In several Facebook groups that I belong to, most of which are fitness/athletics related, they have “Transformation Tuesday.” This is code for “Weight Loss Tuesday” as people post before and afters of their weight loss “successes” and other people tell them how much prettier/younger/better they look now than they looked before.
People are allowed to do this, the groups allow it and I was clear that weight loss talk was allowed when I joined. Still, I wanted to provide a different perspective for Transformation Tuesday.
First of all, almost everyone who posts for TT is in the “honeymoon” period before the weight regain starts. The truth is that almost every single one of them will gain the weight back, many will gain back more. I wonder what the effect of all those Transformation Tuesday compliments will be when they are looking at them from the other side. I worry about the ways that these TT “compliments” reinforce sizeism, ageism, healthism, and ableism.
So as an alternative, I offer my Transformation Tuesday Story:
There was a time when I believed that I had to be thin to be healthy and happy. There was a time when I believed that smaller bodies were more beautiful, and that manipulating my body size was praiseworthy. There was a time when I saw my body as “before” (even though it was actually “current”) and the elusive “after” which actually ended up being a transitional phase during which I was briefly thinner between periods of being fat.
My life transformed when I realized that there’s no such thing as “before” and “after,” pictures, just “during” pictures. My life transformed when I realized that being thin probably isn’t possible for me and, even if it was, it was not a goal worthy of my time, energy, or money. My relationships with my body, food, and movement transformed when I realized that health isn’t an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or guaranteed under any circumstances, and that my best chance of supporting my health was healthy habits and not body size manipulation. Those relationships transformed again when I started appreciating all the things my body does for me rather than being mad that it didn’t look like a photoshopped picture of someone else. Those relationships transformed again when I realized that my beauty isn’t diminished because some people can’t see it. Those relationships keep getting better because they are now based on truth, and respect, and joy instead of on diet industry lies, self-loathing and desperation. By leaving behind a diet mentality and sizeist beliefs, I transformed my life not just on Tuesday, but every day.
Do you have a Transformation Tuesday story that doesn’t revolve around body size manipulation? Feel free to leave it in the comments!
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