The body positivity movement has lead to some truly amazing, empowering things. We’re seeing fashion and beauty campaigns with women representing a wider range of bodies. Bodies of every shape and size are more normalized than ever before. But there is a dark side to the movement. In the bopo community, there seems to be a stigma against wanting to lose weight and keep it off. Let me be crystal clear: You can love yourself and your body and still want to lose weight.
Choosing to lose weight and keep it off is a personal decision. We now know that bodies at different sizes can be healthy. The idea that you have to fit a certain image to be healthy is, thankfully, dying out. Slowly, but we’re getting there. But in the effort to promote body positivity we seem to have demonized those who want to shed some pounds.
When the desire to lose weight is actually a problem
Hopefully you don’t want to lose weight because you think it’ll magically fix your problems. I know that for a long time I did, and it fueled my decade-long eating disorder. Hopefully you don’t think you’ll be more liked or accepted if you slim down. If you want to drop pounds to please anyone other than yourself, I urge you to talk to someone about it. Your body is just one aspect of the amazing human being you are.
Just because someone wants to lose weight, though, does not mean they’re the opposite of the body positivity movement. The healthiest weight loss diet is fueled by love and appreciation for your body. It’s what makes it possible to resist the urge to restrict, deprive, and punish. If any of those three are a characteristic of your diet, it might be a problem. Again, this is where talking with a professional can be helpful.
You can want to lose weight and embrace body positivity
If, however, you want to lose weight and keep it off for some personal reason, then don’t let anyone discourage you. Maybe you want to move easier. Maybe you’d like your cholesterol levels to be a little lower or to take some weight off your joints because knee problems run in your family. If your desire to lose weight stems from a place of love for yourself, then why let people tell you it’s wrong?
If we embrace health at any size, we have to live up to those words at both ends of the spectrum. We have to promote body positivity about all different figures. If #gainingweightiscool, then so is losing weight as long as you love yourself at any size. We have to make people feel like they’re just as amazing, valuable, and accepted at a size 24 as they are if they drop down to a size 8.
If you clicked on this only to hate-read, I want to tell you something: One person’s desire to lose weight doesn’t lessen your value if you don’t want to drop pounds. Your body, your choice. Just keep on loving your body and hope your friends who are trying to lose weight love theirs as well.