Even though it’s true, this post is not going to be about the fact that weight and health are not a direct correlation. There are many posts out there with that information and, as important as it is, there’s a different angle you take that I’d like to talk to you about.
I want to talk about confidence.
Many of you mean well when you tell me that if I just work out more, try your new diet, drop another ten pounds, I’ll feel so much more better about myself. You thought you were okay the way you were, but then someone opened up your eyes. You resisted at first, but eventually realized you were only resisting because you were so scared of change. Having gone through it, you now feel so much better and more confident and happier, and you just need to tell the world! In fact, it would be morally wrong for you not to, because everyone deserves to feel as happy and as confident as you do now, especially when all it takes is this relatively minor change!
I appreciate the sentiment. I really do.
But I’m not you.
Your experiences are not my own.
If losing weight or getting fit or eating right makes you feel better, that’s awesome, and I encourage you to do so.
But none of those make me feel better. None of them have ever made me feel better. None of them ever will make me feel better, because I’m not you.
Most forms of exercise send me into an asthma attack. Any sort of dietary restriction conflicts with my status as a picky eater and leaves me extremely hungry and undernourished. But most importantly, I don’t gain any feeling of satisfaction from making changes in my weight or size. I just don’t. It does nothing for me.
I’m speaking from experience here. Dropping pounds doesn’t make me feel sexier, or prettier, or more confident. I don’t have more fun shopping for clothes, and I don’t get more attention when I wear a bikini. I have deliberately chosen not to attach my self-worth to the number on the scale.
I am not repressing a secret desire to be thin. I genuinely have no interest in being thinner (fitter, healthier). I am not going to make major life changes or significant sacrifices in my time, energy, and pleasure in order to accomplish goals that important only to you and not at all to me.
You cannot extrapolate from your experiences the goals and desires I should dedicate myself to. It is a logical fallacy to assume that something that works for one works for the whole; but more importantly, this attitude infantilizes me, and treats me as a person incapable of knowing myself or making my own decisions. Fat is not synonymous with stupid. Obese is not synonymous with self-loathing. There is no thin girl in me waiting to get out.
I am fat, and I like me this way. I am confident, sexy, attractive, healthy, and intelligent. I feel good about myself and I am consistently making thoughtful choices that are in my own best interest.
I’m glad you’ve found a way to feel good about yourself. But your way is not mine. I refuse to submit to a set of rules or boundaries designated by society as acceptable in order to gain confidence. I hope you can learn to love yourself as you are. If you don’t, that’s your prerogative. But don’t make your ideals mine. Your choices are not my own. I don’t want your diet plan, exercise routine, or weight-loss trick. I want you to let me make my own choices about my own body. Period.