And guess what? Women were more supportive than I’d ever expected, and many of them even admitted that they too wanted to lose weight to improve their health but had, like me, felt trapped by the stigma that confident, heavy women weren’t supposed to think about weight at all. Like me, they felt liberated by the idea that it wouldn’t betray their ideals to value their physical health.
I understand why women are so fed up with being told by society (and doctors) that they need to get to some “ideal” size. I get why they’d want to rebel and no longer care about weight—I’ve been there too. But we also can’t pretend illness doesn’t happen to us. Health matters, and paying attention to markers like your cholesterol, blood pressure and, yes, your weight doesn’t mean you’re giving in to some societal ideal. It means that you’re listening to your body on the inside, which is a crucial part of loving yourself completely.