Social media’s a funny beast.
Every morning I scroll through my explore page on Instagram. Today every couple of posts was a “Transformation Tuesday” post.
For those who don’t know, this involves an ‘old’ photo on the left and a ‘new’ photo on the right. From what I understand the Tranformation Tuesday hashtag gained momentum following the explosion of Kayla Itsines’ BBG Movement. Women of all ages on the program post progress photos demonstating how their new self contasts their old self.
A common theme for the ‘Transformation Tuesday’ post is weight loss. As I scrolled through the before and after images I realised that these women seem to be shrinking.
I wondered about the people behind those ‘before’ images. I picture them in the ‘before’ stage, looking in the mirror and wanting to change their body. I picture them being fed up by the way they look. I picture them wanting a quick fix. A diet. A workout regime. Something that will provide them with a sense of purpose and confidence.
I picture this because I was there once. I was young and I was desperate to be liked. My self confidence was non exsistent. I thought the solution was to lose weight. My larger body was too much for my shrinking, vulnerable soul.
I wish someone had told me, when I was young and vulnerable, that losing weight was not the answer. I wish someone had taught me that I should try to build my muscles and not deplete them.
So now, my focus is not on diminishing myself into a smaller being, but on strengthening my body and my mind. My focus is not on weight but is on health.
The photo on the left was taken in July last year. The photo on the right was taken last Friday. In six months I have transformed more than physically. I’ve rebuilt my social life. I’ve removed toxic people from my inner circle. I’ve faught a war against my mental illness and I’m winning more battles every day. I’ve regained faith in my own abilities. I’ve become less fearful and more open-hearted. My menstrual cycle has returned. My energy is back.
The most important transformation? My happiness. I am so much happier.
I realised whilst examining these Transformation Tuesday photos very few of them narrate a weight gain journey. A journey like mine. I couldn’t find anyone, in the sea of shredding and toning, like me.
And my journey is important too. My journey involved hard work. It involved psychologists and a dietician. It involved love and support from my family and friends. It involved committment and strength. It involved tears and fear. And it’s a story that needs to be told.
I don’t want this post to sound like I’m attacking anyone. If following a healthier lifestyle involves changes to your weight then that is your journey and I will not detract from your ambitions and achievements.
I just want the rhetoric to shift. Away from weightloss and towards strength.
Away from the scales and towards health.