Transformation Tuesday

Before AfterIn several Facebook groups that I belong to, most of which are fitness/athletics related, they have “Transformation Tuesday.”  This is code for “Weight Loss Tuesday” as people post before and afters of their weight loss “successes” and other people tell them how much prettier/younger/better they look now than they looked before.

People are allowed to do this, the groups allow it and I was clear that weight loss talk was allowed when I joined. Still, I wanted to provide a different perspective for Transformation Tuesday.

First of all, almost everyone who posts for TT is in the “honeymoon” period before the weight regain starts. The truth is that almost every single one of them will gain the weight back, many will gain back more. I wonder what the effect of all those Transformation Tuesday compliments will be when they are looking at them from the other side.  I worry about the ways that these TT “compliments” reinforce sizeism, ageism, healthism, and ableism.

So as an alternative, I offer my Transformation Tuesday Story:

There was a time when I believed that I had to be thin to be healthy and happy. There was a time when I believed that smaller bodies were more beautiful, and that manipulating my body size was praiseworthy.  There was a time when I saw my body as “before” (even though it was actually “current”) and the elusive “after” which actually ended up being a transitional phase during which I was briefly thinner between periods of being fat.

My life transformed when I realized that there’s no such thing as “before” and “after,” pictures, just “during” pictures.  My life transformed when I realized that being thin probably isn’t possible for me and, even if it was, it was not a goal worthy of my time, energy, or money.  My relationships with my body, food, and movement transformed when I realized that health isn’t an obligation, barometer of worthiness, or guaranteed under any circumstances, and that my best chance of supporting my health was healthy habits and not body size manipulation. Those relationships transformed again when I started appreciating all the things my body does for me rather than being mad that it didn’t look like a photoshopped picture of someone else. Those relationships transformed again when I realized that my beauty isn’t diminished because some people can’t see it. Those relationships keep getting better because they are now based on truth, and respect, and joy instead of on diet industry lies, self-loathing and desperation. By leaving behind a diet mentality and sizeist beliefs, I transformed my life not just on Tuesday, but every day.

Do you have a Transformation Tuesday story that doesn’t revolve around body size manipulation? Feel free to leave it in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “Transformation Tuesday

  1. My transformation: I have always known I was adopted, however I didn’t know until my late 30s that my parents actually met my birth mother before I was born, and information I would have liked to have changed hands. My first reaction was anger that all of this had been decided for me and I had no say in it. Then it occurred to me: no one has control over the circumstances into which they are born. My circumstances were just a bit different. Anger vanished.

  2. In my case, any transformation photos I could post would show obvious weight gain. What they don’t show is my recovery from disordered eating habits, untreated depression, over-exercising and under-fueling. Nor do they show that I’ve completed two half marathons, a 15-mile obstacle race, and several triathlons since I’ve begun running. They can’t show that I’ve become stronger, fitter, and far healthier since gaining X pounds over the last 5 years.

    What if instead of posting weight change and body measurements with “transformation” photos, we captioned them with accomplishments such as strength increase, distance goals met, increased energy levels, lowered blood pressure, and improved emotional health?

    I posted on the same topic on my blog about a month ago here:

  3. i have said this before, and i will say it again: yr blog, & especially this particular sentiment, changed my life. nothing & nobody else ever came close to convincing me i was not a failure when i could not, by any means, drag myself back down to the actress/model weight i was when i was 15. i had [of course] starved myself there, but after i could not starve myself back, i was never able to see myself as someone who is, just as someone who was. as a person who’d long ago, & in a tiny way, been almost valuable, & then, largely through sorrow & trauma, became worthless.

    thank you.

    i always thank you, but thank you again. i have a lot of self-discipline, and—although it took years—i’ve taught myself to regulate the bulimarexic behavior. but i could never teach myself to stop loathing myself every minute. you did that. i am grateful.

    yr weary supporter, member, sometime-correspondent, & friend,
    aka edi vaché

    1. THIS. Well, apart from the ever-been-thin part. I was never thin. But, yeah, the transformation from hating myself to loving myself came largely from this site. There are a few others, but none really touched me as much as, or as effectively as, this one.


  4. Ragen,

    Maybe we could make Transformation Tuesdays a regular thing? Only it is not around weight loss or dieting.

    I’m currently in the middle of transformation, as I am getting an AA in Network Administration.

    Turns out you can still shove a lot of knowledge into your brain, even in your 40s. Lack of sleep takes more of a toll, though.

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