Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words cut to the core. I cannot be the only woman who has had something said to her that lingers for years in the back of her mind until just the right moment when it pops right into the forefront cutting like a knife right where it hurts the most. I remember so many of the words said to me:
“I’m not really attracted to you.”
“Just lose 5 pounds and you will look so pretty.”
“We didn’t invite you because we didn’t think you’d be able to <insert physical activity here>. . . .”
“Try this new lifestyle change program; no really, it is not a diet.”
Before you say to yourself, “I would never”– are you a person who says or posts on social media that beauty isn’t just what’s on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside? Then you follow that up with posts where you are obsessing over your macro counts, how much weight you have (or have not lost), or sharing how you only feel good when you are skinny, or only take pictures when you look picture perfect. #reallife #liar Check.Your.Self.
I found immense freedom when I said no more to diet culture and “lifestyle changes.” I started immersing myself in body-positive communities and realizing that I can make choices that honor my right-now body instead of shaming myself into a past or future body. My plus-size body is good.
That does not mean that every day I feel amazing in my body, but it means that I can care for my body in a loving, healthy way. I can move my body because I want to and it feels good, not for punishment for eating ice cream. I can eat fruits and vegetables because they taste good. I can eat pizza and macaroni because they taste good too.
There are so many more interesting things about me than my weight/plus size body. So before you judge, look down upon, or decide what my body can and cannot do; have a conversation with me. Please learn that I like to play music, scuba dive, hike, read, bake, play games, take pictures, have adventures, and spend time with my family. To know me is to know more than what meets the eye.