I will never forget what my neighbor said to me post weight loss transformation. A woman who I thought knew me. Who lived beside my struggles and must have recognized the pain and darkness that hovered over me for all the years I grew up next door. “Of course you’re happy now that you’re skinny.” As if it was the obvious answer. As if my happiness came AFTER my weight loss. As if my internal struggles go hand in hand with the way I look. NO. I treat myself according to the level of happiness I attain. The levels of happiness I hope to reach. The happier I am, the better I treat myself. I show my physical being the respect I believe I deserve.
I have an emotional response to anyone who appears uncomfortable with the extra weight they carry on their body. I remember the frustration that came with clothes shopping. The pain from chafing, the exhaustion from the simple activities of daily living. Vacation experiences restricted, lifetime opportunities teased and stripped from my reality. I will never forget the time my friend and I pushed our way to the stage of Train at Tortuga music festival in Florida. One of my favorite bands growing up performing some of my all-time favorite songs. The lead singer surprised the crowd, and the security, by inviting the front rows to jump up on stage with him. It was a rush. The most agile and athletic found their way to the stage first and got to live this once in a lifetime moment. My first and only move was to tell my friend I would take epic photos of her from the ground.
I feel a sense of overwhelming sadness for those who haven’t yet found a strategy to be truly comfortable with the body they live in. My empathetic instinct is followed by a rush of relief, pride and a reminder of my own strength. I know what it feels like to wish things were different but feel too stuck, defeated, lost, unworthy of an alternative. The first step to taking control of your health is learning how to love and accept yourself despite what society might say. How freeing it is to live by your own standards. How comforting it is to believe in your own potential. The effect compassion has on our physical self is direct. The control box to taking charge of the respect we deserve. Realizing we hold the power to determine how we feel about ourselves AND the actions we take to better ourselves. The weight loss journey just happens to be a straight forward vision into the effects we can initiate with the right mindset. It seems as though the only thing that can block our happiness is ourselves. It’s unsettling to know we hold the key to a happy life but some may never feel the urge to find it. Positive thoughts, encouraging affirmations, self-motivation and confidence open the gateways into loving and treating your body with the compassion it DESERVES.
The definition of a happy person is one who is excited about progress. Excited about life and living one’s best life. I know for a fact how uncomfortable it is to carry extra weight. I am free from that burden post weight loss and maintaining my healthy lifestyle. I also know how rewarding the weight loss journey is. Not just physically, but for mind, body AND soul. Read more about my process gaining mental & physical strength through exercise.
While I understand that I can't possibly connect or even know each individual's background, I hope I can inspire courage and commitment to health and self-love. Maybe you're currently on medicine that restricts weight loss, or you’ve sacrificed weight gain to allow a more important priority to your personal happiness. Are you keeping in mind goals for what your healthiest life looks like? Everyone’s story is different, but each and every one of us has the opportunity to supply love and kindness to the haven that is our body.
I am a strong supporter of body positivity. Viewing and promoting all versions of attractiveness. Diversity broadens the capacity of beauty that exists. Big-boned, curvy, flatter chested, thicker booty--you name it, I’m for it. Body positivity in my opinion means taking care of your body while encouraging acceptance and inspiring confidence for others to do the same. Loving, respecting and preserving our body as a safe and comfortable shelter. Inclusivity and appreciation to anyone who stands by their personal version of healthy. Everyone has beauty to offer. Viewing yourself and your image in a positive light because you know you’re nurturing and treating your body, whatever size with whatever scars, blemishes, etc. as the temple that it is. There is nothing more physically attractive than the glow that radiates from an individual whose happiness projects from within.
It isn’t changing who you are to strive to be the best version of yourself. If you read this and felt doubts creep in, question where those doubts came from. Which part of your life feels unsatisfying or questionable? How can you create a more rewarding and enjoyable environment for yourself? Put on your battle gear and make the changes you feel drawn to. You are stronger than settling. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own skin.