In the last year or so, a movement has started to sweep the nation. A movement where people embrace their bodies whether they be fat, skinny, or disabled. The apparent queen of body positive behavior appears to be Whitney Way Thore. You may know her from her Fat Girl Dancing videos or you may know her from her TLC show, My Big Fat Fabulous Life. I know her from her No B.S. Movement, where she is fighting against body shaming.
In her new book, I Do It with the Lights On (IDIWTLO) Whitney tells us her story. From early childhood through high school and college Whitney has always had issues with her weight. From weighing just two pounds more than a classmate and feeling like a failure to comments from a doctor to stop giving her chocolate milk to her own parents making "helpful" comments about her eating habits and weight are what she remembers from her childhood. She developed an eating disorder at a young age as a way to cope with her "cheat days". Whitney talks about the hateful comments that have been thrown her way, both in this country and in other lands. She talks about dating as a woman of over 300 lbs and the cruel comments that she encountered, both to her face and on the internet. She talks about the double standard between men and women. She also talks about the crushing diagnosis of having PCOS and what it meant for her health. It wasn't until Whitney had sex with the lights on for the first time ever that she began to accept her body for what it is -beautiful. She has taken that acceptance and started a movement that is sweeping the nation.
I have to say that I admire Whitney Way Thore and the path she has taken to learn to accept her body. Do I agree with every step on her path to acceptance, no, but it is her journey. She gets brutally honest with her experiences along the way. My journey is different and still ongoing, but it is my journey. I have recently joined an online community that has given me a little more confidence in my body, but it is still a journey. Her family seemed misguided at times, but they were always supportive as she worked hard, several times, to lose the weight that always seemed to creep back on her 5"2' frame. One thing I really enjoyed about IDIWTLO is that Whitney just seems like such a fun person to be around. I also have to say that I loved the way she called out a certain media mogul and recent Weight Watchers spokesperson for her way of saying that you can only be beautiful and worthy if you are skinny. It takes a lot of balls to call someone like her out in such a public arena.
Bottom line - If there is one thing that I am learning from people like Whitney Way Thore it is this - your self worth is NOT tied to your weight. Your contributions to , your family, your friends, and the world is not directly tied to how much you weight. If anybody makes you feel differently then you need to surround yourself with different people. You ARE beautiful and YOU make the world a better place to be in.