So. I don't know about anyone else, but over the past few years, my body has changed drastically. I have gone from an extremely thin 115 pounds to an undisclosed number that has caused me to look at myself very differently. Most days, I feverishly avoid the mirror. I, like a lot of us, am my own worst critic and I have a tendency to obsessively pick myself apart for every flaw that I can find. But, why do we do this to ourselves? Society's standard of a beautiful body is so unfair when you really think about it. Take a moment to google "body beautiful" or "beautiful body" and you won't see anyone who looks like me. LOL. I mean I have been a size 0, size 1, and size 2 before....I looked like I was dying! Literally, I looked ill and people worried that I was not eating or taking care of myself. LOL. So, I decided to purposely start gaining weight to look healthier and be thicker....more curvy. Little did I know that once you start, it's like a snowball effect. So, I gained a lot more than I anticipated...whoops! Add to that the carrying and birthing of my two daughters and you have a recipe for disaster. I have also had several health issues and been prescribed several medications that have only helped that process along.
Now, I have found myself in a space where when I look at television or magazines, I see these young ladies with their supple, unstretched, "perfect" bodies and I get angry at myself. I get angry because I have "let myself go" so much until I don't even like looking at myself anymore. So, that in turn makes me wonder how anyone else will ever want to look at me either. Oh, but the worst is when you see family or friends that you haven't seen in a while. What's the first thing out of their mouths? "Oh, you gained some weight, huh?" I have even had someone say to me "I like the fuller Angie"....like that is a compliment or something. LOL. As an attempt to psych myself into losing the weight, I have taken on measures that are almost a punishment for myself. I have a lovely walk-in closet in my home with loads of clothes. The problem is that most of those clothes I can no longer fit, yet I keep them around saying "I'm going to lose that weight and get back in this size 4". Let's be honest, I will never be a size 4 again. Even if I lose the weight and belly, these hips aren't going anywhere. LOL. So, then as almost a form of protest, I tell myself that I am not buying one piece of clothing for "this body". Thus, forcing myself to be in a constant state of frustration by never having nice clothes to wear and of discomfort by stuffing myself into clothes that no longer fit. Do you know what that ends up leading to? Yup...anxiety, depression, anger, and internalized resentment, which in turn lead to more emotional eating and, you guessed it, more weight gain. Enough already!!!
One day I sat back and looked at the reality of where I am in my life as a woman. I am 34 years old. I have birthed two beautiful children. And I have lived a good bit of life thus far. I am not a 21 year old young woman anymore and I am not supposed to be thin like I once was. As we change internally, we will also change externally. I am supposed to have curves and be fuller because I am a grown woman. So, why would I expect to ever be the sizes I used to be again? Why would I punish myself by setting unrealistic expectations of being as thin as I was before my body underwent so many altering experiences? Why am I treating myself like a villain because I have changed? Reality is, this is my body. No matter what state it is in, it is mine and I need to own it. Every pound, every roll, every fat pocket...even this ever so loved fupa (google it...lol). I am not saying that I need to sit down and stop taking care of myself or trying to get healthier. My goal is not to excuse bad eating habits or lack of physical activity. But, my reality is that even when I was 115 pounds and super thin or 130 pounds and truly fine, I still hated my body. I still found the flaws. I still wasn't good enough according to the standards that I was setting myself against. So, I have made a decision. I have decided that I am going to love the body I am in during this season until I decide to make a change and take action. And even then, I am going to love my body for whatever it is. I am going to stop hiding from the world because I am too ashamed of how different I look. I am going to stop telling myself that I may as well not do my hair or makeup because it doesn't make a difference. I am going to stop torturing myself with clothes that I cannot fit. I am going to stop restricting myself from buying nice things for myself to wear because of the numbers on the tags.
Ladies, we have to cut ourselves some slack!! We have to learn to love what we see no matter what. If you don't like something, change it if you can. But, let that change be on your terms only. Don't allow media and society and other people to determine what body you get to love and which you should despise. Everyday we should wake up and say thank you for another day, then look in that mirror and say "I love you, girl, no matter what! You are beautiful!" There is already a world out there that constantly values us beneath our male counterparts every step of the way. Let's start ensuring that we don't put ourselves even further down by internalizing a lack of love for our bodies. Whether you are short, tall, thin, thick, tan, pale, or anything in between, you are fearfully and wonderfully made just the way God intended you. I hope that you will each really take a look in the mirror today and give her a chance. Lift her up. Love on her. Appreciate her. Because in the end, she is all you've got!
2020 goal #10: Love Angela unconditionally!