Society seems to think that for girls and women, weight gain and weight loss are a huge deal. Magazines, TV shows, adverts and social media all seem to think we should be spending a lot of time, money and energy on our weight, whether that be losing it or gaining it.
When I came back from university this year, lots of people commented on the fact I’d lost weight. The fact was, I’d been running a lot, and I simply hadn’t been able to afford all the takeaways and snacks I was craving on a student budget.
I know people were being nice to me, but it got me thinking: how much of our worth do we stake on our weight? Do we think we’re prettier when we’re skinnier or do we desperately want some more flesh to fill our jeans out? Does the way we feel about ourselves and the way we look fluctuate as our weight does?
It’s the end of summer, and by now all that weight has gone straight back on. With my mum’s baking, my boyfriend’s love of Italian cooking (and my love of Italian food), and a fridge full of snacks that I didn’t have to buy myself, I’ve definitely put on a few pounds! At first, this really worried me I thought that if people had noticed I looked thinner, they were now going to notice I had put on weight. For a while, I was really worried about what people would think of me, until I realised that it’s all nonsense!
One compliment that really made me smile was when my godmother told me “You look really well”. I LOVED this! She was saying I looked happy, grounded, smiley and healthy, which is how I felt!
So many of us young people, guys and girls, struggle with their weight. When the whole world is telling us that it matters SO much, it’s good to remember that there are things far more important, like where your heart is. What the scale says does not, and cannot, change that.
I am the same person whether I’ve been running 5 miles a day and living off kale, or whether I’ve been eating as much cake as Mary Berry at a village fete. My worth extends beyond that, and life is all about balance.
Sometimes you’re active and busy and your snack cupboard is empty, sometimes it’s the opposite. As long as you are healthy and happy, learning to accept weight fluctuation is a big part of learning to love yourself.
Your weight ultimately isn’t what makes you beautiful, the fact that God has fashioned you and calls you a masterpiece is what makes you beautiful!
For more on this topic, click here to read Abbie’s story.