Fat” but I was so incredibly healthy. Size doesn’t dictate health. Thin people can be way less healthy than a larger person. I also think a big factor for success is loving yourself. Jiggle, cellulite, and whatever else you hate. I’ve found that being more accepting myself has helped yield better results in my fitness journey. I’m currently in the middle of a 120lbs weight loss journey. I struggle, a lot, but loving myself every step of the way has helped me mentally as well as physically.

    Wonderful Post. I look forward to reading more from you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Way to go!!! I hope you find success and happiness on your journey! I agree, accepting your body and the way it is helps a lot when you’re trying to get healthy โ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘

      Like

  20. So insightful and eye-opening. I’ve lost 30 pounds and I still struggle with body positivity, especially when under stress and/or dealing with extra anxiety. When you start to look at things from a health standpoint and out of actual, genuine self-love, all of this gets a little easier. But it’s a day-by-day (most of the times, minute-by-minute) practice. Thanks for this post! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have the same struggle-when I’m stressed, I tend to have issues with being positive about my body, too! I agree, when it’s about health, it becomes more real and tangible. Thanks for stopping by โ˜บ๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Great post! I just recently started my own weight loss journey. I never knew that about migraines. At one point last year I was having one a week. I landed in the hospital and was referred to a neurologist who got me meds that helped get rid of them. That caused other side effects though! Hopefully I can see a difference when the weight starts coming off.
    I am huge on self care and body positivity, but we must love our bodies and care for them too. It’s been quite the lifestyle change, but I’m hoping to limit a lot of the stressors you mentioned.
    As I’m just starting out, I’m looking for blogs to follow to help me through. So glad I found yours!

    Liked by 1 person

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