I just wanted to clear this up so there’s no confusion: I’m not happy about the fact that I’m fat! My struggle with binge-eating has been the bane of my life for… well… most of my life. I remember bingeing from as early as 9 years old! I used to steal money from my Mom’s purse, sneak off to the shops, buy as many chocolates that I could afford (R5 could buy a lot of chocolates when I was 9!)… hide the stash under my pillow and methodically eat the lot until I felt sick enough to throw up. However, I could never manage to get myself to throw up… although I tried on a number of occasions. There was a time in my life when I sincerely envied bulimics. Sad, I know.
The Beautiful Life Project is all about loving myself right now – exactly as I am – in spite of all the stuff that needs working on… but there’s a clear distinction that needs to be made here. I’m not saying: “I’m perfect as I am – I love me!”… I’m saying: “In spite of the fact that I’m far from perfect – I am still worthy of love and respect and especially from myself!”.
The truth is, I don’t accept my fat and I’m not proud of the state of my body. Years of self-hatred, self-abuse and self-neglect have left my body in a physical state which leaves much to be desired. I have been overweight, unfit and unhealthy for years. This is not acceptable.
However, the key difference between the ways I used to treat myself 2 years ago and now is this: Instead of lecturing myself, criticizing myself and hating myself for being such a ‘failure’… such a ‘loser’… such a ‘weak-willed moron’… I now believe that I’m simply worth so much more than what I’ve allowed myself to believe over the years.
Self-respect includes the respect of one’s own body. My body is a precious, priceless creation – and I only have one body to live out this life with (and I have much to do. I have no intention of dying young!). I can’t use and abuse it until it malfunctions and then demand that God replace it with a newer, younger, healthier version… no!
If I truly love and respect myself – I will learn to love, respect, nurture and nourish this body that houses my soul. And yes – that includes losing weight, increasing my fitness and strength, eating healthily, taking care of myself from top to toe.
Do I love myself? Yes… well – at least a lot more than what I loved myself last year this time. It’s still a journey though.
Am I happy being fat? No! I deserve more than a tired, worn-out, unhealthy, unfit body.
I know that there are numerous “fat acceptance” groups out there – who proclaim that they’re happy with their bodies… that they’re happy being fat. I don’t believe them. Apart from the comments and the criticism of others… apart from being unable to fit into aeroplane seats, movie theatre seats and decent clothing… there’s still the awful physical side of being obese. Constant exhaustion…. swollen ankles… inability to walk long distances or to climb a simple flight of stairs without puffing – and I won’t even mention all of the medical woes!! I simply can’t believe that anybody could be proud or happy about being fat!?!
I remember a family member saying to me: “You should just accept the fact that you’re never going to be a supermodel. You’re a big girl – it’s how you’re built. Just accept it!”.
No flippin‘ way! I’m not expecting to be a supermodel. I have no desire to be a size 0 stick insect… but I will not “accept” the state that my body is in! I deserve more than to live out an unhealthy life in an unhealthy and overweight body! And I’m not “built this way” either. I’m fat because I’ve binged on an obscene amount of junk food in my life – not because I’m “built this way”. I’m not in denial. I got myself in to this position – and… of this you can be sure… I’m going to get myself OUT!
PS: And I’m not a “big girl”. I was a normal sized child. I have narrow shoulders, small wrists and a small waist. I’m not “built” to be big!
PPS: And I’m writing this from the gym computers again. I’ve just worked my butt off. I now visit gym every morning (except on weekends). This is only my second week here – but I feel so much more confident about ‘sticking to it’ this time… because now, I see gym as an exercise in self-love… rather than a torture session designed to punish bad weak-willed me.
PPPS: Thanks so much to those of you who have been so encouraging during my process of transformation. I appreciate you more than you could know! xx