These are just a few of the many names I’ve been called growing up.
And even when I was pregnant, people would comment on my size:
“WHOA! Are you sure there is only ONE in there?!”
“You look like you could pop any second!”
“Wow – you must be due any day now – you’re huge!”
By the way, you should NEVER say any of the above comments to a pregnant woman. Just tell her she is beautiful and glowing, even if you think this is about to burst from her belly button.
Yes, I’m a larger woman. I have curves. I have hips. And I’ve had stretch marks for as long as I can remember – can’t blame the baby on that one!
But despite being bullied and hearing such negative words throughout my life, I’ve managed to maintain a pretty positive attitude and outlook. Can you imagine the life I would live if I listened to such negative words?
Today I was in the locker room after my workout. I felt incredible.I felt strong. I felt excited for my next workout.
While I was doing my squats in the fitness center a few minutes earlier, I remembered looking in the mirror and thinking, “Girlllll, could this be one of those skinny optical illusion mirrors OR are you just looking that dang good!?”
I was beyond excited about my progress. And no one was going to bring me down!
I hopped out of the shower and started to get dressed into my work clothes.
That’s when the conversation started.
Like any innocent, conversation – it started with a compliment.
“I love that shirt on you,” a woman (let’s call her Cathy) said to her friend (let’s call her Jody). “It’s very flattering on you!”
“Thank you,” Jody said back.
I watched Jody look in the mirror. She was studying her body up and down in the mirror. She took both hands and rubbed them down the side of her hips.
“I just wish I could get rid of these,” Jody said.
“OH yeah,” Cathy said. “I’ve always carried all of my weight in my hips! And thighs!!”
Mind you, both of these women are GORGEOUS! They are super fit and I would never dream of saying a negative thing about either of them.
Jody went on to say that she also wishes that she had more toned arms.
“No one is happy,” Cathy said.
WHAT!?! Hold on. You honestly think no one is happy with their body?
I’m excited about my body.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m inspired to get in better shape. I want to lose at least 50 more lbs and I want to lift more weight with each passing week. I would love to see more definition in my tummy. And I’d be super excited about wearing pants that didn’t create an instant muffin top.
But overall, I am happy with my body’s ability to change, get stronger, and grow a child – the best amazing miracle of all!
As I sat there in complete shock, another woman chimed in.
“OH stop,” she said. “You both look great!”
I admired her for taking a moment to compliment them. I suppose I was still soaking everything in – repeating over and over in my head, “No one is happy.”
“Not as great as you!” Cathy said back.
Wow. Is it possible for someone to take a compliment with putting themselves down?
“Listen to us,” Cathy said before either woman could reply. “We know better than to talk about ourselves this way, but it’s what we are taught!”
I couldn’t help but disagree again.
Remember all of those negative and horrible nicknames and hateful words I was called growing up!?
I even heard some of those words in college….If I listened to those people and let them “teach” me how to perceive myself, I would be the most depressed person in the world. I would feel hopeless and have no ambition to succeed and be healthy.
There are PLENTY of amazing people in this world that can fill your mind and heart with positivity and encouragement.I am obsessed with this lady I found on Facebook that goes by the name Mama Laughlin. I am an avid stalker of Chris Powell and his wife Heidi. I often follow-up on athletes and popular trainers such as Bob and Jillian from The Biggest Loser.
I recently came across one of my new favorite inspirational ladies, a woman who developed the “No Body Shame Campaign.”
She has a quote on her website that says:
“I am unwaveringly ME; and the same goes for YOU. No matter what you’re struggling with, embrace what you have to offer, love yourself right this minute and start affecting positive change for yourself and others.”
Also, she’s an amazing dancer! So if nothing else, check out hip hop videos and learn some new moves.
Finally, I came this conclusion:
Your body image and self-esteem is NOT 100% based on what you are “taught.” Instead, the way you view your body and self-worth is based on what you “listen” to when people talk to you.
Let’s stop blaming the media. Let’s stop blaming the super models for not eating enough. Let’s stop pointing fingers and just learn to love our bodies. Let’s find ambition and motivation to change and get healthy! Let’s ONLY listen to inspiring and motivating people! Deal?
I am none of those words listed in the opening of this blog.
Forget the naysayers and life vultures (someone who sucks the life out of you).
Don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough (YOU ARE)!
Believe in yourself and push your body to new limits.
You will surprise yourself.
And with time and hard work, you WILL see amazing results.
But you most love your body today in order to push forward to the next level. There will be bumps in the road and set-backs. That’s just what of this game called life.
And unfortunately, someone will always try to bring you down.
Someone will tell you that you can’t do something.
That you are too small.
You’re too big.
You’re too tall.
You’re too short.
You’re too weak.
Do not listen to them.
They are wrong.
And one of the most rewarding parts of your journey could be proving everyone wrong!
Listen to me, you can do anything in this WORLD if only you put your mind to accomplishing your goals and dreams!
Finally, if you still don’t believe in happiness, listen to this song by Pharrell Williams and then go hug a happy baby.
“Clap along if you feel like happiness is a truth (because I’m happy). Clap along if you know what happiness is to you (because I’m happy). Clap along if that’s what you feel you want to do (because I’m happy).”