If you know me, you know I am all about loving yourself, doing what's best for your body, and not feeling trapped by having to make food choices all for the sake of looking #instamodel ready.
If you also know me, you also know that I aim to live the most authentic life in congruent with what I value so this blog may be a little vulnerable.
The past few months have been pretty stressful, but also pretty fun. I've traveled for work, planned a major event, and have been getting my house up and running. I've also continuously done some soul searching and started marathon training again because...well we'll get into that. A few weeks ago I was noticing my clothes were fitting a littttle bit tighter than usual, like to the point I couldn't wear them, so I decided to get on the scale for the first time in forever.
I saw a number I literally have never seen. It sent me on a shame spiral. Unlike last summer when I put on a few pounds, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. This time, I was legitimately sad. I started asking myself questions that I haven't really asked myself in awhile....like "Have my friends noticed?", "What's wrong with me?", "Why did I let myself go?".
These questions are sad. And there's no love towards myself in any of those. These questions are unkind and unfair, but unfortunately these are things that we are inherently taught to think as children from what we saw on television, from how we heard friends and family members talk about dieting, and from growing up in the age where the internet became a thing.
So naturally I wanted to lose weight.
This is where more shame came in.
We have started to live in a world that is so black and white.
Brene Brown talks about this in "Braving the Wilderness". A world where it is very "You are either for us or against us".
Lately I have observed from social media, podcasts, etc. we are either so very body positive where we want to be free of the scale and counting calories or we are extreme on the other end where it's all about counting macros, #gains, and before and after photos.
So as someone who considers themselves on the body positive end of this conversation, it is really really hard for me to admit that I want to lose weight and what kind of judgement would come with that. I love my friends, they support me, and think I'm beautiful no matter what. However, if I want to lose these few pounds to 1) feel better, 2) help my speed training with marathon training (this is science), 3) not have to buy new clothes, am I being a hypocrite if I decide to write down what I eat for a few weeks to hold myself more accountable?
There needs to be more of a middle ground. I'm a little unsure what that looks like, but I can imagine it'd include the following:
- When friends and family mention they want to lose weight, ask them caring questions. There's a healthy way to all of this, and at the end of the day we want sustainable results and lifestyle changes, not diets.
- Try not to pass judgement. It's easy to scroll through Instagram and roll your eyes at someone checking into Orangetheory, CrossFit, or posting their running mileage (subtle plug for #GFRgoesforaPR), however everyone has a story and a reason. If they love doing these movements and this holds them accountable to sweat a bit everyday, kudos, YGG (you go girls!...or guys!).
- Accept vulnerability and talk about this stuff! I didn't want to talk about any of this, but I brought it up with my therapist and she helped inspire this blog post. We need to have courage and be seen, and the best way is having these difficult conversations.
- Recognize our privilege in being able to have these conversations and our ability to make changes. Not everyone has the access to certain foods, gyms, or the ability to exercise. It is important to always remember that.
Ultimately at the end of the day we just need to spread a little extra love and support our friends and family when it comes to this topic. It's hard out there, y'all and we are all beautifully made just the way we are. Don't forget that.