Thursday, July 23, 2015

Pros/Cons of Losing Weight


Reasons I Want to Lose Weight:

  • I want to go on roller coasters until I'm 70
  • I want to be able to climb to the top of the big slide on the hill at Davis Farmland for as long as the boys want to, and not have to stop because I'm worn out.
  • I want to wear jeans more often.
  • I want to deal with times when I eat my feelings and gain more control over myself in those moments.
  • I want to ride any amusement park attraction and never have to worry about fitting in the seat.
  • I want to be able to climb the ladder and get onto a floating dock in the middle of the lake.
  • I want to be healthy enough to watch my grandkids and greatgrandkids grow up.
  • I want more energy. I want all the energy.
  • Sometimes I look at a picture and the girl I see is not actually the girl I'm seeing in my head.
  • I want good blood sugar.
  • I want to feel proud of myself.
  • I want to feel good.


Reasons that I Don't Want to Lose Weight:

  • I'm already good enough the way I am.
  • I live in a society that demands women find their worth by shrinking.
  • I have clothes that I love, cute dresses and swimsuits and jeans, and I don't have to lose weight to live out the style that I love.
  • I think diets are demeaning.
  • Nothing that I struggle with emotionally will change if I look different than I do now.
  • People will congratulate me (obviously) and that will feel so good (obviously) and I'm scared to define my worth through this process.
  • Most weight loss tools are condescending and shitty. The fitness chatter for men is "You're going to get so cut!" and the fitness talk for women is "You're going to look so good in your bathing suit!"
  • It's taken me 30 years to like myself. I really like myself. I'm scared that admitting I need to lose weight will confuse that message that I have finally pounded through my thick skull.
  • It's hard.

This is an accurate representation of my brain, every day, trying to reconcile body acceptance and feminism with my biological need to have less weight on my body. For me, it's medical- a report to me about my personal situation from a doctor.  If I want to live a long time, I have to lose weight. I have done it before. I know that it's possible (even though post-kids and at 30, it's harder than ever).  But it's work, and I'm struggling with it. I know a lot of my heartfelt reasons that I don't want to lose weight are really important, legit things- I don't want to mess with my own hard-won self confidence, for instance- but it's also legitimately important that I take my health in hand and take care of myself.

It's kind of tiring.

I wonder if I would have such fiery values about loving myself if losing weight was easy for me, or if I've built up this gorgeous wall of feminism because I don't fit the typical mold of societal beauty. I think it would have still appealed to me, this radical message that you don't have to be constantly pursuing a stick-thin body and you can beautiful at any size, in any outfit of your choosing, showing as much or as little skin as you please, wearing full make up or nothing at all. I've been all sizes, and it's never made me happy. Healthier maybe, and probably (ick) a little more self righteous. 

It's all part of a cycle; this pros/cons list will be my negotiation for the rest of my life. Weight was my focus last summer, and it's rearing it's head again. I will always have to work a little for optimum health. I will always be extra critical of the messages that the media and society perpetuate about what is healthy, what is pretty, what should be loved. I will always have to balance those two things to embrace self acceptance and my own personal health.

What do you think, ladies and gents? How do you balance your feminist values with personal health? Any leads on workout/weight loss programs that aren't...awful? I'm using Pinterest as a tool right now, looking for images of confidence and health tips at the same time, but I'd love to hear what has worked for you! Much love, xoxo.

Image credits: 1, 2, 3

9 comments:

  1. It has been the struggle of my lifetime since I was 12 years old when I was put on my first diet. I look at pictures of myself back then and think,"why did they think I was fat back then?"- I wasn't. But now I am and I end everyday feeling guilt about not having control over this. I am not lazy. I am very smart. I raised 4 kick ass women. I have been madly loved by two handsome husbands. I throw an amazing party. I don't eat whole cakes at midnight and drink enough water everyday but I can't lose weight. And I feel like a failure. Thank you for helping me focus on the things
    that I need to focus on. You give voice to what all of us want to say. Thank you.

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    1. Thank for you what you gave to me, and thank you for seeing the good in you! <3

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  2. Love this post. I just read Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen and so much of it resonated with me but also reminds me of the sentiments you've expressed here and throughout your blog. The book is chockablock full of awesome quotes including "Do no harm, but take no sh!t", (which are things I hope to eventually master) but two in particular really summed it up for me and I think are reflective of this great post: "A good body is every body." and "Eat well and exercise for the right reasons. Love your body first, change it (if needed) later."

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    Replies
    1. It's so true- finding the right reasons will make it worth it.

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  3. Gosh, such real raw thoughts here; I love it. So funny how our society makes these things so one sided: be skinny and be happy! Be young and be happy! Be perfect and never show your true self! That's the message I get... Loved reading your words here, keep being beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. <3 Thank you for reading it! More rawness to come, I'm sure :)

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