Started this morning with a bit of righteous indignation. This great piece in the Huffington Post talks about fat shaming, how entitled most people feel to do it, and that it doesn’t motivate anyone to lose weight.
Reminding me I’m fat, threatening me with being bullied because of my weight, providing me with no fashion options, shaming me at restaurants, mocking me on national television; that didn’t scare me into thinness — it locked me in a closet with my emotions and a secret stash of food.
are have been trained to be extra sensitive to body image and weight issues, and often our self-worth is tied to our shape.
I started this year about 60 lbs overweight. If you’re a woman who loves fashion and carries extra weight, the lack of options can be infuriating, and the experience of shopping can be a series of snowballing humiliations. Beauty standards are cultural and can change over time, but I can’t say that thin won’t be in a year from now or that the size ranges of my favorite clothes will change.
Since this year began, I’ve lost 8 lbs, and I’m driven both by an intense desire to feel better every day, to not get winded so easily, to have more energy and a longer life, but also by vanity. I want to be able to fit into the clothes that set my heart aflutter and threaten to make my wallet slimmer.
The ironic thing is that I’m less concerned about my weight now than I’ve ever been. For years I’ve tried to motivate myself by finding little ways to punish myself and by demeaning and insulting myself, trying to drive myself to a place where I would deserve my own kindness. That only made me fatter. Getting the same shame and judgment from others? Yeah, that didn’t help either. Now I’m more focused on how my body feels.
No one can tell you what your body ought to look like or how you need to get to a place of health and confidence. But I can tell you for a fact that progress and lasting change won’t come from a place of self-loathing.
I eat healthier because I don’t want to feel like crap. I go to the gym because I’m excited about expanding my clothing options. And I’m running towards something instead of running from something. So far, that’s made all the difference.