Today is a new beginning.
Today I start my pre-op diet which means my op is imminent…14 days to be exact. On 8 March I will be on my way to Las Vegas for my gastric sleeve surgery.
As you know, or maybe you don’t, I have been trying to coax my body to a healthy size for a little over 14 years. Along the way so much has changed about me but also about the world. Like…there’s a body positive movement now. How awesome is that?
If body positive is code for not caring about health then that’s not cool (at least not to me).
So personally I am always on this see-saw between self-love and self-not-so-much-love partly because the loving my body mindset is so new.
When I started this journey 14 years ago, it was nothing for me to look in the mirror and call myself a cow.
Today, I cannot even remember the last time I caught myself being so mean to the girl in the mirror.
When I started this journey 14 years ago, I felt a deep need to conform to a single standard, weight, body mass index, or some other number.
Today, I can hardly hold a straight face typing such nonsense. Conform? Oh man am I glad I lost that need even when losing pounds was elusive. It’s laughable to me now. Have given up goals weights and even science has stopped supporting the BMI chart. Now, I am only interested in body composition including a healthy body fat percentage which for women is a wide range between 30-percent and 12-percent. That means HEALTH fits everywhere in between. It is not, and never has been, “a” number.
When I started this journey 14 years ago, I did not love my thighs, hips, or the labyrinth of one-inch wide stretchmarks all over the front of my body.
Today, my lack of love for those features remains. Although, I am kinder to myself so that’s a step in the right direction. However, today I do not ever see myself embracing them any time soon and I’m totally okay with that.
For the past year, I have been searching for my voice. Body positivity is GREAT!!!! But the “woo hoo I love my fat” is not me. I don’t love my fat. I especially do not love those stretch marks even if they came from pregnancy more than from fat. They’re not “tiger stripes”. They suck.
But did you see what I said?
I do not suck.
Okay well sometimes I do indeed suck but I do not suck because I have stretch marks. Hey, every one has sucky moments now and again but I do not wallow in suckery.
When I started this journey 14 years ago, I did not love myself much at all. There was little difference between the space I consume in the world and who I am as a person. Fourteen years ago, I had one identity: fat girl.
Today, who I am–awesome–and my weight–not awesome–have precisely nothing to do with one another. Separating the two has been the hardest exercise of all.
My biggest lesson from my own journey and my biggest takeaway from the body-love movement is this:
I can love myself AND not love my weight at the very same time.
It is OKAY to love yourself AND know you need to change. Self-love cannot ever be disguised as permission to not accept stewardship over your health.