*Trigger Warning: Talk of eating habits and weight loss/gain that may be sensitive to people living with an eating disorder*
I can’t remember a time where the thought of food and weight wasn’t prevalent. My weight had fluctuated throughout my many years, and more often than not I’ve been “overweight.” I put that in quotation marks because what does that even mean anymore?
This journey to love your body is a never-ending one. I’m not claiming to have triumphed this completely. I’m always going to have days where I don’t feel good about myself. I’m just no longer going to let that be because of what other people think.
I’ve spent way too much time and energy throughout my life worrying about how my body looks rather than how it feels. I’ve cared too long about how other people look at my body and how they equate it to my worth. I’ve wasted too much energy thinking about how I eat and how I exercise when I could have been using that energy towards something more positive.
Learning to love my body and shift my worries to something more positive is part of my personal healing process and learning to live with my anxiety.
If you’re on this same journey of self-love, or have ever believed that your weight and body type mattered more than your happiness, please take this pledge with me. It won’t be easy and you’ll have moments where you forget this for a moment – but that moment will pass and you can put some extra effort into loving yourself.
So here we go…
I refuse to speak or think negatively about my body. I will no longer hate this vessel that carries me through life. Hating myself serves no purpose for anyone. I will stop myself when I notice I’m talking badly about my body.
I refuse to start an unhealthy diet or exercise regimen with the sole goal of losing weight. I won’t subject myself to something unhealthy to lose weight. I will continue to eat the healthy foods I love without being afraid to indulge in something unhealthy when I choose. I won’t feel guilty about slipping out of a healthy diet once in a while. I will not eat less than I should.
I refuse to compare myself to other women and I refuse to bring others down, in my own head or out loud. I will embrace the beauty in everyone and I will empower the women around me. I refuse to think that because I don’t look like her, I’m not good enough. I refuse to shame another woman for how she decides to showcase or not showcase her body.
I refuse to care when people call me fat. What others think about my body does not matter. I refuse to consider what someone else thinks about the way I should eat, work out, dress, or act based on my body now. I know that I’m more than my body.
I refuse to look at photos of my wedding and think that I was fat. I refuse to forget about how amazing that day was, how beautiful my dress was, and that I looked and felt beautiful on that day.
I refuse to shame myself when I look at photos of myself. I no longer want to shy away from photos because I’m scared I won’t look good.
I refuse the idea that I can’t be sexy. I refuse the idea that I need to prove that I’m sexy to other people. It doesn’t matter.
I refuse to change the way I dress or stop myself from buying something that other people say doesn’t suit my body. I refuse to hide my stomach and my thighs and my arms or whatever else because none of those things are small. I will wear what I want, when I want, and no one can take away the power in that.
I refuse to stop caring about my health no matter what it does to my weight. I will not eat healthy just to lose weight. I will not not eat something because I might gain weight. If I am losing weight, I will not obsess. I will just let whatever happens to my weight happen naturally. If I gain weight, I won’t beat myself up for it.
I refuse to forget that I need to do my part in promoting body positivity to all the men and women and others I know. I refuse to shame someone else about their own journey and choices. I will not support dangerous tactics, but I will not make someone feel bad ever.
I hope you join me in this pledge to start embracing our bodies; the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s just a vessel for us to be here and experience this life, which is very fleeting.