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Weight Loss Mystery Solved…Part 1

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Last week was such a pensive time, and I think I’ve made a breakthrough. Somehow, I understand why I’ve never been able to embrace weight loss as a separate entity, why I’ve never felt whatever it is that compels people to try to lose weight. Of course, I see the need for weight loss, as part of a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, but that doesn’t change my aversion. So, my epiphany, if you will…

No matter how strong you are, even if you think you’re unaffected by things people say, you build resistance. I’ve had perfect strangers ask me if I didn’t see I was too fat (because, apparently, I don’t have either working eyes or a mirror), had people who hadn’t seen me in a long time not even greet me properly, but make a comment about my size. I won’t go into how the average person becomes a nutritionist or something–all the lovely ‘concerned’ questions about my health. I took it all in stride, often laughed and responded politely to people who were downright obnoxious, but I can no longer deny its impact.

I’ve absorbed, without realising it, so much of the negativity aimed at me because of my size. I’ve never hated myself or my body, but I think I transitioned into no longer actively loving myself, as if I didn’t have that right, simply because I had let myself go. Even the love I had for myself became ‘in spite of’, as if I had to defend my right to love myself–or not hate myself.

People have suggested something must be¬†fundamentally wrong with me, just by looking at me. In the same breath, I knew being fat didn’t make me less of a person, or unworthy of love. Because of that, I feel the need to protect myself…to protect my fat self.

Trying to lose weight feels like giving in to everyone who has made my size feel unacceptable…to the random people on sidewalks who told me I should stop eating, to family members who’ve reduced my portions or flat-out told me I shouldn’t eat something (things they didn’t do for others), to those who have celebrated my smaller self as if accidentally (or deliberately) losing weight made me a better person–as if I would finally be worthy of my spot on the planet if I lose enough weight. I oppose that idea so strongly that trying to lose weight feels like a betrayal of my very self.

Now that I understand this, I need to find a way to include weight loss in my health and fitness journey, without having it as the point of my journey. Weight loss will be the consequence of my changing lifestyle, not the cause of it. It will give me a sense of how my changes work, how my body responds to those changes, but I will not work for a number. I refuse to be a slave to the scale, or shackle myself to the idea that my weight and worth have any relationship, especially that of inverse proportion. Weight loss, on this journey, will be only a guide, not a goal.

I may still struggle with my aversion to weight loss, and while people may assume I’m working towards losing weight, and may even applaud me for it, I have to remember my goals–health, fitness, and discipline. I am not a thin girl trapped in a fat girl’s body. My body is not a prison, and I refuse to try to escape from it. I will, as I am changing, transform it…see its potential for strength, continue to appreciate its beauty, at every size.

This is my body, and I love it. I am fat, and I love myself. Fat is not my identity, and rooting my identity there, embracing fat as who I am, is no less than destructive than those who would see me as unworthy because of my weight.

I am fat, and I love myself…enough to change.

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Quick Update

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There’s a part of me that wants to delay this until I have better news to impart, but I promised to be honest…with you guys and with myself.

This is still difficult. I’m generally eating better than I have in a long time, I’ve lost a few pounds, and I’ve somewhat improved my gym attendance, but this still does not feel real. I feel as if I am not owning this journey…and I’m not sure how to. I’ve watched so many before-and-after weight loss videos, and all those people were motivated to lose weight. I’m not. Yes, I want to get healthy, but how do I find the drive to go against my fear of losing weight? I’m even beginning to see that that fear goes so much deeper than I think. If losing weight is part of improving my health, and I’m doing it through proper nutrition and exercise, doesn’t that make it a good thing? Why am I afraid of a good thing?

That fear is so toxic. It is what drives me to sabotage myself every time I start to change, and not just as it relates to my health. I know I don’t need to want to do this in order for it to get done, but I have to face the power of my lack of inclination. I really don’t know how this will turn out, but I can’t just allow it to be pushed aside. I need to do this, fear or no fear.

On the plus side, I’m beginning to see some of my patterns of sabotage, see where I’ve developed unhealthy relationships with food. I’m paying attention to what triggers me to tell myself to skip the gym, as I did last week…and today. This has been a long road, and I am far from perfect, but if I’m understanding myself better, it’s all worth it.