What Does Weight Have to Do With It?

After another fight with my scale that ended in frustrated tears, I realized that I have been on a diet for almost 20 years. The diets have taken on various forms of adaptations but the fact remains that I have been trying to change my shape for two decades. Ever since I was a child I have felt that there was something wrong with how I looked. Family, friends and media all played a part but at the end of the day it was me telling myself that I didn’t measure up. The more I put myself down the more I found solace in food, the more I found solace in food, well you can imagine.

I have never been skinny. I’ve never worn a bikini or been the smallest in the room. A fact that has haunted me for years.  Being the tallest of all my friends and the heaviest only added to my adolescent and adult insecurities.  Suffice it to say my self-love wasn’t where it should be. The problem had come to a frightening head when I heard through mutual friends of an online self-sabotage workshop.  I followed my intuition and signed up for Richelle Henry’s Kick Self-Sabotage Challenge. After only 8 days the program showed me something revolutionary. To change what you don’t like, you have to learn to love what you have.

Love myself as is?! How could I do that when every magazine cover, commercial, mirror was telling me something different? I realized it was time to make a different kind of change. This time I needed to change how I treated myself.  According to Glamour’s The Secret Way People Are Judging You Based on Your Body, when it comes to weight negative stereotypes are ingrained in our sub-conscious. For example, an overweight woman is often regarded as lazy, sloppy and jovial. While her thinner counterpart, is often categorized as vain, bitchy and conceited. Clearly an unfair assessment on both sides of the spectrum. It leads me to the heart of the matter. What does weight really have to do with anything?

Maybe it’s not healthy to have an identity wrapped up in poundage. Perhaps a person’s merit should be based on something more substantial than their pant size. How revolutionary! My inquiry led me to Geneen Roth’s popular best-seller Women, Food & God. Ms. Roth’s approach is to stop dieting and pay attention to what you’re eating and why.  She believes that if you follow an addiction back to its source you will discover your beliefs in God, yourself, life itself. Basically she promotes stripping all the bull-shit away and doing the real work, the hard stuff. And all of a sudden this makes sense to me. Because while my battle to be fit has very little to do with food, it has everything to do with food.

Months of spiritual work, self-inquiry and a regular meditation practice later I am beginning to see that my years of self-abuse was the problem, not how I looked or what I ate. Love and acceptance was the key along. I now speak more kindly to myself and have begun to practice blocking the negativity of others. I am working on making healthy choices that nourish, rather than injure me. It’s a process. I am working on a balance, working on becoming the me I see in my mind’s eye. But this time, even though I know I will fall, I will also rise. If I eat too much or forget to exercise I will not become Public Enemy #1. I’ll just be human. A beautiful human who has a lot more going for her than sheer mass.  A wondrous soul, worthy of all the love in the universe. A lot like you, in fact.

Corinne Casella is a freelance writer and editor and yoga enthusiast based in Lincroft, NJ

6 thoughts on “What Does Weight Have to Do With It?

  1. I’m a curvy girl, always have been. I remember begging my mom to let me be on the Slim Fast diet when I was a 4th grader. We’d conceal the chocolate beverage in a cup so that my classmates would think it was only chocolate milk…

    I understand where you are coming from, and most recently I’ve decided to to be okay with my curves. Yeah it wouldn’t help for me to get more healthy, but I’m always going to be curvy… even if I were to starve myself, my shape wouldn’t turn me into a stick thin lady. And I’m okay with that.

    Be true to you and keep your chin up! Power through sister 🙂 -Kyla

  2. Self Sabotage I think is something that we as women always struggle with. Pop culture certainly doesn’t make it any easier. I think it’s up to each of us to be open and honest, to create a dialogue and continue to talk about these issues so that one day we can all triumph.

  3. “Love and acceptance was the key all along”
    ohhh such true words spoken, and a daily practice for me to keep weeding out the things I am not accepting, and really taking a look at those ingrained beliefs.. that keep me from accepting me for me.

    I loved your article, and I think when we as women support each other ( Skinny bitch hurts just as much as fat bitch) but when we kick ass on the stereotypes and support acceptance of each other and ourselves…well wow what a world that will be!

    So true, it really is not healthy to have an identity wrapped in poundage….thank you for writing that….


  4. Corinne – I always look forward to reading your next blog post. You are able to express so eloquently what so many of us feel, struggle with, work on. Let’s band together as women and refuse to accept society’s limited definition of femaleness. Let’s forge forward – adding in every wonderfully beautiful aspect of our femaleness that society often does not account for and love ourselves for it!

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