So, you’re not thin. Maybe you used to be thin, then life happened and your body is a different size now. It could be that, like me, you’ve never been thin. Maybe you’re not too far from being thin, but there are ten pounds on your body that you’re just desperate to shed. Whatever the case, your body isn’t as small as you think it ought to be.
As a fellow non-thin person, I am coming to you with a request.
Please do not postpone your life waiting to be thin.
Because I live my life in a fat body, I fully understand what I am asking of you. I know how complicated the emotions of body size are. I am not promising it will be easy, and I am certainly not expecting you to be able to do this all at once.
But I am begging you to try. Embrace what the world has to offer you because, my friend, you are spectacular in the exact body you have today. You deserve to truly live — not just exist in a constant state of apology and shrinking.
Do you want to go to the gym, but you’re worried how you’ll look? I get it. Gyms can be intimidating for everyone, but it’s extra hard in a body that isn’t thin. But you deserve to strengthen your muscles, stretch, swim, and play. Gyms are for every single body. You belong in exercise spaces. Your knees might be knocking when you walk through the door, but if the gym is calling your name, it’s for you. Don’t wait another day to discover or resume the movement that you love. It’s good for your body, mind, and spirit to be in motion.
Don’t let your body stop you from enjoying clothes. There is nothing you are not allowed to wear, thin or not. Leggings, crop tops, tight dresses, bright colors…it’s all for you if you want it. Hell, this is 2020. You can even find a string bikini to fit almost every body. Don’t spend this summer telling yourself you’ll buy a nice swimsuit if you lose 20 pounds by next year. If the idea of a gorgeous bathing suit makes your heart sing, tie that baby on and let the sun shine on every inch of your beautiful skin right now. You deserve to know how that feels.
Once in a while, order dessert, and don’t make it a reward for weight loss. You don’t have to earn a “cheat day.” It’s not cheating on anyone for you to eat a few bites of something yummy. I’m here to remind you that you deserve a treat once in a while like everyone else. And just so you know, now is a fantastic time to give dessert a go. They’re out here making ice cream sundaes out of Krispy Kreme donuts, and $20 milkshakes with whole pieces of cheesecake shoved into them these days, people. It’s the perfect time in history to learn to indulge.
Please, please, please don’t let your body stop you from traveling. See the parts of the world you want to see whenever you can afford to do it. Airplanes suck for people who aren’t thin, but there are lots of ways to make it work. I’ve been in a fat body my whole life, and I’ve traveled by plane a zillion times. Ask for the seatbelt extender if you need to, and settle in for the same uncomfortable ride as everyone else. Just get there.
Then don’t let the size of your body dictate what you experience on vacation. You are allowed to hike, even if you’re dripping sweat and breathing loud. You should swim with the dolphins, even if you don’t want anyone to see the photos. It’s okay to feel self-conscious, but for the love of all things holy, get out and LIVE ANYWAY.
Remember, you don’t have to take photos of everything. The memories are worth it even if they only exist in your mind. I am a huge believer in getting in the photo no matter how you look, but if you’re not there yet, who cares? Do the thing and let your brain hold the only memories. Just because we can photograph every moment doesn’t mean we have to or even should.
But there’s one kind of photo I think everyone should master, and that’s the selfie. I love a selfie. And I make use of filters once in a while with no shame. I’m a mom. Why wouldn’t I want to look like I spent an hour on my makeup instead of four-and-a-half frenzied minutes? Filters make me look like a woman with a skincare routine instead of a woman who considers plucking her chin hairs without a baby in my arms self-care.
If you want to have photos of yourself, but you need some control to feel confident, take the selfie.
Then post that shit to social media every chance you get if you want to. You deserve to feel extraordinary. It’s okay to see yourself as beautiful, no matter what society says about the number in your pants or on your scale.
There is no easy way to make peace with your body. It’s just a hard process, and it looks different for everyone.
Like me, you might need to learn to separate your weight from your worth, trying hard to be content regardless of the numbers.
Maybe you know for certain that for you to feel peaceful in your body, you need to intentionally endeavor to change its size.
I am here for whatever you need to do to fall in love with you. But don’t let the process become the whole journey. You only get one life in your body, and it’s too short to waste it postponing every good thing until there is less of you. You’re whole and worthy right now. Today. Exactly as you are.
Every ounce and inch of you deserve to move through this world collecting your memories like treasures and packing in every bit of the human experience.
You are so much more than the size of your body. Don’t let the quest for thinness stop you from living your very best life.