Hi hi hi hi!
Happy Sunday peeps! I haven’t done a Self Love Sunday in a while, so I thought today would be perfect for that. I want to talk a bit about body positivity because I’ve seen quite a bit of body shit the past week or so with the new year and all.
I’ve almost always been overweight. I’m a short person (thanks mom!), and as my fellow shorties out there know, weight distributes differently on different body types. As soon as I hit puberty, I started to gain weight. I was also an athlete for all of my childhood so that helped a bit, but during my teen years my habits started to catch up with me. I ate whatever I wanted because I was always so busy with practices and games and school work, so it was whatever was quickest. Most of the time it was fast food or frozen crap. Then when I got to college, I kept eating whatever I wanted, but I wasn’t playing sports or working out much so of course that caused weight gain.
My relationship with my body has always been tumultuous. As soon as I started gaining weight in middle school, I started to hate my body. I hated that I was short. I became so envious of tall people because at least their fat had room to spread out. I hated that I had a belly. I hated the way my thighs rubbed together. Once I got to high school, I started to diet off and on. I had some success with that, but as soon as I stopped dieting I gained all the weight back and more. I was far more concerned with how other people saw me than the health benefits of being at a healthy weight. In college, I gained weight and then lost it, and then gained it all back and then gained more and gained more.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how important my body is. It hasn’t been easy to feel this way. There are still mornings I wake up and I can’t bear to look at myself in the mirror as I’m about to get in the shower. There are still nights when I’m getting ready to go out with friends and it takes me an hour to choose what to wear. There are still many days where I curse how my thighs rub together. But one thing that has donned on me is that this is MY body. This is one of the few things I have agency over in a world that is trying to control my every move.
This body allows me to wake every morning and walk to my car so I can go to work. This body allows me to sleep through the night. This body carries me from place to place. This body allows me to live. I must be patient. I must realize that any progress I want to make with my body needs to consider what my body does for me. My body goals are not to look like Beyoncé or to have a thigh gap. My body goals are to be able to climb a mountain without stopping. My body goals are to be so strong that I can lift some of the really heavy furniture in my house. My body goals are utilitarian. If I happen to lose weight and look better as a result, fantastic. But I have to remember that at the root of everything, my body is mine. I have control over it and how I think about it.
There’s so many people out there trying to steal our shine. There’s so many people out there trying to fit you into a box. Don’t let them. You are amazing and beautiful and wonderful. And you have a body that matches that. Even if it isn’t exactly what you want it to be. I want to be stronger and leaner and able to do more. My body is capable of being that. We’re all on our own journey and it is very easy to let people get in your head and make you think you need to be a certain way. That your body should look a certain way. Your body should look how it looks. Let’s celebrate our bodies because of all they can do. My body can fit a shit ton of cheese fries in it and I’m proud of that.
Set goals based on how you feel internally. My health goals for this year are all specific based on how I feel. I want to have more energy so I can do more. I want to be able to walk up the stairs and not feel winded. I want to workout more to avoid the migraines that have plagued me for the past few years. Take steps based on those goals. Baby steps. Start small. And the most important thing of all, don’t forget how beautiful YOUR body is. Let’s end wars with our bodies. Let’s celebrate them for all they can do.