On Body Image and Radical Self Love

Wishing I could hug Kim of 26+ years ago.

CW: Because this post is about how far I’ve come in my ambivalence around the number on the scale, I do talk about my weight in the abstract in this post. If this is triggering for you just skip this one and know: I’ve come a long way and I’m so much better. But also, I have to look at weight capacity of chairs now and that’s okay.

I got pregnant with Eliah when I was 18. It was my first year in college and had gained weight having access to good food for once, and of course was beating myself up for that constantly. So, of course as soon as I found out I was pregnant I started freaking out about getting even bigger.

As my pregnancy progressed, I was gaining more weight than I was “supposed” to gain and they told me that at every visit. So…needless to say my anxieties around my weight were just compounding monthly. At what would end up being my last visit, my doctor actually said, “Welp, you have officially gained double the amount of what you’re supposed to gain in a healthy pregnancy.”

I vividly remember hearing that critique and seeing that number on the scale and thinking about is: HOLY SHIT. I AM SO FAT AND HEAVY AND I CAN NOT GAIN ANOTHER POUND I AM SO EMBARRASSED. I was wallowing in shame. AND I WAS PREGNANT. AND A TEENAGER. Why was I beating myself up so much?

Fast forward to a few months ago when I was having to fill out an online application for a blood drive. They asked my weight and I spent a few solid minutes thinking, Can I step on a scale? Am I healed enough to step on the scale and not have the number effect me? I decided I could and you know what it said? Many pounds over that day at that OB appointment.

And you know what I did?

I smiled. Because I honest to god DID NOT CARE. And then I felt SO MUCH PRIDE because Pregnant Kim’s fears are still solid memories in my soul and there I was, heavier than the weight she feared so long ago and I just did not care. It was actual ambivalence. Not the kind I have pretended to have so I could still lose weight. I actually did not care.

Now, I have not stepped on a scale since, because I still live in our twisted society that tries to pull me into fat bias every day and so it takes constant vigilance to stay ambivalent. I am not made of teflon. I just knew that day that I’d be okay.

But…here’s something interesting now that I do know how much I weigh from a few months ago. I have now entered the zone where You Have To Worry About Chairs And Also Ladders And Others Things.

We have a fiberglass ladder that had a crack which is SUPER dangerous and when I was looking at the crack I noticed the sticker that listed the weight capacity and I started thinking, “Wait. Considering how much heavy shit I carry down this ladder, I’m definitely hitting that capacity.” So I went out immediately and bought a new ladder. I did not want to risk it with that new crack and that weight limit.

I also broke a chair last week. Now, it was a shitty chair and we knew it was on it’s way out, but I still sat in it and broke it. So now I’m looking for new ones and…um…NONE OF THEM ARE technically SAFE FOR ME. So all of those things I’ve read about how our society really does shit on fat people? I’m now seeing up close and in person as I’m having to now exist in the world in a bigger body where nothing seems to be designed for bigger bodies.

And I’m fine.

I’m so glad for this journey because I’m still so intimately aware of how fragile I was for years and this has not been easy or quick, but I am so happy that seeing a weight capacity on a chair I want is under my weight just irritates me about the chair and NOT AT ALL ABOUT MY BODY. Now, I did stop shopping for chairs because I know I can only handle so much irritation and I still have to heed content warnings like the one I put here on some days when I know I’m more vulnerable, but these are HUGE milestones that finally help me see the years worth of slow and steady work is starting to pay off.

I still have a lot of healing to do and a lot of programming to correct but jeez…I’ve come so far and I just wanted to take a minute to be proud of that. To document some HEALTHY thoughts about my weight – or more importantly some AMBIVALENT thoughts about my weight. Maybe this will help counterbalance the decade worth of posts I’ve done on this site where I discuss how I’m trying to lose weight fourteen million times.

No one has time for that shit anymore.

3 thoughts on “Wishing I could hug Kim of 26+ years ago.”

  1. I feel seen. So many people fail to realize how much those of us with larger bodies have to take into consideration when going places. Does that restaurant have armless chairs so I won’t have to teeter on the edge or give myself bruises from wedging myself into it? Or tiny barstools that feel like I’m balancing with a log up my butt… That’s in addition to the whole “will it hold my weight” question. I’ve been looking at furniture online and it’s disheartening at how hard it is to find something rated appropriately for me. I also have to consider seat height… if it isn’t tall enough, I won’t be able to get up without someone to help me. *SIGH*

  2. I have to say, I can’t wait to experience ambivalence in this area. I love your journey and your work towards self love!

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