THIS IS NOT A BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO.
This is two after photos.
In both these photos, I have just lost 30 lbs.
But there’s only one where I am happy and healthy and there is only one that makes me smile now. The one on the left.
I had lost those 30 lbs through being happy. I wasn’t being body positive because it didn’t exist. Without trying to, or meaning to, I lost weight. Don’t ask me how cause I ate cheese toasties and I drank everyday. I started eating intuitively – eating when I was hungry, stopping when I was full, eating what I wanted and when I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t thinking about food or exercise. I didn’t obsess, I didn’t emotionally eat. I didn’t punish my body with workouts. I was simply happy because I had found my first real friends and as a consequence my body changed, without me even trying. I stopped caring about my weight and how I looked and I lost weight as a result.
The one on the right couldn’t be further from that. It was less than a year later when I was hospitalised for an obstructed bowel. I wasn’t allowed to eat for 6 weeks and was fed by a tube in my veins that gave me 500 calories a day. That restriction led to an obsession. I would spend my days scrolling #chocolate on Instagram. All I did was think about the food I was banned from having. Once I even begged a nurse for a grain of rice. People would come into my hospital room and compliment me on my rapid weight loss and it would fill me with resentment cause I had been through this before. When you stop eating, your body goes into starvation mode and whatever I lost, I would gain back AND MORE. When I took this photo, I remember thinking, let’s take a picture because you will never be this size ever again. I lived in fear of the weight coming back cause it was inevitable and I had no choice but to sit there and watch my weight climb.
I buried this photo, and to find it I had to dig it out of the depths of my computer because even now it’s hard to look at. I got my dream body and all I had to do for it was starve myself in hospital for 6 weeks.
So before you compliment someone on their weight loss remember this:
NOT ALL WEIGHT LOSS IS A SIGN OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS.