Making Peace With My Body #iambeautiful8:00 AM
"Making peace with your body frees up so much of your time. I had no idea how many things I'd missed out on out of fear or how many hours I'd wasting disparaging myself. My life is so much fuller when I'm living it outside of my own head." ~ Brittany Gibbons for Good Housekeeping
Lately, there has been a lot of weight loss talk and I have to admit, it made me uncomfortable. Actress Gabourey Sibide revealed in an interview with People Magazine that she had weight loss surgery and in the process, has lost a substantial amount of weight.
I don't have an issue with Sidibe making a decision to do something to her body that she wanted to. I have an issue on how it is has been reported and the reaction.
As my dear friend Sabrina posted on Facebook:
"Why do we only treat people like they're beautiful when they've lost a lot of weight? Fat doesn't equal ugly."
The title of the People Magazine article states that Gabby said "I Love My Body Now.", which lends to the assumption that she didn't love her body before. Yet, Gabby has said many times that she loved herself before and has always seemed unbothered with negative comments. She has always come off very confident and has had a successful career in Hollywood while being fat.
In her book, she does say:
"It has taken me years to realize that what I was born with is all beautiful. I did not get this surgery to be beautiful. I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs."
So why that title, People Mag? They simply took a portion of what she said and used it to give the impression that now that she has lost weight, she suddenly loves her body. This is what pisses me off.
Essentially, they are doing what has been happening for years in the media, in society and hell, even in our own homes. That familiar comment, "OH, you're so pretty but if you lost weight, you'd be beautiful."
She cited her recent diabetes diagnosis as the reason behind her getting surgery. I don't have an opinion on her choice as it is her body. However, I do have an issue on how this is celebrated and what that says in terms of body image and positivity.
67% of American women are now a size 16, which is considered plus size. That size used to be a 14 but in recent years, women have gotten heavier. But the unsolicited advice and fat shaming has not gone away. You would think with women's bodies now more curvy and larger, we'd be seeing more body acceptance. But that is not the case.
I decided that I can't be preoccupied with how others view my body. At the end of the day, what counts is how I VIEW MY BODY.
For me, it took me decades to make peace with my body. And it came to me unexpectedly when I was seeking help for my grief. Sometimes the universe takes you on a journey where you think you know what direction you're going in but you end up in a place totally different than where you thought you'd end up.
For me, talk of weight loss makes me so uncomfortable because it is triggering. It reminds me of when I was 10 and I was sent to live with my aunt because I was 30 pounds overweight, according to my doctor and that pesky BMI chart. So I was put on a strict diet where I starved. I lost the weight and returned home to people suddenly telling me how beautiful I was now that I lost weight. And of course, being back home and being back on my old "diet", I gained the weight back and thus, started my yo-yo dieting experience.
At 10 years old, I was being told that my beauty hinged on my weight and that being fat is not beautiful. Can you imagine how that makes a child feel? My niece Angel is 10 and I cannot imagine even telling her something like that.
|My face says it all - I am so unhappy and probably hungry|
Talk of weight loss reminds me of how people place value on it and think skinny equals beautiful. To me, beauty doesn't come in a size. I know that now. But when I see a Before and After pic posted online and people comment on how good the person looks NOW, it shows me why many people loath their bodies.
When you're constantly being told that losing weight is the road to happiness, to being beautiful and to having a great social life, you start to believe that shit.
There's nothing wrong with you wanting to get to your "happy" size, whether it's a size 4 or a size 22. However, when you denounce your former self and insult your former body, citing that you were not happy being fat or how obesity robbed you of a life, you're putting the blame on the wrong thing. YOU decided to be unhappy while fat. YOU decided to let your weight stop you from living. And no matter what your size, YOU are still YOU.
We all have a choice in how we live our lives. If you let your weight be that deciding factor in living fully or not, that's your choice. But just know that there are people out there (LIKE ME) who are living fully in the bodies they are in NOW.
That's what making peace with your body is all about.
I could lose weight, if I want. But that is MY choice and no one else's. I know I am beautiful now and will be beautiful at any size. Confidence comes from within and it should be on the person you are and not what you look like. You are more than your body. You are a human being with a heart, brains and personality. In my opinion, too many people are letting life pass them by and depriving the world of knowing who they are because their weight has become a crutch.
Yes, I know... the health thing. But we cannot tell someone's health by looking at them. Thin people get sick and die too. We are all deserving of living and enjoying every single moment in our lives. I know I don't want to wait until I am 30 pounds lighter to take a trip or do something fun that I've always wanted to do. Life is never guaranteed and none of us knows when it's our time to go.
I know I don't want to spend this moment thinking about weight loss. I instead want to enjoy this moment. Obesity is not robbing me of life. Because I am choosing to live.