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Confessions of a Serial Procrastinator; Weight Loss Edition-Body Image

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There are 3,500 in a pound. I want to lose 420,000 by this time next year.  To meet goal I have to burn 8,076 calories per week or 1,153 day. I need to lose 2.30 pounds per week and 9.2 pounds per month.  Unrealistically and possibly with great risk to my health I could reach this goal in 6 months by pushing myself a little harder.  To lose 420,000 calories or 120 pounds, I would need to burn 16,153 calories per week or 2,307 per day. I would need to lose 4.6 pounds per week for a total of 18.4 per month.

Since I started my journey, these numbers have been running through my mind. I had no intention of counting calories and when I found myself getting obsessive with it I stopped immediately.  I am aware of what I eat and how many calories are in the foods I chose but I can’t do it to myself.  I can’t become so obsessed with numbers that I make myself sick.

My journey is personal. It has nothing to do with what society expects of me. I want to be healthy mentally for myself and the sake of my children and I need to lose weight for my health.  My weight loss is precautionary due to hereditary health issues that are directly related to obesity.

I did not always have a healthy view of my body image.  It’s difficult when all of your siblings are skinny and have small frames.  I started to equate not being thin with being ugly. It’s difficult to love self when at a young age encouragement comes in the form of criticism.  Being told I better watch out before I look like the side of a barn” was not effective. It hurt my feelings and gave me a negative view of myself.

I went through a bout of Bulimia. It was short lived because I absolutely hate vomiting.  I abused diet pills and laxatives. I stopped once I got pregnant.  Carrying a baby will force you to take care of your body if nothing else does.

Nine months later, I had my own daughter to look out for.  I knew I wanted to break the cycle of harsh criticism and negative body image with her.  I vowed never to make her feel crappy about her weight but I wouldn’t encourage unhealthiness either.  Even as a young mother I listened when WIC and her pediatrician said to limit her juice intake and not to serve it in a bottle.  I didn’t serve her high calorie table foods before it was time. I made sure that she always had a variety of healthy snacks to choose from.

The years progressed and I learned to embrace my weight along with everything else that makes me uniquely me.  My daughter lost her baby fat and started to thin out. It wasn’t until last year or so I realized that she was kind of unhappy. She talked to me about being bigger or thicker than most of her class mates.  I let her know that she was never going to be skinny it wasn’t in her genes.  Her father is tall and I have never been skinny.

My daughter is intelligent. She got the concept of genes. (After she called her father a giant and me a big booby booty monster)  It still pains me to hear her talking about doing squats for the perfect booty or worrying/not worrying about what she eats.  What are we as mothers and society projecting onto our daughters? Are we hurting or helping them?

We cheer the Amber Rileys, Demi Lovatos, and Kelly Clarksons on because somehow it’s cool for the chubby girl to win. We love these girls now because it’s the in thing. While I’m happy that these ladies are finally getting their time to shine I can’t help but to feel as if this is a trend.

I feel like the plus size phenomenon is a trend because there is not enough support. Until big name designers start including plus sizes readily in their lines and there are not separate sections in the store for larger clothing have we truthfully embraced plus sized women? Why should bigger women have to shop in specialty stores for fashionable clothing and still get the short end of the stick?   People are still saying “Pretty for a big girl.” Why can’t we just be pretty? A compliment should not be preceded by a negative.  Why are we still referring to people and clothes as plus sized?

My 13 year old should not be upset because she cannot fit into a size 7, be obsessed with a nice butt or a thigh gap. My size 12 friend should not feel inadequate because a size 12 is not acceptable (I would kill to be a size 12 now.)  My sister who may not even be 100 pounds should not be obsessed with being video vixen “thick”.

Part of my growth was embracing BBW pride.  Since I’ve been on my journey I’ve had to check myself.  My choices are mine alone but I find myself turning my nose up at the same images I was embracing.  The same negativity that has upset me is now acceptable? Not at all.

Society has us brain washed. Instead of embracing ourselves, we let society dictate what women should look like right down to the clothes we wear and the way we wear our hair.  I for one am tired of it. It is unhealthy and mentally taxing. I refuse to conform.  I refuse to allow society to influence me to look down on something that I think is beautiful.

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Until next time, love yourself so that you are able to project that love unto others.

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