I’m a chubby girl — my latest BMI reading put me at 28.6 — who has fought her chubbiness for most of her life. But last year I did something I never thought I’d do: I gave up trying to lose weight.

I floundered for a while, going on occasional “cleanses” to get my body “back on track.” But eventually that fizzled out too, and instead I joined a yoga studio. I was going through one of the most anxious parts of my life, and I thought yoga might help. With time, yoga did improve my anxiety, and it opened me up to other forms of exercise like hiking and dancing. I was arguably the healthiest and most content I’d ever been. I still wasn’t thin, but for the first time, I realized maybe I didn’t have to be.

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