Positive Body Image

Preface: I do not think weight is an indication of health.

It’s important to talk about weight, though. But, it’s not in the way that you think. Someone, one of my friends, actually, questioned my weight last week.

“Why aren’t you thin like one of those cave people, then?” he asked.

I shrugged at him, but I knew the answer.

I LOVE FRUITI should have shouted. I should have said something, anything, to put this person in his place. Why is it his business how much I weigh, anyway? And, secondly, what am I, then? More importantly, why was my first thought an explanation? I don’t have to explain anything to this jerk.

And here, my friends, lies a problem. You see, I’m a huge advocate for positive self-image (particularly body image) for girls and women. I say it all the time: women should not be defined by their appearance or their weight. Unfortunately, my friends, I’m also a huge hypocrite.

This picture really does speak volumes. via Simply Psychology

This picture really does speak volumes.
via Simply Psychology

I have never had positive body image. I was always “overweight,” starting in elementary school. We were very poor, and my parents had no idea what nutrition was. Typical dinners included huge, fatty steaks (because they’re the cheapest), and large bowls of pasta salad (because boxes of pasta are cheap). Dessert was generally an every night thing because boxed chocolate cake was easy to make (and cheap).

Of course, it wasn’t all my parents fault. For several years, all I ate was granny smith apples and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yes, I was a very picky eater. In fact, I used to eat 10 granny smith apples a day (I’m NOT exaggerating, it REALLY was that much).

Kids are cruel. And mean. And vicious. Appearance and weight is certainly a hot topic for people so young. It’s kinda ridiculous. Anyway, I was teased a lot. So, I’ve never had much positive self-image. Whenever I would go to the doctor’s, the doctor would say, “My goodness, you’re just as healthy as a horse!” and then lecture me on needing to lose weight. Sure, weight has negative aspects, but how is it that I’m so “healthy” and apparently “not healthy” at the same time? It’s all very confusing.

Now that I’m almost 26, things look different. I care and don’t care at the same time. Having the approval of my peers in terms of my weight and appearance doesn’t really matter because they’re not the ones deciding my grades or hiring me.

And, I don’t care because I’m healthy. I’m figuring out and feeding my body what it needs to be a successful member of society. Because, isn’t that the point? That I do something with my life, and not end up depressed because people don’t approve of my weight, of all things? Yes, I think that’s a good reason to stop caring what people think of my weight.

The only way to face my fears is head on, right? Since I’m nutritionally sound, who cares about my weight? So, here you go world: here is my scale this morning, after I ate breakfast (yes, I ate and then weighed!):

scaleBAM! TAKE THAT, WEIGHT HATERS!

As Tryion says, “Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”