Since I had started college, I had steadily put on weight thanks to many factors. There were times in my life where I was proud of my body despite the weight – times that I hated the folds of fat I'd gained in my stomach – times where I wanted to love it but had difficulty and self-harmed instead.
As more people come to accept all bodies – fat or not, disabled or not – I find myself wondering what and who dictates my love for my body. It used to be the sexual attraction men had to me that defined it. But now, as I steer away from the physical manifestation of love, I find that my body is not theirs.
Over the past year, I've lost 10 pounds. However, my goal was 30 pounds. I felt largely disappointed that I didn't lose that much.
I had done the Keto diet, then switched to a Mediterranean diet last month. I've started to drink more water and monitor my eating habits. None of it is recorded though. I've done that in the past but the calculation of what goes into my body seemed more like a scientific study of my body and disconnected me from it.
And I hated that.
I wanted to show love to my body when trauma had largely defined it. I've started to obtain more tattoos, much to my mom's horror. My tattoos though signify that transitory line between life and death. Because within that line is beauty and art.
Showing love to your body takes on a whole new meaning when you're overweight. It could be that you actually do enjoy exercising but you also love the taste of garlic bread too much to give it up. It could be that you drink tons of water when lounging in a chair by the pool on a warm summer day.
I think that the definition of self-love is always changing because people are becoming more creative about how they shower themselves with a loving hand. It shouldn't be a condition that overweight people must either eat horribly or hate exercise to form your judgment as to why they are the way that they are.
I hate that we automatically assume these things. I hate the people who say things like "Can you hold your camera up higher? We don't like our double chins." I want to tell them, EMBRACE YOUR CHIN. Your body has gone and still does go through miraculous things. For women, you have the ability to carry and bear another human being.
So don't be ashamed that the number on the scale keeps on increasing or won't budge from its place. The body compensates for organs over time by needing more healthy nutrients to keep them going. Yes, the body needs food – but it also needs love and compassion. You're regularly brutal to a body, whether you are a dancer or a writer.
The bone tissue will eventually lessen as you grow older — it will take more to see so you may need to buy prescriptive eyeglasses. You regularly wear your body down. So don't hate it for that reason – show it love.
Feed it dark chocolate and red wine when it is craving something sweet. Cave into that longing for dessert or carbs. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't have those things simply because of your weight. Let's not see people, yourself included, as a number. See yourself as a being made up of light, love, and happiness.
Because it's those things that matter.