I’m frustrated. About a month ago a friend of mine shared an image on Facebook that said “Praising weight loss is still a judgement,” and the copy below the original post said “Always question your internalized fatphobia. Weight loss is not something inherently worthy of praise.”

Um…sorry, I do NOT agree. And I actually resent the implication that I am body shaming for celebrating someone’s transformation. This has been bugging me for almost a month, I can’t shake it. If someone loses weight and posts a transformation, I WILL celebrate them. But not because the number on the scale has gone down. I don’t care what the number on the scale is. I care that they have taken steps to IMPROVE THEIR HEALTH. They wanted to feel better and have done something to make that happen. And I don’t mean better about themselves, I mean physically better. Like pain reduction better. Clearer breathing better.

Look, you can feel good about yourself at ANY size, and I absolutely champion that. You can confidently rock an outfit or swimsuit or your naked body at any size and weight, and I applaud you for it. BUT, it is a fact that a person who has gone through a significant weight loss has reduced their risk of:

  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Some cancers
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma

Um, hello? That is something to CELEBRATE. And as someone who was once obese, I can tell you that I have also reduced my back pain, improved my breathing, reduced stress on my joints, stopped uncomfortable chafing…the body goes through a massive change when it’s no longer carrying around an additional 80 pounds, trust me. I FEEL BETTER.

Like I said, it is not about the number on the scale. I have actually learned to think about a scale simply as data, not as a measure of worth or value like I used to. In some seasons and when following some workout programs, I have stayed the same weight and gotten smaller because muscle takes up less space than fat.

But when someone commits to making a change to their health and for them that involves losing weight, that is AWESOME. Because making that decision to start, and then continuing to make that decision every single day is HARD. It’s not easy. And anyone that accomplishes something hard and overcomes all the baggage that comes with it should be lifted up by others, celebrated by friends, family and strangers on Instagram. Sorry, I’m a little fired up right now.

If you have made a decision to take charge of your life and become healthier, no matter what that looks like for you, I will celebrate you til the proverbial cows come home. I will shout from the rooftops about how freaking awesome you are.

It’s not about weight. It’s about HEALTH.