Nowadays, the world always tells us to love ourselves. Love yourself whatever weight you’re in. Love your body. Love your stretch marks. Love your cellulite. “These things are normal,” they say. However, coming from someone who stands at only 5 feet tall and used to weigh 200 pounds, self-love isn’t always the best choice.
I never really thought about my weight back when I was actually obese. At the time, I lived in a country where no one was really judged for their looks or their weight – at least not as much as a lot of the people I know here do.
Still, when I was at my heaviest, I had just given birth to a beautiful baby girl. Food was my life, and although I loved myself very, very much regardless of the weight that I was in; it came to a point where I knew it was time for some lifestyle changes.
I had given birth about three months ago and I had run out of breastmilk. I was feeling like a useless mother so I decided to leave my daughter with my parents and go to the beach for a while to relax, find myself, and get myself in order.
When I was there, I went on a hiking trip with a few people, and while we were looking at the view across a cliff, I slipped and found myself inches away from falling off said cliff. Now, during that time, there were only two thoughts going through my head. 1. “OMG, is this how I die?” And 2. “What is my daughter going to do without me?”
While catching my breath, I realized that if I had slipped a little further… even if I had miraculously held on to the edge like they do in the movies… I would never have been able to pull myself back up. And because I weighed so much, no one else would have been able to pull me back up, either. That was my wake-up call.
It took a while to shed all of that weight, but I’m proud to say that I’m no longer obese – and most importantly, I am much stronger now, i.e. I will definitely be able to pull myself back up should I miraculously hang off the edge of a cliff someday. I am also glad I got my wake-up call relatively early before I could find myself at the mercy of doctors because of unwanted health issues.
Why am I telling this random story? My friend has a daughter who is obese and I always hear her telling her daughter that it’s okay – that what’s important is that she loves herself. But this isn’t true.
Obesity is an unhealthy condition. It involves having an excess amount of fat that could eventually put you at risk for health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. And while I firmly believe that we should definitely love ourselves and our flaws, I don’t think we should condone unhealthiness. Please always remember that as important as it is to love yourself, it is still more important to take care of your health.