It would be an understatement to say that my relationship with my body has been a rocky one, the reasons for which could (and maybe will) be fodder for numerous separate blog posts. Over the years I’ve vacillated between proudly embracing my physical being and waging a neverending war on it. The latter tends to be my default setting, and I’ve been stuck there (although on a slightly kinder scale than usual) for a while now.
I talk a lot about body positivity and self-acceptance but it’s something that I have yet to fully own for myself. I’ve spent so many years being on the verge of loving myself. ‘I like myself but I wish my skin would just clear up already’ or ‘I’m okay with my size but my clothes would fit better if I just lost 10 pounds or so.’ The waiting is exhausting. And I’m not going to do it anymore.
Today is the day I stop wishing for a better me and start loving the one who is here now. I’m fat. I’m 5’1″ and I’m a size 14. I’m not saying that I’m fat to put myself down. I’m not fishing for compliments or hoping you will disagree with me. I’m merely stating a fact. I’m fat, just like I’m an Aries and I’m right-handed. I’m still just as fierce as I was when I was a size 8 (only now I’m healthy and not downing diet pills and Slim Fast daily).
I am tired of the idea that one cannot be fat and beautiful. And I’m really sick of the assumption that fat is inherently unhealthy. It isn’t. According to my former fat-shaming nurse practitioner, I am obese based on my BMI and should lose at least 20 pounds. Nevermind that my heart sounds great, my cholesterol levels are fantastic and my blood pressure is picture-perfect, despite having a pretty dismal family history in all three areas. Nothing about my general health gives any indication that my weight is causing me any physical ailments. Yet my health care provider insisted on spending a good portion of my last visit focused on my weight (while completely ignoring other actual health concerns that I had that day).
I refuse to continue listening to that nonsense and letting it eat away at me. I’m vowing here and now to commit to the work of unlearning years of self-hate heaped upon me by the media, doctors, family, advertising. As of today, I will stop pining for clothes that no longer fit and trying to squeeze myself into things two sizes too small. You know that scene in Pretty in Pink where Andie is convinced Blane isn’t going to show up for their date but she keeps hopefully reapplying makeup anyway and Iona tells her she’s “wishful makeupping”? Well I’m wishful wardrobing. And I need to cut it out. I deserve to be comfortable and look fabulous too, dammit! Now, not later. I will not waste any more time waiting for a better me because the truth is, I am a better me. I’ve worked really hard to get here and I’m not going to let this hold me back any longer from being the truest version of me I can be.
I’m letting go of the idea that I need to punish myself in order to feel “physically fit.” I’m getting rid of the workout DVDs that I hate so much but used to force myself to do. No more wasting money on gym memberships or home equipment I will never use either. I’m going to focus only on things that make me feel good, regardless of how many calories I may or may not be burning.
I’m going to start truly loving myself and treating my body with respect. A simple idea but I know it won’t be as easy as it might sound. I’ve spent over half my life treating my body as my enemy. Peace negotiations are going to take time.