I’m not going to allow the opinions and insults of others to dictate how I live my life. Anymore.
How I look should not change who I am. My being ‘overweight’ does not give anyone a license to body shame me. I refuse to allow myself to fall prey to societal expectations which are completely unrealistic and put a negative spin on body image and health. If I lose weight, it will be because I have decided that I wanted to do that. For myself. Verbally abusing me and constantly pointing out that I would be so pretty if I lost a few pounds is absolutely never going to yield positive results. How ignorant are you?
I am thankful that I have so many people in my life–family, friends, boyfriend–who think I am beautiful even when I am at my worst. These people support me, encourage me and help me to love myself in spite of all of my flaws. A person is never really able to get motivated to better their health when they hate themselves. It takes falling in love with yourself, wanting to please yourself by being healthier, to really change your own life. Until you can accept yourself as you are, you will never be able to love yourself enough to dedicate yourself to, well, yourself. Weight loss should be a personal journey; one you choose for yourself, by yourself. You don’t have to go it alone, and you shouldn’t, but it should be about you. It should be for you, not for anyone else.
Why should a person’s weight or appearance be more important than their intelligence or their character or their sense of humor or their ability to encourage and entertain others or their compassion or their passion or any other truly important part of what makes a person an individual? Why do we value a person’s appearance over a person? We need to stop. We really do. And that has to start with the mirror.
Starting today, I am challenging anyone that reads this to break up with their mirror and their scale. For thirty days, commit to living your life without looking at your reflection, without looking at your weight. I don’t want you cheating and taking pictures of yourself to check out if you look fat. I want you to stop. I want you to start valuing yourself beyond your appearance. I want to see if we can fall in love with ourselves for who we really are. I want to see how this will affect our routines, our eating, our behaviorisms, our self-awareness.
If you go to the gym regularly (good for you! I’m really proud of you, so keep it up!), I know this might be a little more difficult. Gyms are known for having entire walls of mirrors. Just do your best, okay? Focus on your class, your work out, your fitness, not on your reflection.
Let me know how it goes.