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How I Learned That The Goal Is To Live Healthy, Not Lose Weight

Wellness

For as long as I can remember, I've been fixated on my weight.

My mom worked to shift what I felt was worthy, and utilized cultural norms to remind me that my curves and body were beloved. Eventually, I learned to love those curves but that didn't curb my desire for a slim waist to boot.

As we're made more aware of the lengths of physical augmentation that many women will endure to attain the thickness valued by Black culture, I can't take for granted that the only thing that ever stood in the way of me and an eating disorder was luck.

On occasion, I've found myself balancing out the pros and cons of regurgitating my last meal and some days I wish I had the gaul. But luck has always been there to stop me and encourage me to find a better way.

This didn't stop me from partaking in unhealthy crash diets all throughout high school and college attempting to achieve the glorified hourglass figure. I couldn't afford the surgeries even if it crossed my mind, but I could most definitely spend the time finding out about the newest fad diet that promised to help me drop 10 pounds in three days.

It wasn't until a couple years ago that I ended this cycle. Pinterest and I became best friends. This was when the first real wave of change hit me.

I learned that diets were ineffective and fleeting; but lifestyle changes on the other hand, were much more beneficial.

I was eating good. The moderation preached about in the fitness world became less elusive to me. I allowed myself to indulge every once in a while. It was a major key to actually being healthy and meaning it. The only problem I found, was that I still strived to be someone I was not.

In due time, I fell off and found myself going through the motions of starting from scratch, only to fail miserably. I worked out to maintain my figure in hopes of eventually obtaining someone else's, and although it felt good to get a taste of this lifestyle change, I knew that my transformation had to start on the inside.

One of the most essential lessons and meaningful lessons came from the epiphany that my body was mine.

I could never have what the next woman has, as she could not have what my mama along with the others I've been genetically coded with gave me.

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This lesson came as I began to weight train and I witnessed all the ways my body transformed. With every transformation, I was still me and never the girl in the video. Never the girl with the perfect figure, but me was f*cking fantastic. Intrigued by the other gains my body was making and the strength that it showed, looking like someone else finally stopped being the goal.

After coming to know the joys of proper nourishment, balance, and what my body simply won't look like helped me unlearn the differences.

But with this, I'm required to accept the fact that I'm eating strictly for health. Not for appearances. Not for the scale. Not for the summer body that 2018 never knew. I'm eating for maximum survival. For the first time in my life, I'm required to eat well just because it's what feels right to me both physically and mentally.

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The ability to see my body as my own and recognize it as beautiful has offered me hella perspective. I'm optimistic because I enjoy this "grown woman" weight that my mid-twenties is dishing out. Without my intense obsession with shapeshifting into something my body and build will never be, my fitness journey has become less of a burden and more of a breeze.

However annoying my backtracking may have felt at the time, I can't deny that I learned something new with every attempt at living a healthier life, and each lesson was equally valuable. I realized that my fitness journey has no finish line, it is endless.

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I've tried eating solely for pleasure, and I've tried eating for the cause (i.e. a slim waist). I suppose now it's time time to try something new.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissons@xonecole.com

Featured image by Getty Images

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