Can You Be Body-Positive and Still Want to Lose Weight?
Yes Tracey-Lee Lusty
Lawyer; health & itness blogger Instagram: itnessgirl_ za
To me, being body-positive means accepting and celebrating your unique body shape,
acknowledging that it may go through natural size changes, and doing your utmost to keep it functioning healthily and optimally. Being body-positive is not about complacency, celebrating obesity or leading an unhealthy life because a movement now makes it ‘okay’ to do so. It’s about recognising that all bodies are equal, regardless of size or ability. And to me personally, it’s about encouraging women to care more about their health than about their external appearance.
To be a real advocate of the movement is to be completely honest with yourself. If you want to lose weight because you believe that being smaller equates to being more beautiful based on a fabricated industry standard, then this would be in direct conflict to body positivity. However, if shedding weight is a consequence of you working on yourself to better your overall mental wellbeing and physical health, then how could this not be in line with the ideal of self-love, which underpins the movement?
If shedding a few kilograms or committing to a healthy and active lifestyle makes you feel good, then who is to say that you are not body-positive? With the right intention, embarking on a weight-loss journey is the purest form of self-love. If being body-positive is about loving your body, then – in my opinion – ensuring that it works optimally and is in good health is actually the clearest form of body-positive activism.
No Kim Windvogel
Body-positive activist Instagram: blazingnonbinary
Body positivity isn’t just a phrase. It’s a layered ideology that seems to have even the most educated baled as to what it truly means.
The phrase is usually thrown around only when spoken about in relation to supposedly fat people (myself included) who love their body regardless – when in fact body positivity has nothing at all to do with weight. We live in a society that tells us to hate our body. Whether you’re as skinny as they come, or you have thick thighs, a tight ass or a snatched waist with no arm fat, society will still find a way to serve you all the reasons why you should hate yourself or feel a burning desire to alter yourself.
To me, body positivity means you love your body regardless of its size, and regardless of what society tells you it should look like. Of course, I’m not saying that the moment you start losing weight you can’t be body-positive. What I’m saying is, thinking that body positivity is reserved just for fat people or just for skinny people is misguiding. I believe that, as a society, we should focus more on health and treat weight as a secondary factor. If we can do that, our body, mind and spirit will fall into their natural order and shine in the way they are supposed to – be it thick or skinny, heavy, muscular or fat.
So no, I don’t believe you can want to actively lose weight while still being body-positive. Weight is just one aspect of health, and if losing it is your sole purpose, you will always face disappointment. Focus on your health, on moderation and on self-esteem, so you can love and admire your body in all its stages.