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Okay, so once we can get over the hypocritical fact that these videos were produced by Special K, a company that runs on the basis of convincing you that it's products can make you thinner, we can really take the messages they are conveying to heart.
I have been heavy as long as I can remember. A memorable instance of my self awareness was around preschool/kindergarten age. I remember one day while we were suppose to take on swimming as an activity that I was deathly afraid of getting changed into a bathing suit in front of the other girls, much less wear one in front of them. That young. I was like, 5. Why? Fat talk. Of course, none of the people that loved me ever said I was fat. Actually, it was usually the contrary. Sometimes children (mostly my cousin) would call me fat and give me a complex about it, but for the most part my dysmorphic illusions about myself would come from women in my life using 'fat talk'. We experienced what that is from the video up on the left. I would see my extremely thin mother fat talking herself and would look at my own body and be very alarmed. I was much chunkier than she and I was still so young. Whenever I'd hear other female relatives saying they needed to lose weight or them making remarks about the imperfections of their body related to weight, or their food intake... me comparing myself to them was inevitable.
This is an important take away and something I will always realize and take to heart while raising my children regardless of gender: Not only does this language depreciate your own self worth, it can affect the people around you more than you will ever know. I hated my body so much. I never knew what it was like to have a flat stomach *EVER*. I felt disgusting and never knew how anyone would ever want to be with me, much less love me. I hated on myself so bad, y'all. It was really depressing. So this got worse and worse until mid to upper teenagehood. Thanks to the internet, I realized there were communities of people that were what we call 'fat positive' and dabbled in 'fat acceptance'. I mostly stumbled upon the 'fatshonista' subculture. Once I realized this existed, that I was not alone, that these people were beautiful regardless of what other perfectly lovely women said about themselves... I also realized that I was too. It wasn't like a fairy appeared and I magically loved my body... but it was a start.
I still struggled with how I felt about myself in my late teens / early twenties. I dated here and there and got more comfortable with myself. I found my husband, who didn't love me DESPITE my size and he didn't love me BECAUSE of my size. He loved me because I was me -- because I was a unique person that was worthy of love just the way I was. By then, my fat talk had decreased quite a bit... but it still lingered. As my relationship with Christ strengthened and I realized that I was who I was, and I wouldn't be any 'better' 40 lbs from now as a person than I was at the moment... I felt reassured and I felt proud of myself.
Now let's get something straight. I believe in fat acceptance with my WHOLE heart, just as I do in body acceptance in general. I do believe that health is first and foremost the most important thing. If you are healthy and fat, so be it. If you are unhealthy BECAUSE of your fat, that is a problem. Both scenarios exist.
I did lose weight at that point in my life... because I wanted to be as healthy as possible for when I became pregnant. I wasn't trying to lose a certain number of pounds though -- I was just trying to be as fit as my body needed to be to carry and birth a child. I never felt more beautiful than when I was pregnant. I felt like I FINALLY didn't have to care about the number on the scale as long as I was eating healthy, my body would do what it was suppose to do -- I wore stretchy maternity jeans and I LOVED it! Oh wait, was I not suppose to say that? As if maternity clothing is the HEX of society (psst, guess what? on occasion I STILL wear those jeans because OHMYGOSH they are cute and YOU don't have to see what I've got going on under there!).
After I had my child and experienced health issues due to an complication unrelated to my weight in my pregnancy and my emergency c section cut through those muscles that held tension away from my spine... my sciatica and the pressure on my herniated discs on my back escalated, so I aimed to lose more weight. Not because of how I looked, but because of the lessened pressure. Some heavier ladies have good strong discs that can take it, I was not hereditarily blessed in that way.
My body has been through a lot. It isn't fit to go on the cover of any fake magazines (well... photoshop can do amazing things ... but I still don't think I'd fit into their unrealistic standards). I have scars, I have a poochy tummy. But I feel fierce most of the time because of what my body produced and the fact that God made me to be ME. I need to be happy now, because I don't get another chance at life.
YOU ARE NOT A NUMBER
This is the silliest thing to me now that I am a seamstress and it's so evident to me now. When I was younger I measured my worth by the numbers on a scale and the size of clothing I wore... because that's what other women I was around obsessed about. That's what people at school talked about and did.
"OMG I am up from a size 4 to a size 6?!?! I have to go on a cleanse diet!!!"
I'd lower my head... I'd secretly know that my size 16 was more than double what they considered to be horribly large. Little did I know that the average size of women in America at the time was a size 12/14.
In my studies of fashion and costume, it became quite evident to me that there were no industry standards to women's clothing whether it be in dress or pant sizes. It's not logical like men's clothing is (THANKS A LOT CORPORATIONS). You can measure the waist of a size 12 jean in one store with a measuring tape by one brand, and it can be a HUGE discrepancy between the size 12 jean in a completely different store. Did you know Old Navy inflates their measurements on their sizes because it makes you feel 'skinnier' buying a smaller number there, thus making you come back? It's true.
This is another reason I look back on those maternity pant buying days fondly... because there was no number. It is senseless that I remember crying in stores in 6th GRADE because I couldn't fit into the girls sizes anymore. Now they have 'girls plus' sections, but I got stuck wearing boring adult clothing. I have to admit, that hurt more than the actual size dilemma at that time, but that was when I was taught to care about that number.
How liberating would it be to go into a store and realize nothing had sizes on it? You actually had to have someone MEASURE you in order to get your perfect fitted garment (It may sound bizarre, but this is the ONLY WAY we use to be able to find clothing... except it usually had to be made for you or altered and wasn't already made after being measured).
We put so much worth in that arbitrary number don't we? I promise to STOP this war against myself - why don't you STOP this war against yourself? Stop this hatred for the ONE AND ONLY amazing body that you''ll be given. Lose weight to be healthy, to feel good, to look the way you want to... but do NOT do it because of a size, because of a wrongly perceived comment of the way someone else talks about themselves, or to fit some impossible standard that is computer altered to begin with.
I still have hard days emotionally... but those are easier and less frequent now that I can really truly accept my body for what it is. Imperfectly perfect. Choose not to engage in or listen to fat talk -- if you are around it, remove yourself from that situation or change the subject and #loveyourbody.