Shifting Focus

I saw a photo on Humans of New York the other day and I found myself sitting and nodding. I read a lot of the comments and there were shared sentiments from people all over the world. As I continued to read I realised that hadn’t had the same experiences that people were describing. Not in the slightest. But it felt familiar. And then… The penny dropped. I hadn’t experienced what the people were talking about, but I was terrified that it was going to happen to me. [side note; if you don’t like HONY on facebook, you are missing out. Get your cute toosh over there and check it out]

 “I used to be 300 lbs. I thought that when I lost all the weight, a light switch would suddenly flip on and I’d be driven and inspired. But the self-judgment just shifted. Sometimes when I’m jogging, I’ll see a woman who is fitter than me, and I’ll think: ‘No matter how much I run, I’ll never look like that.’ It’s the same voice in my head as before. Only difference is now I’m better at telling it to shut the fuck up.” 

Anyone else nodding their head too? Oh I feel you. I’ve lost weight, and gained it back. I lost it again, and then it came back again. Similarly I’ve waited and waited for the switch to flick. That the drive, and particularly the happiness would come in abundance. If only I could get to that goal weight. But I keep coming back to the strong and complete resolution that there simply is no switch. Just like there is no quick fix for losing weight, there is no quick switch for making you love yourself. Whoa. Weren’t ready for that were you? Seriously though, that’s what we are talking about here.

Now that I have stepped back and really evaluated where I am at and the road that I am on I know that I can confidently say that I love myself. I know that I have some stuff I have to work on, but if I were to remain exactly as I am right now for the rest of eternity I would be more than ok with that. I have a great laugh, I have legs that take me where I want to go, I have hands to hold and lips to kiss and I have a great personality [I will stop tooting my horn now… Okay one more… toot] My body is a vessel for me to be able to complete the things that I want and for the longest time I viewed it as something that held me back, when really it was only my mind that did that. Now this is not to say that I am a pillar of perfect health. I understand that I am over weight and that could cause issues to my health in the future, but wanting to change for health reasons is a completely different kettle of fish than wanting to change because I think being thinner will make me a happier better and nicer person. At the root of loving myself is wanting to be the best version of myself, and by allowing myself to get healthier, I can only get better. A shock I know, but it’s the truth. There is a better version of me in here somewhere and I am determined to let her out.

I want to make something else clear. Because there are a lot of articles that talk about this self love, body positive idea. I’m not pro-fat, and I am not anti-fat. I am pro love and humanity and I am pro every man, woman and anyone in between those two polarising nouns, being ok with who they are as they stand whatever that may look like. I am pro people understanding that a clothing label does not define a person. I am pro making decisions for health and love and not for guilt and sadness. I am pro nobody telling anybody what they should do with their body.

I have had a really great week. I have made great decisions, I feel happy and I feel on the road to where I want to be right now. I have stopped waiting for the switch to flick. I have stopped worrying about all the things that could go wrong and all the places I could end up, and I am trying my hardest to keep my eyes on the here and now. On the controllable things, and the little decisions that make me a better, healthier and more radical version of myself. And its working. I swear.

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