Listen, your weight loss is your prerogative. If you feel like it’s gonna make you happier or feel better to have a goal of losing weight, then go for it! I’m not the expert on your body, you are! (I’d happily talk at length about the subject because I personally believe that self-love comes from emotional work, and if you believe that you’ll be happy only if you achieve an arbitrary number on a scale, you will have an arduous, frustrating journey, but that’s for the next book).

What I absolutely don’t need, are folks urging other comfortable fat people like myself to join them on their journey. Your “before” pictures are implications of a right way and a wrong way to have a body. It perpetuates an ideal that is harmful. Being active, moving your body, and exercise are not synonymous with being thin, and I urge y’all to investigate that belief. When I see friends of mine celebrating their weight loss and others lamenting their big size, I feel a pang of sadness. It reminds me of all the years I spent feeling inadequate, feeling like I would never be beautiful or worthy or good in my body. Examine yourself. You think this is about health? It’s never been about health. It’s about aesthetic, systemic patriarchy, and companies profiting off of insecurity. I can hike and lift and box and play tennis in this body. There are no wrong bodies, and whether you mean to or not, your “before” and “after” photos imply that there are.

Don’t be ashamed of your strength, healthy body, or being able to climb hella stairs! Don’t be ashamed of sharing how different you feel now that you’ve made adjustments in activity & nutrition, that’s wonderful! Take selfies celebrating your strong body! But health isn’t synonymous with weight loss. Please don’t promote weight loss shakes or systems, or perpetuate products that imply thinness as the pinnacle of health. If losing weight was a goal with you and your doctor, and it was the right answer for you, go ahead. I personally think the medical industry is way behind in understanding nutrition and the incredible things fat cells can accomplish, but your body is your business. I just wonder what it would look like if folks treated their weight loss kind of like religion. If someone asks, share away! But your ideology is different than mine, and for a lot of people, weight loss as a goal is rooted in shame. Also? Fat people can be healthy. I don’t need to lose weight to feel good or strong or beautiful, and I especially don’t need anyone else telling me to.