Your weight does not define who you are

I Lost 90 Pounds, But That Isn't What Makes Me Who I Am

We need to stop characterizing people based on what they look like.


It's no secret that today's society judges people based on what they look like. One of the first things most people notice about someone is their appearance. We notice their size, dominant features and anything that stands out. This is inevitable, as this is how we form a first impression of someone, but it shouldn't be what they're known for. However, this sets a stigma that people are what they look like and that what's inside simply doesn't matter as much.

This issue has been very prevalent in my life, especially over the past three years. My freshman year of high school, I decided to start a journey to lose 90 pounds that has since then completely changed my life. While this change has mostly been for the better, there are a few downsides to completely changing your appearance. Growing up in a small town in Central Kentucky, most people who know me or know of me know me for my weight loss. "Isn't that the girl who lost 90 pounds," they say whenever my name is brought up, because that's simply the first thing that comes to their mind.

But I'm not writing to talk about how cool I think I am because of what I've accomplished, but instead to share with you that we should be careful not to judge people based on what they look like because people are simply so much more than that. Losing weight did radically change my life, but not because I got "skinnier" and looked "prettier." It changed my life because I developed determination that has pushed me to strive for more than the status quo or the bare minimum. It changed my life because I made friends who went through similar struggles and it helps me relate better to others. It changed my life because my journey has given me a story to tell that has inspired countless others around me.

Weight loss is about so much more than just a number on any scale, and personally, I feel that our society is completely missing the point of living a healthy lifestyle by focusing on this. Weight loss is about the healthy habits developed during one's journey that can help lengthen an individual's lifespan and genuinely improve a person's happiness and wellbeing. Most people make the mistake of focusing so much on just being smaller or leaner that they miss the point of living a healthy lifestyle: to live a longer and happier life.

Yes, I lost 90 pounds my freshman year of high school, but that isn't what makes me who I am. Our world would be a much better place once we begin to look at people for who they truly are inside instead of their numerical relationship with gravity.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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In Real Life, 'Plus Size' Means A Size 16 And Up, Not Just Women Who Are Size 8's With Big Breasts

The media needs to understand this, and give recognition to actual plus-size women.


Recently, a British reality dating TV show called "Love Island" introduced that a plus-sized model would be in the season five lineup of contestants. This decision was made after the show was called out for not having enough diversity in its contestants. However, the internet was quick to point out that this "plus-size model" is not an accurate representation of the plus-size community.

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Anna Vakili, plus-size model and "Love Island "Season 5 Contestant Yahoo UK News

It is so frustrating that the media picks and chooses women that are the "ideal" version of plus sized. In the fashion world, plus-size starts at size 8. EIGHT. In real life, plus-size women are women who are size 16 and up. Plunkett Research, a marketing research company, estimated in 2018 that 68% of women in America wear a size 16 to 18. This is a vast difference to what we are being told by the media. Just because a woman is curvy and has big breasts, does NOT mean that they are plus size. Marketing teams for television shows, magazines, and other forms of media need to realize that the industry's idea of plus size is not proportionate to reality.

I am all for inclusion, but I also recognize that in order for inclusion to actually happen, it needs to be accurate.

"Love Island" is not the only culprit of being unrealistic in woman's sizes, and I don't fully blame them for this choice. I think this is a perfect example of the unrealistic expectations that our society puts on women. When the media tells the world that expectations are vastly different from reality, it causes women to internalize that message and compare themselves to these unrealistic standards.

By bringing the truth to the public, it allows women to know that they should not compare themselves and feel bad about themselves. Everyone is beautiful. Picking and choosing the "ideal" woman or the "ideal" plus-size woman is completely deceitful. We as a society need to do better.

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