‘Someone recently asked what my ideal weight loss goal is. I replied, ‘Happiness.’: Woman urges ‘stop chasing a number and start chasing who you are’

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“I’m not going to look at this face and wish it was less ethnic.

I’m not going to look at this face and wish it had less pimples.

I’m not going to look at these eyes and wish one wasn’t so unmatched from the other.

I’m not going to look at this nose and wish it was smaller.

I’m not going to look at these eyebrows and wish they were less bushy.

I’m not going to look at this complexion and wish it was less hairy.

I’m not going to look at this head of hair and wish it was less tangly and much thicker.

I’m not going to look at these boobs and wish they were closer together and bigger.

I’m not going to look at this stomach and wish it was flatter.

I’m not going to look at these stretch marks and wish I could erase them.

I’m not going to look at these thighs and wonder where that thigh gap is some talk about wanting.

I’m not going to look at these legs and wish they were longer.

I’m not going to look at this butt and wish it was rounder and higher.

I’m not going to look at these feet and wish they weren’t so wide and flat.

Writing those lines exhausted me. Imagine what thinking them does to a person.

I’m not going to let the world win on this one.

I’m not going to let societal standards become my standards.

I’m not going to believe in one definition of beauty.

I’m not going to shame anyone who has the opposite of what I have, for they get shamed enough, too.

Someone recently asked me what my ideal weight loss goal is.

I replied, ‘My goal is happiness.’

I’m learning, though, that my goal is also internal wholeness.

I will never be whole to this world, but I can be whole to me.

I remember wearing a size small shirt and someone acting concerned I was on the trajectory to obesity. I wore a size small, but I still wasn’t skinny enough.

So, I’ve decided to stop wanting what they think I should want because it will never be enough.

I decided to change this whole game for myself.

Confidence, I’ll take that.

Non-comparison, I’ll take a double-dose of that.

Finding perfection here and not there, give me that, too.

Because nothing exterior will ever fill me the same as these.

I hate to be the demise of everything the world tricks you into believing, but here are a few truths:

Being skinny doesn’t make him love you.

Being thought of as the pretty one doesn’t mean he’ll never leave.

Getting the boob job doesn’t make everyone your fan.

Wearing a size small didn’t mean I had any more confidence. In fact, I was much more shy when I was thinner and much more bubbly when I was bigger.

So, what’s that? Probably an indication that your size has nothing to do with your belief in yourself. Stop chasing a number and start chasing who you are.

I remember being on a date, pointing out an insecurity about my leg to the guy.

It was an end of summer night and my leg was resting on his dash.

I pointed out a dent in the middle of my leg. Knowing me, I probably associated it with my weight because, you know, everything is our weight (my eyes are rolling).

He said to me, ‘Maybe that’s just your leg.’

I thought about it after the date.

He was right.

Why does it always have to be: our big leg, our short leg, our flat butt, our big butt, our round stomach, our flat stomach, our oily skin, our clear skin, our bushy eyebrows, or our overplucked eyebrows?

Why can’t it just be: our leg, our butt, our stomach, our skin, or our eyebrows?

Why are we constantly deciding if the parts connected to us are good or bad?

Low self-esteem is going to always tell you those parts are bad.

When you don’t have them how you think they should be, they are bad.

When you do have them how you think they should be, they become misleading because they often feed the idea that anything opposite of the current state is negative.

You can appreciate the exterior without letting it be a measurement of worth, or falling into the category of good or bad.

Remember, when you find fault in anything, you usually find fault within yourself first.

When you think you have to live up to a standard, you usually will never know who you are.

Who you are is the you that you are right now.

Not the you that you wish for.

You can have goals. You can change. (I’m not bashing change, although I know HOW hard it is to put the chips down. Please know I empathize.)

I’m preaching acceptance.

WHY spend all your time bashing who you currently are in the meantime?

Is it because society is in your ear, or you are?

If you’re always living through the person you wish you were, you will never live through the person you are.

And when you become the person you wished to be for so long, you will never live through that person, either. You will always want to change one more thing. You will always need to be as pretty as the next girl.

Just the other day, a guy asked me if I was happy after I told him I gained weight this past year.

I said, yes, I am happy.

I’m not lying either.

I absolutely refuse to hate myself because I gained weight.

I’m so tired of people asking, ‘Are you happy?’ when you express that you gained weight.

Why do we have to associate carrying more weight with disgust, misery, and self-hatred?

The problem isn’t the weight gain. (If it’s for health reasons, of course, this should be worked on. I can see the comments now.)

The problem is in the mindset we create and the words we allow others to speak to us.

Yes, I’m STILL ALLOWED to be happy. And so are you.

Thirty more pounds or not, I still find joy when I write.

I still stop to stare at the sunset.

I still find joy in the first sip of cold water on a hot day.

I still plan adventures.

I still smile when I spray the fragrance on my dresser.

I still laugh when I hear my little cousin’s laugh take over the whole house when I don’t even know what she’s laughing at. It’s just HER laugh that does it.

I still swim in the lake like I did when I was a kid and find it to be one of the best feelings in the world.

I still find things about this life that are magical.

I still find things about myself that are magical.

My happiness doesn’t take a backseat because I carry more weight. Everything you carry isn’t everything you are.

Do I walk a little more these days? Yes.

Do I try to eat a bit more protein to reduce cravings? Yes.

Do I want to be more active and get back into the shape I was in? Yes.

But do I deserve to be sad for one moment because I carry more weight? H— no.

So let’s stop feeding the notion that everything you need in life is on the other side of where you currently are.

Time in this life will never spare you. Heartbreak in this life will never spare you. Hate from others in this life will never spare you.

And not being okay anywhere than where you already are, in this life, will never save you from it all either.

Enough already.”

Plus-sized woman in blue shirt and glasses puckering lips
Courtesy of Felicia Naoum

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Felicia Naoum of Parma, Ohio, and originally appeared here. You can follow her 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.

Read more stories from Felicia here:

‘She’s conceited. She needs to get over herself. Felicia. Felicia. Felicia.’: Woman insists we ‘get lost in crushing goals and proving others wrong’ that instead we ‘crush ourselves’

‘I’ve been told my feelings are ‘too much.’ The more I heard it, the more I believed it. The world always seems to find a way of telling us we need correcting.’: Woman urges ‘your gift isn’t your shortcoming’

‘With tears in his eyes, my boyfriend said my weight bothered him.’: 22 shocking comments plus-sized woman has received

‘My friend said, ‘You’re trying too hard.’ She made fun of me. The digs got old. Every time I put myself out there, she tried to hold me back.’: Woman urges ‘never let someone take away your courage’

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