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Culture

I’ll Never Know What It’s like to Be in a Larger Body

I’ll never know what it’s like to have a different skin color.

To be a different gender.

Or to grow up in a different place with a different family.

I’ll never be discriminated against for the person I love, for who I identify as, for how I talk, my education or where I live.

I was born into privilege.

I was born with this body, with these eyes, with this hair and with this skin.

I was born into a family who provided for almost everything I did.

My parents paid for my first car, they paid for college, they paid for my semester abroad. They paid for my wedding, for me to become a certified health coach and much more.

Even as I write, I can’t help but think to myself, What are people going to think of me if I share this? Will my work be discredited? Am I even allowed to be writing about this?

I’ve been given a lot in my life, and I’m unbelievably grateful and appreciative every single day. I’m also proud of who I am and where I came from. I’m proud of the accomplishments I’ve made, and I’m proud of the person and the experiences I’ve created because of these opportunities—made possible by a loving, kind, hardworking family.

I know that love, kindness and hard work doesn’t always lead to the kind of life I get to live. I know that I’m lucky—that I was dealt a good hand—and I promise I won’t take that lightly.

I will never know what it’s truly like to live a different life.

I do know what it’s like to wake up every morning and step on the scale, hoping for at least half a pound down.

I do know what it’s like to lift your shirt up to see if the fat on your stomach somehow disappeared every time you walk past a mirror—to take your hands right above your belly button and pull up on the skin just to feel, for a moment, that you’ve accomplished your goal.

I do know what it’s like to have my thoughts consumed by what I can and can’t eat.

I do know what it’s like to avoid all other tasks and thoughts until I get a workout in.

I do know what it’s like to try so many different diets, “lifestyle changes” and cleanses, only to come out looking the same or still not good enough.

I do know what it’s like to wish I was in a different body.

But I will never know what it’s like to have the world confirm all of those beliefs for me.

I’m a thin, white, able-bodied, cisgender female preaching body positivity and self-love. I’ve had so many people tell me that it’s easy for me to feel this way about my body now. But my internal struggles are still valid. No matter what you look like or who you are, you’re not immune to our insane societal standards, and you’re not immune to this all-consuming feeling of “not-enoughness.”

Not smart enough.
Not pretty enough.
Not thin enough.
Not toned enough.
Not young enough.
Not successful enough.
Not loved enough.
Not enough money.
Not enough time.
Not. Enough. Period.

But I will never be looked at in disgust by a stranger for eating a burger and fries in public.

I will never feel uncomfortable on public transportation because the seat is too small for my body.

I will never walk into a store and not see my size.

I will never be dismissed for advancements in the workplace because my body is perceived as lazy and unintelligent.

And I will never feel the paralyzing fear of going to my doctor in anticipation of being shamed for my weight instead of receiving the healthcare and treatment I deserve.

We NEED body-positive, fat-acceptance, intuitive-eating, health-at-every-size professionals & advocates in ALL different body types, skin colors and backgrounds.

We need to hear everyone’s story.

I’ll always say it’s about who you are being, not what you look like that matters. And although I know that’s true, I also know that seeing someone who looks like you as happy, loved, confident, and enough can make a whole world of difference.

All bodies are beautiful. All bodies are worthy. All bodies are deserving. All bodies are enough.

I need you—your body, your background, your experience—to show the world that health is not a size.

beauty is not a size.
happiness is not a size.
success is not a size.
and love is certainly not a size.

I’m so honored to be doing this work, and to be a part of this community as a coach. Our message is incredibly important, and I hope to connect, learn and grow from so many of you who have had different experiences than my own.

In fact, I’d love to hear from you if you’d be open to sharing. I truly believe open communication and connection is at the root of all change. Say, “hi” and introduce yourself! kathleen@kathleenlayer.com.

Here’s to taking down diet culture, one day at a time.

xoxo,
Kathleen

Like this post? View similar content here: The Wellness Industry is Failing Us and Taking Our Money Along the Way

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by kathleen@kathleenlayer.com

Hi, friends! My name is Kathleen, I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!) but have had my fair share of traveling and adventure. I currently live in Brunswick, Maine with my husband, Braden and our dog, Wiley. I am a Certified Health Coach on a mission to empower women to embrace every inch of their bodies regardless of shape & size, so they can break through the barriers of diet culture, feel confident & connected in who they are, and make space for the things that truly matter.


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