I've struggled with weight fluctuation and body image issues most of my life. The majority of my teen years and 20s I was very thin. I was in an abusive relationship with my scale. I weighed myself daily, often twice a day. I used that number as a way to torment myself. I lingered between 115-120lbs and I hated how I looked. I picked apart every inch of my body. I really believed fat was the worst thing I could be. I recently read my journals from my preteen and early teen years. The manner in which I spoke about and to myself is heartbreaking. I would never speak to or about another human being in this way. The people I chose to surround myself with (often narcissistic teenage boys) affirmed that I was fat and that my fatness equated my worth, or lack of. From the age of 14 to 20 I would rapidly gain and lose weight. I could pack on 15-20lbs in short periods of time and lose just as quickly. When my addiction took off at the age of 20, I lost the weight and kept it off for the next 4 years while I used and abused drugs and alcohol. All the while believing that my thinness made me valuable.
When I made my second attempt at sobriety at the age of 24, of course I put on quite a bit of weight quickly. Which was necessary as I was emaciated at 98 pounds. I gained around 50 pounds in just a few months. In my second year of sobriety I was prescribed some new psychiatric medications that resulted in episodes of mania. I dropped about 20-30lbs again. I still wasn't happy with how I looked. I quit smoking at 29. I was sober from drugs, alcohol, and was coming off my prescription psych meds. I had nothing to soothe how I felt inside - except food. So I began to fill that hole in my soul by gorging myself with food. I gained 80 plus pounds in about a year's time. I hated my body. Still. Turns out, thin or fat, I hated my body.
I've been in fat body for over 10 years now. I haven't seen under 200lbs in that time. This last year I've focused much more on health and strength than weight loss. Some days I still wish I was under 200lbs. The truth is how I feel about my body is an inside job. And really I'm so much happier in my fat body than I ever was in my thin body. I fully suspect that has nothing to do with the number on the scale or the size pants I wear. I'm so grateful for fat bodied people like Lizzo who are unapologetic about showing off their big bodies. I'll never forget that over the summer of 2020, Lizzo posted an Instagram picture of herself in a high legged bikini showing off her fupa (if you don't know it, Google can help). I have always hated mine and never would ever wear any clothing that would show it off, let alone accentuate it. But damn if I didn't see that picture and think she was so sexy! Seeing her comfortable in her skin helped me get over my discomforts with my own body. Thank you Lizzo!! Turns out, I'm more attracted to fat and full bodied people! So why didn't I like that body type on me???
I had to heal what is broken within me. My self worth. It’s a journey, and not every day is easy. I needed to forgive my past mistakes. I needed to place value on the positive attributes of my character. Not my body. This has been a journey that includes being grateful for every part of my marvelous body that grew and nourished 3 humans. The body that survived disordered eating and drug addiction. This body that houses all of the amazing, loving, intuitive parts of my soul. Just for today, I am healing the parts of me that feel broken. I’m learning to love myself regardless of the scale or the pant size because those numbers do not define me. Just for today I am only going to say kind things about the way I look and stop demonizing the word fat. I challenge you to do the same.