Week 5 of 30lbs in 30 weeks.  +/- ? lbs *

Today, I am taking my sixteen year old niece out shopping. Like many in my family, she is a big girl. She is also a smart, outgoing and friendly girl. Her size seems to have no bearing on her self confidence. I have always admired how self possessed she is and her “I don’t give a !@$& what you think” attitude. She is at an age where kids can be cruel and it is hard to love yourself. I am proud of her for being true to who she is.

fat models

But, that’s the dilemma isn’t it? The fact remains, she is overweight and she does need to slim down. It is harmful to her health. And whether we like  it or not, her appearance could also impact future opportunities. It is a question I have asked  myself many times. How do I love my body today, but be disgusted enough to want to change. I can’t tell my husband, “I don’t feel sexy today, check back in 6 months.” I don’t want to be the fat woman I am today, but I need to love her today.

This is an increasingly popular trend – this idea of “I am fine just the way I am.” I think it is a dangerous one, at least in its current form. We are a nation of extremes. I read an article recently about the first runway show that featured “real curves.” The photos featured clinically overweight women strutting down the runway in bikinis. While I embrace any movement away from the impossible standards set by runway models and Photoshop, I really don’t understand why the pendulum must swing so far in the other direction. Why can’t we celebrate a healthy size 8 or even 12?

I suppose this is why I am trying this “happiness” approach to weight loss. I don’t believe that loving myself means believing that I don’t need to change anything about me. I love myself enough to change. I also don’t believe our confidence should be tied to our physical appearance or size. I have met women of all shapes and sizes, and usually, the sexiest ones were the ones that believed they were sexy. They exuded it, regardless of size.

So, I will take a note from my niece’s book and be confident and happy today. I won’t wait until I’ve reached some preconceived notion of perfection. But, I love myself  enough to take off the blinders and strive towards a healthier, leaner version of me.

* I did not post weight lost or gain because I am away from home and every scale I have tried gives a different number. I will post when I am back home on my own scale.

To learn more about my project, 30lbs in 30 weeks, follow my weekly posts here.

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Karen Propp is an artsy-fartsy digital geek who sees beauty in a different way. She chronicles the pursuit of happiness and  her weight loss project, 30lbs in 30 weeks, in a weekly feature. You can read the introduction here and follow her journey here. You can also follow Karen on twitter @karen_propp.

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