Every once in awhile, I get inspired to share what I've been journaling about - I call them Kel Chats. Today's topic? The fear of weight gain and why weight does not define your worth.
This is important to me, because a fear of weight gain - or fatphobia - is at the core of a lot of physical and mental health challenges in today's world. Eating disorders. Disordered eating. Body image struggles. Yo-yo weight gain. Dieting. Emotional eating. Binge eating. I could go on, but you get the picture. Because of how societal status is currently given out, women of all shapes and sizes fear weight gain and are on a mission to get thin - and more importantly to get status.
The problem with a fear of weight gain, aside from the behaviors and challenges listed above, is everything we believe about weight gain.
Loss of status, yes. But also - loss of love, loss of opinion, loss of worth, loss of right to speak or share, loss of importance, loss of respect. And, unfortunately, a lot of these things show up as truth in our world.
Before I continue, I feel the need to make one thing clear. You can certainly say I have thin privilege. So that one hand, I understand the social status that comes with a thin body - and that, on the other hand, there are aspects of the body positive conversation I do not understand nor experience. Absolutely. What I can speak to is the need I had to break down a fear of weight gain when it came to my eating disorder and autoimmune disease. For different reasons, I had to learn that weight does not define worth.
So, here's where the Kel Chats comes in...
If you gain weight this holiday season - it’s ok.
Despite what all the ads might say about new year resolutions (and a new you)...if you don’t set a goal in 2018 - you’ll be just fine. Even though everyone’s making plans for how to get through the holiday parties without diving into a plate of cookies...if you take one - that’s totally cool. Or three, even if you take three. Although some of your friends might be prepping for the Whole30 to start RIGHT AFTER the last get together (or calculating how much they can lose before the next one) - you can totally say no and refuse to engage in the conversation.
Because what you eat, how your body appears, what you weigh…these DO NOT determine your right to sit at a table, to show up to a meeting, to speak during a conversation, to share an opinion, to give wisdom, to create cool things, or to give and receive love.
Therefore, your right to do these things is NOT taken away by eating something some might consider unhealthy, by gaining weight or by weighing more than some might consider appropriate, or by not looking how some might consider beautiful.
After all, notice how all these things are made up of “what some might consider”? All of these things are SUBJECTIVE. We each have our own opinion about what is “good”, what is “bad”, what is “appropriate”, and what is not when it comes to food, body, and health. (Though, I’d venture to say that this “good”, “bad”, and “appropriate” labeling is part of the problem.)
Here’s what I'll be reminding myself this holiday season: “I will no longer allow anyone else to claim MY subjective opinion. I will no longer allow what I eat, how much I weigh, or what I look like to determine MY right as a human - to determine my right to show up to my own life. My weight does not define my worth. If someone has a problem with this, they can leave. They’re entitled to their subjective opinion just as I am entitled to mine. The difference is, I will no longer act to accommodate someone else’s opinion. THEY need to act to accommodate that.”
I'd love to hear from you: What are you reminding yourself this holiday season? How are you changing the conversation from weight, and subsequently the fear of weight gain, and what are you inspired to change it to?
If you want to dive into this topic deeper, consider joining The Wellness Boulevard. You can take a free spin around the block here.