It is completely okay to love yourself where you are.
This is something that I have been struggling with for such a long time. I think this is attributed to so many different aspects. Mainly being in the healthy living blogger space. I have been “in” the healthy living blogging space for a really long time, I began reading healthy living blogs in 2005ish? I was ready to lose weight and I submerged myself in a culture of calorie counters, fast runners, strong lifters and no nonsense gym goers. Their insight, highs and lows helped me to stay focused on my overall goal of shedding all the weight.
I started blogging when I was pregnant with my youngest child and felt inadequate compared to some of these bloggers. No one I read looked like me, heck, no one I read was above a size 8 (and that was pushing it). There would be constant talk of “fat” people or never ever wanting to be “fat” because it was treated like a horrible affliction. Often times, I’d read these things and a little voice inside would say–are they talking about me? Am I what they DON’T want to be?
Being an African American woman with curves for days, I feel so proud of myself and my heritage. However, society keeps wagging their finger in my face telling me that I shouldn’t look like this. I should look like the girls on the magazines. Over and over I’d find myself thinking “but I don’t want to look like her, I want to look like me” and almost immediately afterwards I felt guilty because I just wanted to be accepted by society, too. I want to be apart of the “super fit” demographic.
This has especially been the case lately with the blog. Do I consider myself a healthy living blogger? Absolutely. I am highly addicted endorphins and I want everyone else to be too. I try to make the best choices with my meals and I believe in a holistic daily care regimen. It’s been hard to really come to terms with the fact that I have now evolved into not caring what I lose, how much pounds left my body this week. Or even a stinking goal weight. I just want to live my life, loving myself at every turn, putting my very best effort to stay healthy and not giving an entire damn about what anyone thinks of me.
Last weekend at Fitbloggin I was able to attend a session about Finding the Medium between XS and XL. It was nearing towards the end of the conference and my cup was running over with emotion and knowledge. When I entered the room it was really about hearing from two of my favorite women in the world Carla and Kia. I expected to participate and of course learn, but what I didn’t expect was the profound click that happened in my brain while I heard them speak.
I realized I had been feeling SO guilty about loving myself. And as I typed those words, the tears sprung right up. (As if I hadn’t done enough crying at Fitbloggin this weekend!). Here I was feeling great in my dresses, loving my shape and feeling right in my skin. Then I’d see a magazine, or a blog post, or a tweet, or a quote on Instagram and go back and wonder to myself … maybe I shouldn’t be so comfortable with myself? Maybe I need to finally lose those last 15? The spark to lose weight wasn’t from within. It was always external.
I have friends that workout like crazy. I have ALL the respect for them. Do I feel guilty about not working out for a week? Nope. I found myself wondering if maybe I should feel guilty. Sharing that I didn’t workout for a week was a big deal for me. It was real life. I didn’t forget how to Zumba, Run, or Spin. I just picked it right back up the next week.
The session confirmed to me that you don’t have to be a size 6 to be healthy. You also don’t have to strive for that if you don’t want to. Your inner goddess is unbelievably gorgeous whether you are a size 2 or 14. It took a really long time for this to click for me. Everyone can tell you how you should look and feel but only one person has to live with it: You.
I will say it here first. Unashamed.
I love my big booty. I love my thick thighs. I love my belly with insane stretch marks and abs stretched far apart from having the two best children in the entire world. I love my skinny calves. I love my perfectly sized boobs. I love my ability to run/walk/wog. I love being me. In this body at this time. I will always strive to be better and healthier but not at the expectation of anyone else. I will not let anyone influence the way I feel about myself unless it is in a positive light. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks I should look like, it is all about what I want to see in the mirror, and I am perfectly okay with what I see in the mirror.
There are so many outside forces that want to tell us who to love, how to dress, what size to be, what views to have–looking within yourself to figure out what works to YOU happy is the only way to live this life . We don’t all fit in the circle, some of us are meant to be octagons.
I am a proud octagon.
Now I want to hear from you! Do you let society/blogs/opinions/family dictate what you should do or are you taking a stand in being uniquely you?