“What would happen if I never tried to lose weight again? What would happen if I never tried to ‘better’ myself or get ‘healthy’ again?”
This song is from my daughter’s favorite movie, The Pirate Fairy. After watching it several times I finally listened to the words and realized I actually really love this song. Take a good listen and you’ll see why…it is all about embracing who you are and what you love. This song has been my inspiration to be pretty bold with some decisions lately…
Yesterday I went to Ann Arbor, Michigan to meet up with some college friends for a girls afternoon. I wore an outfit that challenged me: patterned leggings, a tighter fitting shirt, and boots. I wanted to be comfortable for the drive but I also wanted to dress nice so this seemed like a feasible option. Generally I felt comfortable walking around but I definitely had moments of insecurity. Why am I telling you this? Because I realized I happen to like patterned leggings even though they aren’t labeled “socially acceptable” for bigger ladies to wear in public as pants. I also decided I don’t care. It is all part of embracing myself and my likes in this new year while continuing to figure out what all those likes really are, regardless of societal stigmas.
We went out to eat and I challenged myself to order something out of the norm for me. Completely out of the norm. While at a quaint Italian restaurant I ordered spaghetti (gluten free, of course)…and enjoyed it. Typically in public I order a salad because that is “socially acceptable” for someone with a larger body, as it signifies a desire to get “healthy” and “lose weight” to better oneself.
I’m going to call it:
On the drive home I was thinking about the challenges in the day and it hit me–hard–what would happen if I stay a size 16/18 forever and never lose weight again? Usually this thought would freak me out and make me want to find a scale and weigh myself ASAP to make sure I’m not gaining weight and get my “head on straight” aka back to wanting to fit in with the societal norm of trying to lose weight to get “healthy”. However, this time was different. What if I never tried to lose weight again? Never tried to “better” myself and get “healthy” again?
I WOULD BE SO HAPPY!
While I am generally a very happy person these days I still struggle with body image and being labeled “fat” or “plus size” by media and societal norms. But really, what is so bad about that anyway? Is that really the worst thing in the world to be? The answer is no.
I am more active than many women I know, including several who are much smaller than me. Thanks to yoga I am flexible, strong, and have great breath control. I sleep great and I feel great. My body weight and size in no way hinder me from doing yoga. Very rarely do I need to modify poses to accommodate my body and when I do it is usually a stability issue. (read: I am still not good at tree pose. I am a very wind-blown tree.) My body is healthy and strong enough to walk long distances, often while carrying or pushing my child. Embracing my body at this size gives me freedom and happiness. I don’t have it down pat. I definitely still have days where I really struggle with that embrace factor. However, if I eat spaghetti at a restaurant or a cookie at home the world won’t end. Just because I am bigger than society finds acceptable doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to enjoy the little things in life. I will never be a Victoria’s Secret model, or a model at all (not my thing) but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to wear whatever outfit or swimsuit I want. I determine what makes me feel comfortable and attractive. If I want to wear leggings as pants…I’ll surely be comfy! If I want to have dessert at a restaurant…so be it! Although, for the record, the dessert at a restaurant piece is something on which I am still working.
If someone wants to make a judgement about me based on my body size and food order I feel sorry for them because they have their own serious issues. Health can come at any size and I am healthy. I strive to be kind and compassionate toward others. I am a dedicated and loving wife and mother. All of this is not determined by my body size. It isn’t determined by the food on my plate. All of these things are infinitely better than being thin, angry, and unhappy because I am trying to force my body to conform to an unattainable societal ideal.
So why do I still get upset about my body size?
Because I am human.
I get sucked into the poo the media peddles in hopes I will spend money to get thinner and embrace the “new year, new you” concept. Not this time, diet and fashion industry.
New year, even more awesome me.
This year is all about embracing and celebrating the REAL me that already exists. The me that doesn’t have to lose weight to be happy because I am already happy. The me that is a million great things that have nothing to do with body size. This year is about embracing my new found freedom to simply be myself, regardless of body size and weight.
With Body Love,