Why I’m at Peace with My Weight Gain

“Resistance keeps you stuck. Surrender immediately opens you to the greater intelligence that is vaster than the human mind, and it can then express itself through you. So through surrender often you find circumstances changing.” ~ Eckhart Tolle I took a deep breath, feeling the recent change in my […]

“Resistance keeps you stuck. Surrender immediately opens you to the greater intelligence that is vaster than the human mind, and it can then express itself through you. So through surrender often you find circumstances changing.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I took a deep breath, feeling the recent change in my belly. I pinched at my belly rolls. They were familiar, I’d had them before, but recently I had gone through a period of over a year where I was in a smaller body. Now I was gaining weight again.

I refuse to step on the scale, so I don’t actually know how much weight I’ve gained. I can just feel it in the extra belly rolls and the snugness in some of my clothes. In my mind, I have two choices: to wage war on my body or to surrender to the weight gain.

Surrender is the ability to let go of the crushing weight of societal and personal expectations. It’s waving the white flag, signifying I’m giving up all the diet culture methods I’ve tried so hard to make work. I’m acknowledging that they actually never worked in the first place. This option isn’t always so easy, though. 

For some context, I’m a body positive and fat positive activist. I advocate for acceptance and health at every size. I tell others they’re worthwhile just as they are. Though when it comes time to put them into practice within myself, it’s very challenging.

I still have days where I suck in my stomach, hoping to appear skinnier to the world and to myself. I try to shrink to become small enough. I feel as though my worth lies in the number on the scale (even though I’m a stranger to it now).

I lie to myself and say that I’m never going to find a partner if I keep gaining weight. I beat myself up about the food I’ve consumed and I compare myself to other people.

My body positive journey is far from perfect; I struggle with all of these things. One big reason is internalized weight stigma or fatphobia. It infests my mind and can take over if I’m not careful.

I mean, look at the world: We fear and despise fat. People are bullied and discriminated against because of being in larger bodies. Fatphobia is very real. It’s ingrained subconsciously; our society trains us to be this way. 

The Body is not an Apology outlines some ways in which fatphobia rears its ugly head. In jobs, fat employees tend to be paid less for the same work. In dating, they often deal with people who fetishize them rather than seeing them as humans. In fashion, there are rarely sizes available beyond a size 16. In medicine, doctors see them as weak-willed and lazy.

This is not surrender in our society. This is bullying and prejudice. No wonder it’s hard for people to accept their changing bodies—there are so many consequences for being fat.

The irony of fat-shaming in the name of health is that it actually causes adverse health effects. According to a survey done by Esquire magazine, two-thirds of people report they’d rather be dead than fat. Can you imagine the damage this amount of stress does to one’s system?

No wonder we’re terrified of gaining weight. We let those messages infiltrate our minds, and they drive us to pinch at our belly rolls as if we’re the worst people ever.

On the other hand, being thin means being accepted, flying under the radar, even being complimented. It means that life is easier because you’re not oppressed in this way. Still, fatphobia manages to creep into all of our minds.

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