You might argue that I shouldn’t be writing this article, as I’ve never been overweight in all my life. But still, I’ve had many insecurities about my weight, especially about my bum being too big, over the years. I’ve often looked at other women at the beach and wished my figure was more like theirs, as I’m sure many others have.
But over the past 18 months, things have changed drastically. I developed severe food sensitivities which worsened, to the point that I could only tolerate eight different fruits and vegetables, and became chronically ill. In the process, I lost a lot of weight, and when I look at photos, I can see how unhealthy and gaunt I looked back then.
Now that I’ve recovered and can eat normally again, my weight is back to what it was before this whole thing started. However, my mindset has changed completely. I no longer look at other women at the beach and wish my figure was more like theirs (at least, it rarely happens now). I’m healthy again, and that’s by far the most important thing.
This experience has taught me the following lessons, which can help you love your body more today, without having to lose any weight.
Never tie your self-worth to your weight
Over the years, I longed to see my weight on the scales go down, and I’d always feel really proud if it ever did. Then, as my weight started to plummet uncontrollably when I was ill, the whole irony of it struck me, and I promised myself that I would never tie my self-worth to my weight again.
Yep – what your mother, aunt or teacher has been telling you all along is true. We’re all unique and we should stop trying to achieve what we consider the ‘perfect’ body.
Make healthy choices
Having said that, the point above is no excuse to let go, eat whatever we like and not exercise at all. I think having a healthy lifestyle is really important, and it also helps you feel and look your best.
A diet should never be too restrictive
A healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be restrictive, and you should be able to see yourself keeping it up on a long-term basis (ie. not just for the next six weeks). Very restrictive diets inevitably lead to the dreaded yo-yo effect.
Allow yourself treats
This is linked to the point above, and it’s really important. Allowing yourself guilt-free treats makes it easier for you to stay on track in general.
Don’t feel bad if some days your self-control is lower than others
Of course, there will be days when you veer off track for one reason or another, and you mustn’t beat yourself up about it. Just say to yourself that tomorrow will be a better day.
Losing weight won’t make you happier or take away your insecurities
Going back to my bum, even when I was borderline underweight, on days when I used to look in the mirror and over-analyse, I still used to feel that my bum looked big in comparison to the rest of my body. This made me realise that ultimately, that’s just my bum and unless I accept it, I’ll never get over it.
Thin doesn’t necessarily mean happy or healthy
Nothing is more important than being healthy, and striving to lose weight can sometimes lead to unhealthy habits. In reality, nothing looks better than health and happiness. I’ve heard of many people who set out to lose a lot of weight, lost it, but found that they were no happier than before. Happiness needs to come from the inside. It is only with this kind of happiness you can glow at any size, shape or weight.
Some people will judge you, but they’re definitely not worth your time
So don’t let anyone else’s opinion get in your way. And definitely be kind to yourself and don’t ever judge yourself! You’re perfect just the way you are. And practicing self-love will help you to feel and look your best.