Some call it curvy, some call it fat, some call it full-figured, some call it overweight. Call it what you like. I'm a 181 lb. woman.
Already this year (only one week in) I've already been inundated with weight loss messages. Have you noticed it? Gym memberships, workout equipment, new diets -- everything promising you a fresh start and a new you. I literally heard a lipo-suction ad claim "because a thinner you, is a happier you!" in a peppy voice.
So you spend your whole life worrying about your number on the scale? What's next? You're worried about your age on the calendar? In case you haven't heard, being "old" isn't considered the current standard of beauty. An obsession with numbers and measurements only seems to make people more and more miserable.
Disclaimer: I am not by any means against exercise and eating healthy. Those are good things when paired with a healthy self-image and a perspective of what's important in life. So, moving on....
It has taken me years, decades, to learn to love my body. Even as a little girl, just a scrawny awkward growing girl, I worried about my body and any imperfections. I wasn't looking at myself as me. I was looking at myself as someone else, imagining what they saw.
I have come to realize, nothing about my body is perfect. At least, not according to what is deemed "perfection" by our society.
But I love it, because my body is me.
I love the way my body senses the world around it. I love the way it interacts with others. I am happy to be in it, and to be loved as myself, in the body I was born with. With my smile, my voice, my eyes. The way I walk and cuddle close and dance around the room. That is me, and that is my body.
At times I've weighed less, at times I've weighed more. But you know what I've discovered? That weight is not in direct variation with my current state of happiness. Nor does my weight define who I am. It is simply a current piece of scientific data that may be measured, subject to change daily.
Some days it takes tremendous effort to overpower the waves of messages screaming at us that say "unless you look like [exhibit A of model] you are less than beautiful".
LIES. I am beautiful. And I don't look anything close to that. I am truly beautiful, as a whole person, and that includes my physical embodiment, imperfections especially included (and no, that's not a "she has a great personality", I see every person as a whole of who they are, and their beauty is determined only partially by their physical body.)
Being overweight does not make you a person lacking moral character.
Being overweight does not mean you're not worth loving.
Being overweight does not make you unhappy (although people will try to convince you you are unhappy, please ignore them).
So, take care of yourself. Take care to love yourself, know yourself, and project the beauty that is you. If you must look at numbers, glance at them. But they will always change. Don't base your happiness and your worth on something that doesn't define who you are.
Treat yourself with love. Do what feels good for your body and gives you energy and confidence and light. Don't abuse your body, don't torture it, don't fight it. Love your body, love it's every imperfection, curve and angle. Stretch out your arms, legs, hands. Wiggle your toes. Take in a deep breath and feel your lungs fill and empty again. Press your hand to your chest and feel your heart beating. This is you. This is what you were born as, you can't be separated from this flesh. So take care of it, do it no harm, and always, always love it.
I'm not sure why I felt the need to share this message today. I know it's not for everyone to hear. And that's ok. Sorry if it sounds like a bunch of cheesy pep-talk! What struggles/revelations have you had with your physical self? Any words of encouragement to share? Do you think your weight impacts your happiness? I know this is quite an important topic to some people and I'm happy to hear the thoughts of others on this!