Don’t hate me for this, okay? This is one of those tough-love posts. I am a true believer in self-love while trying to improve yourself. I don’t think people should remain where they are at for the sake of self-love.
A growing movement right now is self-love and body positivity, which is great! Women need to feel empowered and like they do not need to be a certain size or look a certain way just to be considered beautiful by society.
My point is, however, that this movement can also be dangerous. If someone who is obese decides that they don’t want to lose weight because “f*** society,” then they are just missing the point.
Here is where I’m coming from: if you truly loved and respected yourself, wouldn’t you want to show your body that love? This includes losing weight so you can decrease your chances of getting a preventable illness like type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Relieving your joints of all of the extra weight that you are forcing them to carry. Reducing your risk of having a heart attack or some other cardiovascular event. Being there for your family and being able to join in on fun events instead of watching from the sidelines. Having legitimate energy that is not created by a steady stream of sugar or caffeine.
Keep in mind when I say all of this that there is a huge difference between curvy and obese. Curvy is a body shape and we all know that women’s bodies come in so many shapes and sizes. There is no one true way to have a body when it comes to shape. Obese is not a body shape. Whether or not someone is obese depends on their body composition and how much body fat they have.
If you have a medical or health professional telling you that you are obese and need to lose weight, they are telling you that for the sake of your health, not because they are not body positive. When someone is classified as overweight or obese, they are at a higher risk of conditions like heart attacks, stroke, certain types of cancer, sleep apnea, kidney disease, fatty liver, and so much more. Simply losing weight can decrease your risk, improve your quality of life, and help you live longer.
To me, being body positive is embracing your body at its normal size, whether you are petite, short, tall, athletic, or curvy. Being obese or overweight is not “your body at its normal size.”
Self-love is a journey that we should all be on and it is so much more than bubble baths and “treating yo’self.” Sometimes self-love means getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and taking yourself to the doctor. It could also mean needing to do certain things for your health, like lose weight so you can feel better and decrease your chances of dying from a preventable disease.
Don’t let the body activists out there tell you that by losing weight and becoming healthy, you are not being body-positive or one of the self-love warriors. This mindset is dangerous! You are showing yourself and your body love by taking care of it. If that is not the purest form of self-love, then I don’t know what is.
I wear a lot of hats: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. A writer with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. A fur mom and a wife. A mental health advocate and a septic shock survivor. An Airman and an athlete. I live in South Florida and am in love with the ocean. People can typically find me either in the gym or at home, writing or reading.