“I don’t want to be the girl to put likes, hearts, and wow emojis on your before-and-after weight loss photo.
I don’t want to be the girl to remind you who you are now is deserving of praise in comparison to who you were then.
I don’t want to invalidate you like that.
I don’t want to void you like that.
Who you were is still who you are.
Souls are not measured in size.
And if any part of you was authentically you then, you’re still the same person.
Why do we think we’ve arrived when we can post a photo showing so much less of us?
Why do we think it’s okay to determine when people receive compliments based on weight?
I don’t want to live under that microscope, and I certainly don’t want to contribute to anyone else living under it either.
You may mean well when you utter to someone, ‘Wow. You look amazing. Did you lose weight?’
Or even, ‘Your face is so thin now; you look so pretty.’
(I saw something similar to this fairly recently, and it inspired me to write this.)
But well-intended isn’t always void of detrimental side effects.
We should not have to compare ourselves to our own selves.
Isn’t the world comparing us to it enough?
Instead of a before-and-after photo…
How about a description of a before-and-after mindset that explains how who we were is who we are.
Because a change in body size has nothing to do with that.
And instead of praising someone when they lose weight, let’s do this:
Let’s praise someone when they haven’t met society’s standards of beauty.
Let’s praise someone when they are at their heaviest weight and not because we encourage unhealthy habits, but because we encourage self-love and self-worth.
Let’s stop calling ourselves fat and saying we have muffin tops and extra rolls. Let’s say we have bodies and body parts, just like everyone else does. Size doesn’t make you different. Let’s not define those body parts as negative because they’re not a size 2.
Let’s learn that praise and success are not only valid when we’re able to post a before and after photo. Let’s learn that they are just as valid when we can find as much praise and beauty in our before photos as we do our after photos, especially the ones that can be hard to post because they don’t look like the girl in the magazine.
Let’s remember that the girl in the magazine is not the only preference of beauty.
Let’s remember that some prefer the girl who isn’t in the magazine. And some prefer the girl who carries the extra weight.
Let’s also remember that the girl in the magazine doesn’t always look like the girl in the magazine.
Photos that are documented during every stage of your life deserve love — not just the one’s the world tells you do. And photos don’t need to be compared.
Your old self didn’t fall short.
Your old self isn’t bad because it’s not your new self.
Your old self deserves to stand alone (void of comparison to the new photo) because your old self was enough.
If you go deep enough, your old self is your new self because souls don’t lose weight and souls don’t gain weight.
Souls have no connection to weight. They can’t be carried or measured.
I don’t want to cheer you on because you lost weight, as if you made it.
I want to cheer you on by telling the girl (or guy) in your before picture that they deserve just as many hearts, likes, and wow emojis because I don’t think you know that.
And you need to.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Felicia Naoum. You can follow their journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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