Lest you think I’m very different from you (and nearly every other woman/human), I want to lose weight too.
I recently got back celebrating my darling nephew’s birthday, but it was more like a family reunion. I visited with people that I haven’t seen for 6-10 years! Aunts and cousins who I love dearly and fiercely. There wasn’t enough time to reconnect as deeply as I would have liked with everyone there, but I’m so glad I got to talk, listen, smile, laugh, and hug them with the time we did have together.
Sounds great, right? It sooooo was! It was also absolutely terrifying.
My body has changed a LOT over the years, especially in the past two. It was hard seeing people who I care about, who also care about their own weight, and who care about the weight of others. I was trapped in a room of almost a hundred bodies that were potentially judging mine.
And then, yesterday I saw pictures from the party. I didn’t even recognize myself.
It’s in moments like these where it is easy, and understandable, to consider dieting. Because the truth is the world is kinder to, or safer for, smaller bodies. Sometimes “the world” includes our loved ones and our fear of being rejected is valid.
It’s in moments like these where I give myself compassion first… I remember that it is NORMAL to have thoughts of body manipulation and I’m not alone in wanting to change my body. Feeling uncomfortable in my earth suit isn’t unique to my lived experience but it is something I share with (literally) billions of people.
And then, I remind myself of why I choose to not diet:
- it triggers my anxiety, depression, and perfectionism
- it increases my chance of developing an eating disorder, exponentially
- it disconnects me from my body, my people, and my God
- it reinforces the oppression of other bodies (fat, queer, Black, disabled)
- it makes eating more of a chore and less of an experience
- it gives my children the message that something is wrong with them if/when they start to look like me
I also remind myself that my body allows me to talk, listen, smile, laugh, and hug —all things I was able to do with my family. Instead of objectifying my body, I thank it. Because our bodies aren’t meant to be looked at, they’re meant to be used.
I don’t always love the way I look, but I do love my body because it allows to me live my life and love my people.
Your body is good, as is. If you don’t/can’t love it right now, that’s ok. Let me love it for you and let that be enough in this moment.
Love much, Beth