Let’s just get this off the table: I’ve gained weight. Numerically, about 20 lbs.
Some of you are judging. Some of you are letting out gasps and saying, “Bless her heart!”
Some of you are texting your girlfriend to say, “I told you that PCOS chick gained weight! Ha!”
Whatever you’re thinking, stop.
First, because I want you to know I am completely accepting and comfortable with this fact. I don’t need your sympathy. I don’t need your comments. I don’t need your judgement. Because I am just fine.
My hesitation in writing this came from the fact that I am a health coach, and because of our messed up society that is stuffed full of diet culture, where worth is dictated by numbers on tags and scales, I know many of you would find me hypocritical.
How dare she coach women about health when she clearly is not in control of hers?
Well I dare to because I think health is more than what the industry driven by shame and fueled by fear of not being what is currently considered ideal. I find nothing healthy about spending all my energy hating myself and obsessing over food.
Health to me is improving your quality of life. But what happens when your pursuit of physical health is destroying your mental health? What if the journey leads you down a road of obsession over food and using fitness and nutrition as a punishment and reward system?
In a season when every fitspo, home health coach will be filling your social media with their programs to “fix” you, I want you to remember one thing- you shouldn’t be shamed into health. You’re not broken. The health industry is, preying on our insecurities. Motivation driven by hating yourself doesn’t get you very far.
I gained weight.
I don’t need to justify it. I just stopped equating my worthiness with my physical appearance. I didn’t “let myself go.” The only thing that I let go of is my fear of judgement about how my body makes others feel.
But regardless, I don’t owe anyone an explanation about my body. I could list the numerous life occurrences that some may accept as worthy of justification for weight gain. I could apologize about how I did XYZ to get here, and quickly follow up with how I am going to resolve it. I could explain to you that at my thinnest I still felt unhealthy and trapped in the diet cycle. I could make sure you understand why I’m still acceptable where I am, even though society might say differently. But I won’t.
Because my weight is not something that needs to be resolved. I’m heavier. And I am happier. To me, this is healthier.
I’ve found acceptance in the fact that health is individual. It is not one size fits all. It is a complex balance between mind and body, and the connection between the two is crucial to understand.
And for those who view me differently for it, I bid you ado. You are the exact unhealthy weight I need to lose.
I have gained. I have gained strength to break up my unhealthy relationship with connecting guilt and reward to food. I have gained the understanding that my confidence can come from something other than my body. I have gained the knowledge to see how closely related your mental health is to your physical health, and both need to be nurtured. I have gained the understanding that loving the hell out of myself doesn’t come with size restrictions.
And I have gained the strength to tell anyone who has something to say about my body that I don’t owe you an explanation. And I certainly don’t need your validation.