According to mainstream media and pretty much every diet book and website out there, it's impossible to both love your body as it is and still want to lose weight. It's either one or the other.
Use your body hate to motivate yourself to put down the cake and lose some weight, OR love your body as it is, eat lots of cake, and be okay with being fat forever.
Where is the program that preaches body love and acceptance while still promoting healthy habits that will help one reach their ideal weight (assuming they aren't already there)?
I'm sure it's out there, but for now, I'm going to try to do it myself.
Because despite how fat I got over the last couple of years, I look at the pictures taken of me on the day of my college graduation (my highest weight) and see a beautiful woman with a beautiful body worth respecting.
And yet, I knew that I was not healthy at that size. How did I know that? Because I gained the weight with a lot of secret binge-eating. I mean, a LOT of secret binge eating. Like, trips to the grocery store that no one knew about, for just a box of cakes and a bag of chips (and a 2 liter of Diet Coke to wash it down with), then taking the empty things to the garbage dumpster before Stacey got home. I did this, sometimes three times a week. For months.
I knew that once the binges stopped and I started to eat healthier (in both quality and quantity), my body would shrink.
Honestly, I also prefer the way my body feels and looks when it's a size 14 or 16 instead of 20 or 22.
However, I think that I've always thought that "body acceptance" had to mean that I was 100% happy with the way my body looks and feels, and that I don't want it to change at all ever. I mean, acceptance means that you totally accept things as they are and don't want to change, right? Right?
So, despite how much I wanted to accept my fat body, I kept on being unhappy with it instead, because I want to change it.
But I've realized recently that there is a third option: Accepting and loving my body as it is, at every stage during my weight loss and after. I can accept my body right now.
I actually believe that loving my body as it is now will help me to lose weight. Accepting and loving my body will motivate me to treat it with love and respect.
I really believe now that self love and self acceptance are not only helpful, but KEY to weight loss success.
They were definitely missing ingredients for me in every single weight loss attempt I've done so far. Sure, I've lost weight, but I've never kept it off. This time, I am going to do both, because for the first time in my life, I love my body. I accept my body for what it is, for how it looks, and for its current limitations.
I accept it and I love it. And I am determined to treat it well, which I think will be easier to do with self-love in the mix.
Because of my current physical limitations (I am unable to walk for at least another month), I am still trying to stick to a meal replacement plan for now. But I'm gentle with myself, and if my appetite is saying "Nope, not today. Today I need to eat three meals, no shakes or bars" I will respect my body enough to fill it with healthy foods. And if my mind says, "Nope, I want pizza and chips" I will respect my mind enough to eat a serving of pizza and a small bowl of chips.
And in a month, when I can (hopefully) begin to walk a bit, I will be changing my meal plan entirely again. And that's okay.
It's all okay, because I am comfortable in my own skin. Even though I want to be smaller, I'm happy with my body. And I don't consider those ideas to be antitheses to each other anymore.