One of the harder parts of my journey has been to accept and love myself just as I am, extra pounds and all. When I began dieting 20 years ago, I didn’t know I was doing more harm than good. I didn’t know that 95% of people who intentionally lose weight will gain it back and that two-thirds of us will regain more than we lost. Our body is a finely-tuned machine. It doesn’t know we’re intentionally restricting food, it has been designed to respond to famine by making sure it’s prepared for ‘next time’.
So here we are. The damage has been done and I can’t change what has happened. I can spend the rest of my life being mad as hell that diet culture lied to me or I can accept that I did the best I could with the information I had and move forward as things are. While I still have flashes of anger over the time, money and energy lost to dieting, it’s getting easier.
But the more I reflect on my journey, the more fired up I get over how our culture makes us feel about our bodies. Why did I think I needed to be smaller, when frankly, I was perfectly healthy and would kill to have that body now? Not to mention, my body is maybe 1/100th of who I am as a human. Why have we allowed ourselves to be reduced to a body with no other qualities? We are intelligent, strong, caring, loving, beautiful, funny, amazing women who can change the world, if only we weren’t so preoccupied with looking (or being) smaller.
Let’s allow ourselves to be larger than life, both literally and figuratively! When we forgive ourselves and the decisions of the past, accept ourselves as we are today in this body and focus on our gifts, we can change the world. We also find that others love us just as we are. They always did, but there’s a freedom in allowing them to love ALL of us. I hope you join me in celebrating all of the amazing qualities you have, that have nothing to do with your body or it’s size.
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