Does wanting to lose weight mean I don't love my body?
These days, it seems like, you need to make a choice between self love and losing weight. It has become an unending paradox. Some people interpret body positivity as something that applies to only fat or overweight people, as opposed to a movement that encourages everybody to completely love the body that you’re in at any given point in time. I’m all for body positivity, I force myself to look for things I love about my body instead of focusing on my love handles and tummy rolls, although I admit, some days I can’t stand the sight of my body in the mirror, especially after I’ve finished ogling ladies with toned bodies in colourful bikinis, on Instagram. We really need to talk about how much social media affects the way we see ourselves, but that’s a post for another day.
The million dollar question
The question still remains, Can I really love my body and want to change it by losing weight? If I truly love myself, I should have zero desire to change right? If I want to change, it must mean that I don’t love a part of me and that’s bad. Right?
I firmly believe that it is not a bad thing to love the body I have now, and still want to improve it, so I can look like Beyonce. You have to learn to love yourself from a place of honesty. You’re great the way you are, but real self love means you always want what’s best for you and your body.
Strike a balance!
To live a wholesome life, you need to learn to strike a balance between loving where you’re at in the present moment, and still envisioning an even better future for yourself based on the things you want. When it comes to weight loss and loving your body, what matters is your motivation.
Find your ‘why’
So the first question you should ask yourself is why you want to lose weight. Bear in mind that there’s no right or wrong reason. You just have to make sure that you’re doing it for you, and it’s coming from a place of love and your genuine desire to be better, and not because you’re chasing perfection or trying to fit into other people’s opinions of what your body should look like.
What is perfection to you?
In essence, define what a perfect body means to you, and then do what needs to be done. If it means creating an exercise regimen and changing your diet, go for it! If it means sticking to your current lifestyle, and consciously deciding to be healthier by eating good food and exercising once in while, then do you!
Change your perspective
Instead of making it weight loss vs self love, how about we redefine things and call it weight loss because of self love? Don’t let anybody convince you that you must hate yourself because you want to change your body to meet your personal ideals, it is simply not true.
Remember, you are enough
Weight doesn’t and should not dictate your worth. You can choose to remain the way you are and live a happy, healthy, fulfilling life. Wanting to lose weight because it’s affecting your quality of life, or because you know your weight is coming from an unhealthy physical or mental place (such as stress eating) is not a bad thing. Such change is coming from love and it’s brave of you to decide to change, because honestly, change is hard, and it’s easier to stay in your comfort zone.
Why should weight be different?
If you find that you’re starting to hate your job, and you’re not progressing nobody is going to tell you that your desire to change jobs or careers means you hate yourself, or you don’t value yourself. Friends who send you job links or resources aren’t shaming your choices. Your desire to change jobs comes from a place of self love. It means you value yourself to create the kind of life and career you want. So why should weight be different?
You can love yourself and want to change!
The only person who should have a say in your life is you. You’re the only person who can direct your life in the right direction. You can love yourself into change, and also love yourself enough not to change. Never let anybody tell you that you’re not good enough or you’re making the wrong decision. You’re the one who lives in your body, so do it for you!
The short answer
The supposed ‘choice’ between self love and weight loss is false. You can have both, in fact, having both is the only way to be truly happy with yourself. What’s your experience with self love vs weight loss? Let me know in the comments!