I’ve been silently seething over this topic for a while. It’s taken me a full 2 weeks to muster the courage to write about this awfully taboo topic, simply because riots have started over it. Okay, riots are a bit extreme, but it has caused a serious uproar online whenever it is mentioned.
There have been groundbreaking steps taken in the media with regards to plus size models and curvy girls being signed to massive labels. Curvy gals are gracing the covers of running magazines, and images of crop top wearing ladies going viral. And isn’t it high time too!? I have been on both sides of the scale, both considered a plus size girl, and now leaning more toward fitness obsessed gym rat. When I was the 85kg (187lbs) girl posing in various stages of decadent undress, I was celebrated for my bravery. I was an inspiration to so many other women who needed to find their self-confidence again because of their weight, and I was happy to try make a difference in that tiny way. Here is the thing though, I was miserable. I hated myself so very much that when I had to do photoshoots, I cringed when I saw the photos of my blubbery body.
But, I was acceptable because I was considered a “real woman”. This real woman just happened to suffer from severe depression, constant migraines, the weakest immune system you have ever come across and suicidal tendencies. Yet, I still ate whatever I wanted to, refused to move and let my soul fade away under the weight of my insecurities. But, I was accepted as being real. I was easy to relate to.
I decided to do something about my weight a few years ago, and it has been a struggle for me to find the push to follow through. I posted about my journey and it was great, I was celebrated for taking ownership of my life and focusing on being healthy again. I was relatable because I am a mom who loves her wine, and couldn’t possibly give up everything tasty. So, I didn’t keep off the weight that I kept losing. I wanted a quick fix for my weighty woes, but wasn’t totally prepared for the hard work that it actually took. But, I pushed through and felt really good about the positive commentary that my progress was getting. That was until recently, when I discovered a love of fitness that I have never, ever had before. I mean never!
I decided to challenge myself to aim for the stage. I want to compete in Body & Fitness competitions and I want to win! Now that I have a new goal in mind, a new mission that I am actually following through with, I am obsessed. People are concerned about my state of mind, and worried that I am going too far. However, when I was suicidal and stuffing my face, smoking 2 packets of cigarettes a day I was relatable. People are afraid of what they don’t understand, but what I don’t understand is how being unhealthy is acceptable and inspirational, but being focused on fitness and health is obsessive.
I am asked every now and then what my secret is to my miraculous weight loss, and people often don’t want to hear it. This miraculous weight loss took me almost 3 years to achieve and I am nowhere near my goal yet. I eat really, really clean, drink 3 to 4 liters of water per day and am at the gym everyday without fail 6 days out of the week. I do ab exercises in the kitchen every night while cooking dinner, I find any excuse to be active and I spend a lot of time learning what the names of different muscle groups are. That is seemingly too much for other people to commit to, so they see me as obsessed. I am nowhere near as “obsessed” as the women who I look up to though, so just wait for those posts to start!
So, what I have realized is that fit shaming is acceptable because fit girls are obsessed anyway. Fit shaming is fine because it is unattainable for real women. Fit shaming is okay because girls who lift weights are gross anyway, they deserve to be ridiculed. BUT, say anything about how UNHEALTHY being obese is and the internet loses their minds. Double standards much, society?
Fit shaming sucks because it is easy sitting on the couch and eating all day, I know, I did that for years. Getting off your ass and working hard to achieve something takes a lot of dedication, commitment and self-love! It’s time women stop being bitchy about different body shapes, and accept and love each other for who they are!