wellness

'For years, I put my life on hold hoping to lose weight. Here's how I started living.'

I’m going to be bold and say that if you are a woman, there may have been a moment in your life where you’ve thought, “I’ll do that once I have lost some weight!” Perhaps it was joining a Pilates class, downloading Tinder, or going for that dream job. 

But I’m here to tell you that you can achieve anything you want without losing weight. That the body you are in right now, this minute, is perfectly fine.

I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot. Particularly because whenever celebrities lose weight, they tend to drone on about how much better their lives are now... Rebel Wilson, anyone? 

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Somehow the size of their clothes dictates how fabulous their lives are and as someone who has been plus-size my whole adult life, I find that incredibly misleading. It’s sending a message to women that they need to be smaller to achieve their goals and find happiness. 

When I was younger, I believed that losing weight was the key not just to happiness but also to career success and love.

I thought the amount I weighed was directly linked to my worth. Thankfully, life has taught me that isn’t true. Sure, sometimes the media is screaming a different message at me, but my experiences have shown me that being thin doesn’t equal success. 

Love and sex.

Growing up, I thought love stories and sexy affairs were reserved for tiny women. Thank you to all the early 2000s teen movies and novels, particularly Twilight

But as a plus-size woman, I’ve dated casually, had relationships, situation-ships and one-night stands. I’ve had men tell me they’ll never get over me and I’ve met the lovely man I share a life with now. 

Sure, I’ve also been ghosted, had my heartbroken and dealt with my fair share of men that made me feel bad, but nothing beyond the scope of what is expected, and how much I weigh has never stopped me from finding love or dating fun. 

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Career goals.

As someone who loved to write, my role model was Carrie Bradshaw, and she was small and aspirational.

Her body was universally praised, and I thought the size of my thighs might dictate how successful I was in my career. Could I write about fashion if I can’t buy anything from Zimmerman? I was anxious that I didn’t have the right look to work in women’s media, and I’d never really seen an example of a plus-size woman occupying that space. 

But I’m happy to report I’ve worked for the former editor of Vogue and my personal life icon, Kirstie Clements. I’ve had my words published everywhere from The Sydney Morning Herald to right here at Mamamia and I’ve got to write about everything from love to fashion without having to shed a single kilo.

Sure, there have been moments of insecurity, but nothing I haven’t been able to overcome by changing my thinking.

Exercise.

I used to think that exercise was reserved for only thin people. But I do Pilates a couple of times a week, I enjoy my 'hot girl walks' and I'm always down to try a new class. Nowadays, my weight doesn’t come into play. 

There’s nothing I don’t do or try because of the size of my jeans and maybe that sounds obvious, but it has taken me a while to get to this point. 

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Happiness.

Have I found it? Well, sometimes that changes depending on the day. But I think I’ve found a peace within myself I never imagined. I’m okay with my thighs and my arms, I don’t feel the need to be smaller, and when I look in the mirror, I’m mostly content with myself. 

I also don’t spend that much time thinking about my body anymore and that has been so freeing. 

Now, I’m not writing this article to brag. Trust me, there are plenty of things about my life that aren’t perfect. Like, the pile of washing I’m staring at as I type these words, but I’m writing about all these achievements because I really want to make it clear that you don’t need to lose weight to have a fabulous and full life. 

My weight is never a factor in any decision I make, and I’ve carved out my path and it hasn’t held me back. So, if there’s anything you’re putting off until you shed a few kilos, please don’t. 

The world is waiting for you.

For more from Mary, you can follow her on Instagram here.

Feature Image: Instagram @maryrosem.

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