On Weight Loss
Last week, a friend came to me in tears. She and I had been discussing health goals a lot lately (because that’s what I do) and she had come to the conclusion that she wanted to lose some weight-
and she thought I’d be mad.
Sometimes it is extremely helpful to be surprised by someone’s perception of you. I love my friend. I love that she wants to work toward greater health. I love that she trusts me enough to talk to me about her goals.
I am not mad that she wants to lose weight.
I do not wish for the world at large to think that I am mad at anyone who wants to lose weight.
I am mad that society has placed an ideal on people that is not sustainable. I am mad that some people feel that they are not valuable because their body does not fit this ideal. I am mad at the fat-phobia, the misogyny and the racism that are intrinsic to modern beauty standards. But I am never mad at individual people.
I am not immune to the desire to lose weight. I love and respect my body. My body has been golden to me when I treated it very poorly. But some days I wake up and wish for it to be different. Those days are FINE.
What is not fine, is wishing for my body to be different so much that I stop wanting to leave the house. It is not fine if I think I will be more lovable, popular, or smart with a different body. It is not fine for me to gain confidence solely from feeling like I fit into the mold.
It is fine to want to fit into my clothes better. It is fine for me to love that my waist is small (which highlights that my ass is BIG). It is fine that I can see that my workouts are making me more toned and that I choose to eat healthfully a lot of the time, partially because I wanna keep that tone.
I have lost some weight this year, not from restricting, counting, measuring food, and weighing myself constantly, but from changing my relationship with food, being patient with how lifting has shifted my body, and loving the ever living shit out of myself on a regular basis. Some people will lose weight using this method, some will gain weight, and some will stay the same. EVERYONE who does these things will feel better.
My self-esteem is not dependent on my weight, and what matters to me is that other people feel the same way. If your self-esteem is not dependent on your weight and you still want to lose some pounds or mass, GREAT. And if your self-esteem IS dependent on your weight, well, I’m still not going to be mad. I’m going to love you. I’m going to ask you why you think your body is the entirety of your worth. And then I am going to help you shift that relationship to your body, in any way that feels good, even if that is just being there to listen.
I read a quote from the amazingly articulate Go Kaleo right around the time of this conversation. It said this:
“Some people want to lose weight. Other people don’t want to.
Both are ok.”
This is an absolutely perfect summation of how I feel.