Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I went shopping with my mom at Lane Bryant this weekend, and I absolutely love the clothes there and especially the accessories. I love their message that you can be fashionable and take pride in your appearance at any size/weight instead of being relegated to buying potato sack dresses with floral prints that remind you of grandma's couch. But, it also got me reflecting on the messages that I have been receiving from my community, family and friends for years that often conflict one another. It got me thinking: are terms like "thick" and "real" woman fueling complacency or boosting self-esteem?
I have always been considered "thick" all my life and in many ways never really considered myself fat. I was just big-boned, and who wants to be a stick figure anyway (I still hold to this!). But at the same time, I would be called names when I was slow at gym; I'd feel jealous when I couldn't share clothes with my best friends like all the other girls did; I hated that I could never shop at Bebe or Zara that were so popular. Therein lies that mixed message. Was I okay as a thick girl or was I overweight? Just what does thick mean anyway?
This time as I have been losing weight I have had to completely re-frame my views of myself and my health away from these early childhood paradigms. This is not the first time that I have lost weight. But, I weigh less now than I have ever weighed since 7th grade. Past times, I would get down to 155 and feel so good I would stop. I was a thick girl, 155 was what I was supposed to be. It was all I knew. I swore the BMI charts only applied to stick figure models and not "real" women like me. But now, having past that mark by close to 10lbs and wanting to lose 20lbs more (to actually be at a healthy BMI), I realize that my idea of being "thick" had limited my thinking on what was actually possible and healthy for me. I realize now that I want to be healthy more than anything.
While I feel that I looked good and felt good at other weights and at my current weight, I want to have the energy to live my life fully and the health to live my life as long as possible. I crave energy and fitness now in a way that I never have before. I think it is because I am not thinking about just the way I look, the size I wear ( before all I wanted to was just to get into single digits=), or how many guys holla at me. I have always been a real woman! My weight never determined that! I am now wholly committed to making me the best me.