Many don't realize how before and after photos could hurt those living with disability or chronic illness. Perhaps they don't see the inherent privalege associated with being able to do something about their image or weight, because their body has the ability to move, exercise, take in food properly, etc. Being able bodied is truly a gift.
It's hard to explain to people what it's like to NOT have the above options for the first time in my life, and to walk alongside many who are also struggling with such basic things as eating.
Generally I don't mind the side by side posts, as i want to celebrate the success of others! But ive noticed an increased number of side by side pics that say "This is what health looks like. This is what self care looks like. This is what self love looks like. " In other words, losing weight is what self care, self love and health looks like.
This is the assumption that must be challenged. I was not healthy as an anorexic, even if all the men in my life thought I was "HOT AF" when I was 100 pounds. Im not healthy now because of multiple chronic illnesses, not because of weight. In fact, my doctor (Chief of Metabolic and Bariatric Medicine) has instructed me to stop focusing on my weight because it's causing harm to my body. In other words, my weight is out of my control as my injured hypothalamus has a temper tantrum. Furthermore, losing weight can cause harm right now, as I'm in the final stages of diagnosis for a very rare disease where weight loss and low carbs can cause excruciatingly dangerous acute attacks.
So when you can't change the external appearance because you're not able bodied, the time comes to find self love and acceptance in a much deeper space.
Loving myself as I am in the midst of illness, with total loss of control, has been among the most challenging and badass things I've ever had to do. That said, it's the journey I'm on toward healing, and I continue to walk it one day at a time.