TW: Weight loss discussion
I love your blog and everything you stand for. I’m having a bit of a problem and hope you can help me? I’m 20, 5’10” and 200lbs. I used to be 170lbs. I’m really struggling to accept my “new” body. I don’t know if I should just (for lack of better words) quit trying and accept it, or if I should try to lose weight. I want to accept it, but don’t know if I can..
I know this feeling all too well, so I will speak from my experience. I’ve gained about 30 pounds in the past couple of years and still have a hard time owning this new space my body takes up. Stretch marks seemed to pop up over night and I am still getting used to them. So I made this the other night while I was thinking about it and snapping photos of my lightning bolts, and I made this one day (GIF EPILEPSY WARNING) when I was feeling really great about my tummy. Everyone has their own unique way to deal, understand, and cope with their feelings about their body.
Change can be frightening, when your visible self and the way people perceive you seems so out of your control, but it helps to deconstruct those feelings. Think about what is in your control.
My fat, skin, physical health, mental health, wellness, and body, are ever-changing crazy things that adapt to the elements. I’ve also got some genetic and chronic conditions that contribute to my definition of health. I know I have no firm grasp of control over these things and I strive to accept that fact with a “take it as it comes” kind of mentality.
I could try to guess what weight would be “healthiest” for me or strive to lose weight if that would really make me happy, but it doesn’t. I could try to minimized my stretch marks with creams and go on a rigid diet if that would make me happy, but it doesn’t.
So I focus on what keeps me happy, makes me feel sane, and try very much not to beat myself up about the things I may or may not be able to change. Because in my past, whenever I strove for change in regards to my weight or my dress size, I never got what I “wanted”. It was a cycle of hate and unhealthy habits and ways of thinking. So I broke it, and I’m not turning back. Or I try not to. There are still times when I think, “Should I have tried this?” “Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough” - but the truth is I tried everything, and I tried super hard. I have always been overweight. I’m accepting it and moving on with my life.
Some people enjoy working out just to work out, or enjoy eating a certain way because it makes them happy - it’s unique to everyone. You could decide to make goals with losing weight in mind if that is what you really want, if that is what you think will help you find happiness, contentment, and acceptance with your body. But based on my experience, in doing so you’re already setting yourself up to fail by having an ideal to live up to, even if you think it’s reasonable. Ideals are never as attainable as you want them to be, so why waste time chasing after a number on the scale when you could enjoy being the person you are now, right this moment, regardless? Again, this is just my perspective.
We all have our own journeys and ways of finding out and defining what health and wellness and happiness and beauty means to us, and they never, ever end. Through it all, you only have yourself. Even when bumps come along and you’re struggling with yourself, there is always time to set it right again.
There was a period in the last year where something triggered in me a desire to suddenly join Weight Watchers. And a gym. I knew fully well I was setting myself up to fail. I knew through trial and error that I didn’t need WW and public exercise, I needed mindful, intuitive eating and movement that is appropriate for me. But my mind was suddenly back in destructive mode, “weight loss” mode, and I snapped myself out of it once I reminded myself why this method never worked before. Because it simply isn’t for me.
It all comes down to you. I can’t say it enough, or remind myself of it enough, and it’s easy to forget although it seems so simple. You don’t owe anything to anyone else but you.