I recently posted how happy I was to RSVP for my 20 year reunion. And if I had not lost the weight, I would have more than likely tried to lose it before the reunion, or just said no due to being ashamed of my body.
I got a concerned email from a listener who said statements like that may not be sending the right message to women who are struggling with their weight or body acceptance. They may see my statement as a message that says, “If I am overweight maybe I should be ashamed of my body and not go to my reunion.”
I realized after reading this email that I hadn’t properly express my true, pure joy about this situation. So I felt the need to share my thoughts about this more in depth.
Right now I am technically considered over weight. I am between 5’4” – 5’5” and weigh on average 157 pounds, so based on the BMI scale I am 7-12 pounds outside of the normal range.
Outside the normal range.
Even if I wear a size 6 pants and small clothes.
Even if I have a waist of 30 inches (a waist of less than 35 inches is considered an indicator of a healthy body). These are the success markers of other people, not me.
My new, personal success marker is doing pull ups. It’s helping me love my body and changing how I view my success. There would have been a time not so long ago, even after losing weight, I would have wanted to drop another 10 pounds before the reunion.
However, I didn’t feel that way at all when I RSVPd for the reunion. To not feel the need to change more just for an upcoming event is real progress for me.
I feel free.
I’m free from the shackles of trying to live up to someone else’s standards and not my own. I see my body differently as of late. I am worrying less on “society’s” definition of success and focusing more on my own.
Even if the reunion was tomorrow, other than buying a new dress, I would not change a thing.
That is progress.
Now, it would be a total lie if I did not address this very real feeling many people have when they approach a major event like a reunion, wedding, or graduation. Those are big days, and we know there will be photos. Also, it may be a time we see others who we have not seen in a long time. It can be a real internal struggle when we are faced with these events.
So do you go or do you avoid it?
If I was still heavy, I would have said yes to thw reunion invite, but would have planned on dropping weight before the event. I’d tried this multiple times in the past only to gain more weight. Then I’d have to have the bride’s maid dress, or whatever clothes I was going to wear, altered right before the event.
I was never very good at getting ready for big events in regards to my weight.
The reason I was so happy about RSVPing for this reunion was about more than just weight loss. It is a normal human reaction to want to look your best. However, most of us try to lose weight for these events only to gain it back after it is over.
But this time I did the opposite: I lost the weight and kept it off. Now the event is coming and I am prepared. I don’t feel the need to “get ready.”
I am ready.
Being healthy and fit is just part of who I am now. I don’t feel a big event is something I have to get ready for as if I’m not enough as who I am right now.
For so long, I felt like I was not enough. However, now that I’m focusing on fitness goals, and less on scale goals, and I don’t care what the BMI scale says.
I am a success.
I no longer feel bad about myself when I RSVP for something. In the past, I would have said no to the reunion, but today I can say yes without batting an eyelash. And for me that is a big step in the right direction!
So, I guess the message I hope to send is that if you’re overweight and ashamed of your body, and if you feel the need to diet down before an event say, “Screw the event!” Instead of waiting for an upcoming event to motivate you, start getting healthy now. Then you can say yes with confidence. The kind of confidence that comes from a deep self-love that develops when you finally begin taking care of yourself.
Remember, it’s not only about being a certain size or weight. It’s about knowing you’re enough. Knowing you don’t have to change just because of some external event happening in the future. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the freedom to make a change in your life because you decided it must happen, not because you’re in a race with calendar to lose weight.
I’m finally beginning to see that I am enough… just as I am.
And you are enough too.