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.
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!