Why weight-loss praise makes me feel conflicted.

This is a subject that I haven’t come across myself, personally, aimed towards me. Ever. I’ve been through this second hand with friends who have lost weight, for whatever reasons, and it’s something I have spoken to them about; especially those within the BoPo community.

The mass consensus is that it leaves us feeling any/all of the following..

  • “Squicky”
  • “Squiffy”
  • Uncomfortable
  • Conflicted
  • Angry
  • At a loss
  • Generally confused

As someone who conciders themselves Body Positive to ALL BODIES-no asterisk, it’s important to understand that I will never judge someone for choosing or not choosing, to lose weight.

You do you; you have every single right to feel damn good about yourself and achievements at any and all sizes. ♥️

Along with the above statement is that you have every right to post selfies wearing as much or as little clothing as you wish.

I did that today. I have a new sports bra that’s super comfy and I’m super happy to be able to walk into Primark and be able to buy something in my size and fit in to it.

  • Society has trained me to believe shopping in “normal people size” stores is good and progress for a person like me, who is going through quite a health-related journey which includes weight-loss.

I was feelin’ mah-self! So I posted a selfie.

It’s been a long time since I would show off my tummy. It’s been a long time since I’ve been that comfortable with myself to post a picture of me showing my tummy.

  • Society taught me that this was my main “problem area”. The place I would hide and disguise. The bit of me that I wanted to change most about my (actually, damn fine) figure.

I wasn’t expecting praise for losing weight. I wasn’t expecting what I got and one comment in particular from a well-meaning friend made me more conflicted than others.

“You’re getting so tiny! Looking good girl!”

Suddenly my mind was at odds and I wanted to scream but at the same time something inside me was doing a little cheer leader routine.

See the half of me that has been trained by society to believe thin is good and fat is bad was jumping around and clapping. “Woohoo! Other people think I look good and they’re noticing I’ve lost weight!!”

And then… The other half of me that is trying so desperately to retrain itself and the other half is sat frowning with a head-tilt. “Bitch, you did not just think of yourself like that!? Don’t you dare! You’re beautiful no matter what!!”

So there is the conflict.

  • I’m losing weight and it’s being noticed and I look good, yay.
  • I’m losing weight but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t look good before.

My weight loss shouldn’t be the praise. My confidence, which I gained when I was at my largest, should be the praise. The fact I feel happy and comfortable to share that photo. Anything except my weight loss.

The only thing that stopped me going off on the comment is that this person is well-meaning; it was meant as a compliment, that they’ve recognised I’m working on a better me for me. It’s just that they’ve gone about it the wrong way with how they said it.

My health-related journey only has numbers attached because I was told to keep a record. It’s how I see how far I’ve come. Just an FYI I was 21st and an now under 16st. I still have a little ways to go until I’m no longer a “significant danger” to my liver. And THAT is the only reason I even embarked on this; not to rub it into faces or tell people to lose weight; I did it because I was given a choice between living and dying.

I have a fuck tonne to live for.

So next time you see a friend post a selfie and they’ve lost weight, don’t automatically praise them for it because if it’s mentioned at all, ever it shouldn’t be more than a passing comment about how their dress looks good on them.

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