Edit: I wrote out the entire post below only to realize how absolutely hypocritical it all is since the majority of my posts throughout this year (and on this blog in general) have had everything to do with having a “weight loss goal” – nonetheless, I am really proud of the below writing and am sharing despite how hypocritical it may all seem. The fact of the matter is, I’m not okay with having, what feels like, my entire life revolve around weight loss being a goal. Do I love being 219lbs? No. Do I feel proud of myself for successfully losing 6lbs in August after gaining even more weight after writing about my most-recent weight loss goals back in June? Yes. Yes, I do. I managed to accomplish that loss without letting myself get hyper-focused on my body and turning the process into a way to punish myself for being a fat person. Really it’s not even the loss I’m proud of so much as it is the self-care choices I made with love and positivity that resulted in weight loss. So, now that I’ve gotten super defensive and justified myself to a small group of people who probably don’t even really care, I’ll leave you to reading the real portion of this post:
I sat down to write this with the idea of doing some bullet points; Reasons I Don’t Want To Celebrate Your Weight Loss. But as I started to compile that list, I realized there aren’t necessarily many true reasons outside of: I just don’t want to. I don’t want to be made to feel that I have to. I also don’t want to participate in unproductive Fat Talk; to shame mine, yours, or anyone else’s past, present, or future body shape or size. To be clear: I don’t, not for one second, think that you shouldn’t be glad for your weight loss if you’ve accomplished it by healthy means for yourself, for your health, coming from a positive place – but I don’t want nor agree with the social pressure to worship you for this accomplishment. I don’t want to celebrate your weight loss and I don’t want you to celebrate mine, either – and I sure as shit don’t want to revel in the failure to lose weight, whether that failure be mine or yours or his or hers.
I want to say weight loss shouldn’t be a goal, but simply a pleasant side-effect of a healthy and productive lifestyle. I really, really want to say that and feel it and mean it genuinely, to preach that there are so many more worthy goals! I’d rather celebrate your promotion at work, your recent decision to go back to college, your child’s success in school or hitting a new developmental milestone – I want to lift you up for accomplishments of worth that don’t have a single fucking thing to do with your body and gravity’s effect on it; to say I want those things in return. But, really, the last 6 years of my life,
[Jesus… six years of my life… that just sunk in.]
weight loss has been my ultimate goal in all things despite how often I preach loving my body and claiming I can be happy with whatever-my-current-weight/size-at-the-time-is for the rest of my days on this planet. And usually when I write those things, I really do mean them. It is a truth for me in that moment. And it is absolutely true that I now come to physical activity and exercise from a place of love, health, and (most importantly for me) mental health vs self-hate and punishment… but more of my days than I care to admit are spent feeling uncomfortable in my body, hyper-conscious of what I look like at all times, hyper-aware of how others may view me, body checking in any reflective surface available to me, and wishing wishing wishing I had the “self control” to severely restrict my food in order to shrink myself, to make myself smaller and somehow more acceptable despite all the scientific evidence that very-low-calorie-diets are merely a temporary solution that ultimately result in even more weight gain – despite the fact that my weight, my size has absolutely nothing to do with who I am as a person, how smart I am, how kind I am, whether or not I’m a good wife, a good mother, a good friend. I also know that weight loss isn’t a self-control game, it isn’t willpower – and willpower is a finite resource easily depleted and not-so-easily replenished, but that doesn’t stop me from sitting here thinking about Halloween being right around the corner and trying to decide if I can feasibly and carefully starve myself down 15-20lbs in the next 4 weeks to not feel embarrassed about the 30 I’ve packed on since last October. I know full well that if I did what it took to make that happen, no matter how fucked up and disordered, I’d have at least 20 people singing my praises and begging to know how I accomplished such a great feat!
So, no, I don’t want to celebrate your weight loss. Because you are more than your weight, your pants size, your body fat percentage. I will not begin nor contribute to conversations about how fat you are or I am or she is or he is. I will not participate in conversations about others’ food or exercise choices. I will not tolerate judgement of my food or exercise choices. Most importantly, I will do my best to lift up and celebrate all your accomplishments that have nothing to do with your body and everything to do with your substance and character.