Every time I scroll social media and see women stripping down -both their insecurities and their clothes- and celebrating the imperfections of their bodies, I stop and admire their pictures and marvel at the positive image they portray by showing that all bodies are real, flawed, and worthy of love. It’s beautiful and inspiring.
Their words of body positivity and self-love always cut me to the core: “You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to live up to impossible beauty standards. You don’t have to change.” And they are right, we don’t have to base our self-worth on our size, we don’t have to go to extreme methods to force our bodies into sizes they weren’t meant to fit into, and we don’t have to give in to diet culture.
I want to be body positive but I want to lose weight, and here’s why I think it’s okay to be both.
I don’t care about having a perfectly flat tummy, I’m unbothered by my faded stretch marks, or the scar above my belly button from an old piercing that stretched out with my expanding uterus during pregnancy. I’ve embraced many of the changes that my body has gone through with age and becoming a mother, and my focus isn’t on perfection or vanity weight.
The weight I’m carrying right now makes me feel sluggish, unhealthy, and puts me in the overweight category, which can come with health risks and have a negative impact on my overall well being. The weight I’m carrying is emotional weight; it reminds me that I’ve been using food as a coping mechanism instead of finding healthy ways to deal with stress. The extra weight is a reminder that I have dealt with a lot of pain this past year and that I’m not only carrying it mentally, but physically too.
I want to lose the extra weight because it symbolizes what I have gone through emotionally and it is a product of something negative.
The body positivity movement tells me that I should love my body at any size, and while I agree that all bodies are worthy of love at any size, I don’t feel like myself at the size I am now and I know I got here by not taking care of myself and my health. I want to feel healthier and be able to complete a workout without feeling like I’m going into cardiac arrest. I want to have stamina and strength and feel strong and energetic.
I am curvaceous by nature and I embrace it, even at a smaller weight I will always be fuller in the hips, butt and thighs, and although I once tried to fight against my body’s natural curves as an adolescent, I have grown to love it. I accept and love my body’s natural shape and I’m not trying to achieve something that is unsustainable for my body type. I want to show my body love by eating better, exercising, finding positive ways to deal with stress and getting back to a weight that is healthy for me.
I think it’s okay to both love your body and want to make positive healthy changes in your life that may ultimately lead to carrying less weight and feeling better all around. Overall I don’t think we should shame anyone for their own personal journey with body love, because it’s different for everyone.