The world today is so full of contradictions. We often find ourselves conflicted and unsure. Especially when we’re trying to make meaningful change in our lives. For example, I used to really struggle with the contradiction between being body positive and my undeniable desire to lose weight. It seemed that I couldn’t have both. How could I claim to love my body but at the same time want to change it? Doesn’t that make me a hypocrite? In the year since discovering body positivity, I’ve come to realise that there’s a big divide within the community as to whether or not it’s possible to be body positive but also want to lose weight, and that this is something a lot of people struggle with.
I’ve found that when we’re faced with contradictions like these it’s best to ask yourself one question; Is this motivated by self love, or self hatred?
Needless to say when the answer is the former then you know that it’s safe and healthy and you don’t need to worry. But when the answer is the latter, that’s when you need to reassess what’s going on in your mind. Are there external influences at play? Is your social media bursting with subtle but powerful messaging that’s damaging to you? Do the pages you follow make you feel bad about yourself? Do you even want to make lose weight, or are you just convincing yourself you do because you think you should want it? For most of us the answer is not as clear as we may have thought.
Right now almost everyone in the western world is thinking, talking and typing about loosing weight, getting fit, counting calories or syns or macros, and getting the perfect body. My concern is that I believe most of these people are making these promises to themselves because they feel they aren’t ‘enough’ until they achieve that goal. And not only is that a super unhealthy mindset, it’s also frankly unhelpful.
The fact is that the vast majority of these people won’t achieve their goal in a sustainable, long-term way. This isn’t because they’re not motivated enough, or determined enough. But it’s because their motivation and determination is rooted in fear, fear of not being ‘enough’, and fear does not like personal growth. When we allow ourselves to be rooted in fear, we never grow, never progress, never thrive. We are quite literally rooted, stuck, immovable.
If you want to lose weight because you want your body to be as well equipt as possible for you to live the lifestyle you want, where’s the harm in that? For example, I would like to lose a little weight to ease the pressure on my knees which are extremely weak after a bad accident in my early teens. One knee dislocates regularly and the agony it causes alongside the disruption to my life is something I really want to minimise. This desire isn’t rooted in self hatred, or feeling like I’m not enough. It’s rooted in selfove and a desire to live an easier, more comfortable life.
So, if you’re struggling with the contradictions between loving your body and losing weight, don’t worry so much. There’s a lot of body positive advocates out there who’ll tell you that you can’t have both. But I believe you can. At the end of the day, all that really matters is why you do it, mot whether you do it.
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