I’m not a big believer in one “moment” that sparks a journey. You’ve heard it before, someone is sitting on a couch with one hand in a bag of chips and something comes on the TV that makes them reconsider their life and then they start a diet, join a gym, blah blah blah.
I’ve had many moments where I said to myself, “Tomorrow will be different” and vowed to change my life. These moments were usually alone, in the dark, after eating too much and drinking from the cocktail of shame, regret and hate.
It’s my experience of having a thousand of those “I’m going to change my life” moments that lead to me believe they don’t exist.
Why? Because when you hear about them, they usually start with some form of realization of disgust in oneself.
What a terrible place to draw inspiration from.
I also don’t believe in those moments, because I think it makes light of the work that goes into creating change.
Change doesn’t just happen. It’s not something that you wake up with one day.
But change does have a beginning.
Step 1: Love
Three fat women helped changed my life.
Lesley Kinzel of Two Whole Cakes
Marianne Kirby of The Rotund
and Kate Harding of Shapely Prose (which I think is now KateHarding.net)
They are all Fat Acceptance writers who have, in my opinion, some of the best insight into our culture and some the best messages to spread.
Kate Harding has an absolutely brilliant post about The Fantasy of Being Thin. If you’ve ever had the thought in your head, weight loss or not, that goes something like “My life will be different when ________” — then you need to read this.
She talks about Fat Acceptance as overcoming the fantasy that being thin will change your life.
Now you might think that as someone who is actively losing weight, I still believe in the fantasy of being thin.
And sometimes you would be right. Some days I let the numbers on the scale get to me. I see a gain and I’m ugly. I see a loss and I’m empowered.
But then I remember the reason I’ve been able to lose weight and my source of inspiration.
Love and acceptance.
In those weak moments I tell myself, “My life hasn’t changed from two seconds ago, before I stepped on the scale.”
It’s not a an easy battle, and it’s certainly not one I want to make seem easy, but fighting it is so, so worth it.
Because when you don’t lose weight (it happens) and when you don’t make it to the gym (it happens) and when you eat too much (it happens) – it doesn’t matter.
You’re still you.
I’ve put a lot into changing my life. Everything I have. As a result, I’ve lost weight.
But the motivating factor has always been love. And I’m here to argue that it has to be. You have to believe you are a person worthy of change before change happens. And to believe you are worthy of everything you want, you have to accept and love who you are.
It doesn’t work any other way.
There simply is no hating yourself thin.
I no longer read those Fat Acceptance blogs as often as I used to, but those three amazing women are the voices I come back to when I need a lift and when I need to remember why I’m living the way I live.
Sometimes my life between Fat Acceptance and actively losing weight can cause a bit of cognitive dissonance, but when I really get down to it I know I’ve changed the way I live because for me, loving my body means feeding it the right food and moving it around, fat or not.