How to Counteract the Pressure to Lose Weight in the New Year
As a Black woman who has struggled with my weight going up and down in big swings numerous times over the years, it’s triggering to watch all the New Year commercials on TV encouraging people to sign up for different diet or exercise programs. It seems like everyone around me and worldwide is making the resolution to lose weight for the New Year, again. I have been guilty of this myself.
We are bombarded with images and messages that are harmful and demoralizing. Telling us clearly that we are not good enough just as we are.
Here are some of their tactics I do not want to see:
- No, I do not want to see the transformation pictures — it makes me feel that they were somehow not good enough before they lost the weight.
- No, I do not want to see the weight loss pills that, without FDA approval, are the magic bean that will revolutionize our weight loss.
- No, I do not want to pay for a gym I will never use (for one thing COVID 19) because I am not a fitness buff and will feel out of place.
- No, I do not want to join a bootcamp. What about my bad back and knees and who needs to be that fit?
- No, I do not want to order your readymade meals with perfect portions to control every morsel.
- No, I do not want the latest in-home equipment so I can feel bad that I cannot make it to my home gym.
- No, I do not need workout clothes that do not come in plus sizes.
- No, I do not need a magic formula to tell me when and what to eat to make my optimum weight
All of this based a flawed notion (the BMI scale) that I am overweight and somehow dying because of it.
Truth be told I have tried most of these. The operative word tried. I am even currently on one of these. I have been for six years and I still cannot stand to watch their commercials. I have lost a significant about of weight, but I am here to tell you that weight loss does not buy happiness. You do not magically feel better about yourself. Society might treat you differently, but you still look in the mirror and see someone you do not want to see.
I pull at my stomach, I wobble my arm fat and I smoosh my cheeks, but to no avail. No matter how many diet and exercise plans I try, I am still me.
So, I must drown out the noise. The noise that I am not good enough just as I am. I must rise above the messages of thin is better. That fit is ideal and that all of this will lead to happiness. They also want to message that fat and curvy is death. That no one wants to be fat and that you will never get a job, a mate, friends or find joy. That is at least what my mother told me. None of that is true.
I have had a very prosperous and meaningful career. I married an incredible woman. I have numerous friends and joy does not elude me.
So, if you struggle this time of year like I do please remember:
- You are worthy of love just the way you are.
- You are smart.
- No one can determine your joy.
- There is space for you in this world.
- You are good enough.
- There is small print on those commercials and “results are not typical.”
- You are typical and special all in the same.
- You are beautiful just the way you are inside and out.
So, mute those commercials and set out on a path to heal from all the negative messages. Embrace the joy that is within you in a Mighty way.
Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash