In 2015, I decided I would “get healthy,” and change my life. And I seemingly did. For 2 years, I worked out consistently and ate really well. I lost 60 pounds and gained so many new healthy habits. I was convinced I felt the best I ever had. All of that was fine and dandy until my depression hit me like a truck and I didn’t know how to cope. I hadn’t faced a true depression in so long. I was a recent graduate with 35k in debt, working a horrid job that was paying 22K a year and I had no plan. I reverted to my old habits and disordered eating. I would binge eat constantly, thus gain weight. I was gaining weight and punishing myself. I would binge and restrict, being and restrict. It was a nasty time for me.
At that time and throughout my weight loss journey, I was huge into the IG fitness community. I was so embarrassed by my weight gain and felt like I couldn’t talk about the weight gain to my friends, let alone on any of my social media platforms, because I had been so pro weight loss. I was always fat, there was no point where I reached a level that I would even be considered society’s “skinny.” But, I was terrified to gain that weight back. It was an awful thought because I was so publicly proud and open about my weight loss and I didn’t know how I was going to approach any of it. I was so worried about what others would think that I didn’t even bother with how I was feeling.
Let’s think about what we are told about fat bodies and how they are view. “Unhealthy,” “disgusting,” “unkempt.” I was working to never be any of that ever again. I worked so hard for so long to NOT be fat. I badly wanted to have a body like the bodies I had seen in mainstream media since I was young. I wanted to be viewed as fit and healthy because that is was has been promoted as good and right and what everyone thought was beautiful. I was working hard toward all of it and losing it at the same time.
Throughout my entire weight loss journey, I thought I was body positive. I used the hashtag on all my pictures and really, wholeheartedly thought I was a body positive person. I think to an extent I was, but I was not promoting body positivity in the light that is should be promoted. I was endorsing the idea that now that I have lost weight, I can look at my body in a positive way. The only reason I was body positive is because I has lost weight. That is not what this community is about. That is not what I want or wanted to be about. Body positivity says that you can and should love yourself in every stage of your metamorphosis. It says that your perceived fat body is great and so is the perceived skinny body next to you. So, when I really started looking into body positivity and when I started doing genuine research, that is when the body positivity movement saved me.
Seeing other women and men that had bodies like me in the public eye was revolutionary. Seeing them flaunt those bodies was more than that. Body positivity saved me from myself and my irrational thinking. It saved me from the, “You will be great when you lose another X pounds.” It saved me from the, “You haven’t lost enough weight to wear that, yet.” It took away the thoughts of, “You are the number on the scale and nothing more,” “Stop eating that, you have had enough.” It embedded, “You are worth it now, you were worth it then and you will always be worth it.” It busted my eardrums screaming, “You are perfect. Your stretchmarks, cellulite and jiggle are amazing.”
Where am I now? I have gained 40 of those 60 pounds back. At this point I have tried and failed at two “serious” weight loss journeys and I have never felt better. (More to come on the second failure). As a vegan, I eat what I want, when I want. I listen to my body and eat as many carbs as I want. I am happy with my jiggle and with myself. I am that I can promote true self-love. This has taken me 23 years, but I am 120% done punishing myself for living in this fat body happily.
While we are on the subject of my body, I just want to reiterate how glorious it is. It is the vehicle to my soul. It gets me where I need to go, and has helped me become who I want to be. YOUR body is just as glorious. Whether you’re a super fat babe like me, or naturally thin. Whether you are a body builder, dancer or chunky hoe. Although we are taught that we should be everchanging, that there is always something to improve regarding our physical appearances, love what you’ve got now. Do not make my mistakes. Love yourself before society’s voice takes over your own.
Be, and remain, magnificent.