I’ve been really delving into my emotions and feelings related to myself and how I show up in the world. Through this work, I’ve become acutely aware of how feeling bloated or full or whatever the opposite of “skinny” is makes me think and feel. When I get into this headspace – whether it be after eating a big meal or after scrolling through Instagram – my mind starts to tell me things. These things sound like this:
You’re not good enough
You’re not worthy of love, praise, or attention
If you looked a certain way, you would feel better
If you looked a certain way, your life would be better
You aren’t worth being friends with
The people who matter won’t notice you because you don’t look a certain way
Fat = unlovable
You’ll never be happy until you look a certain way
You’ll never be successful until you look a certain way
People would like you more if you looked a certain way
Your problems would go away if you just lost 15 pounds
My brain is literally wired to scream YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH in various forms when I feel I don’t look a certain way. Feeling “fat” equates to unworthiness, shame, guilt, and embarrassment. Feeling “skinny” equals good enough, worthy of love and attention, acceptance, happiness.
Notice how I say “feeling” a certain way equals thinking a certain way. I can personally feel skinny at my heaviest weight and feel “fat” at my lowest weight depending on what I’ve been telling myself and how I’ve been taking care of myself. It’s very rarely ever how I actually look that results in these defeating and damaging thoughts.
But, this is good news. If you stop yourself when you’re experiencing this spiral of negativity, you’ll notice that it’s all based on how you FEEL, rather than how you look. In fact, you’re probably very rarely standing in front of a mirror assessing the parts of your body you aren’t happy with. You’re probably more often scrolling through Instagram or watching some supermodel on TV or staring at a skinny, attractive person walking by. It’s not about how you truly look in the moment; it’s about how you feel about yourself right then and there.
What I want to get across is this: What our brains tell us about our worthiness in relation to how we look is absolutely bullshit 99% of the time. You know this, I know this, but yet we still struggle to accept ourselves just as we are in this moment. Gaining 10 lbs has us spiraling into weight-loss mode and hiding in baggy clothes until those pounds are gone. Feeling full or bloated has us planning how we’re going to go on a diet and workout excessively to feel better. All so we can look a certain way to fit into a certain mold to get more likes on Instagram and more stares on the street and more envy from Karen and more love from our spouses and friends and self. But, if you break all those things down, what it really equates to is this: What we really want is to feel worthy and good enough. And somehow, our society has got it in our heads that the only way to be worthy and to be good enough is to look a certain way.
I have a secret, though: You’re already good enough. Right now, right here, in this moment, you are worthy. You are so worthy. Every inch of your body, every ounce of your weight, every dimple and imperfection – it’s enough. It’s more than enough. You are enough.
And the best part? Your weight and appearance have nothing to do with it.
So, here’s your permission to love yourself no matter how you look or feel. Here’s your permission to f*ck what you’ve been taught by a starving society that’s feeding you bullshit to keep you in the cycle of consumerism in a desperate attempt to look and feel a certain way. Here’s your permission to bury that bullshit and accept yourself just as you are, in this moment. We are enough. We are worthy. We are f*cking perfect, just as we are, right now.