Your weight is not an indicator of happiness. Your physical appearance does not get to dictate your worth. Only you get to do that. I am someone who has been blessed with incredible family and friends; people I constantly learn and grow from. Some of my friends suffer from mental illnesses, and due to this, I get a lot of insight into how their mind works and how certain external factors affect them. For me, getting a call late at night or early in the morning is no surprise as I always tell my friends that whenever they need to talk, I'm here for them. However, even though this is not out of the usual, the call I recently received this morning has not only shocked but angered me.
A close friend of mine has struggled for a while trying to get her family to understand the kind of help she needs. However, for her family, health is a huge priority. Though one's health is important, just because someone has a few extra pounds, is no reason to attack their worth and happiness. This friend's mom, who is a health fanatic, was arguing with my friend over her weight. The reason why this situation was so incredibly disturbing was the response that my friend received from her mother, after mentioning that she is currently happy with how she looks right now. The text stated, "Well, you shouldn't be happy the way you are (referring to her weight)." A sentence that physically makes my skin boil; this is a sentence that 1) should never have been formed or said and 2) should never be believed, by anyone.
Yes, it is important to be healthy and to take care of yourself, but having some extra pounds is not something you should hate yourself over. I am a firm believer of taking care of your mind over body. The moment when working out and focusing on your physical well-being takes a priority over your mental health should be the moment you pause and consider how well you truly are. Are you happy right now? Your mental health, happiness, and comfortability in your own skin is, arguably, the most important focus that everyone should have; a point I will argue until I die.
Being happy starts with self-love. For anyone out there struggling to see themselves as beautiful, or for those who look in the mirror only to be disappointed, happiness is not tied to your weight. Self-love is so critical, but it is not easy. It can take years to learn how to love yourself, but the moment you do will be worth it. The moment you can look in the mirror and say, "I am beautiful," and believe it is a day that everyone should have in their life. Some people underestimate how difficult it is to live with mental illness, especially when they hear every day that they "need to lose weight". Your weight does not dictate your happiness, you do. I hope to encourage everyone to reflect on themselves, learn about themselves, and grow to love yourselves because loving yourself is truly one of the first steps to being truly happy.