Let’s start with a few facts about me:
- I am overweight and not by a few pounds. I’m classified as morbidly obese.
- I’m also confident.
- I love myself to the ends of the earth and back without reservation and without harsh self-talk.
- My weight does not stop men (or women for that matter) from hitting on me, or me from enjoying that attention and intimacy.
- I don’t fall on the first man who shows me affection because I’m grateful he wants me looking the way I do…that’s straight bullshit.
So you see, I’m happy. Happy enough that I’m not moved to make any immediate changes to myself although I agree with the majority of the world when I say that I know it’s not healthy and that I should be healthier (note I did not say thinner). I’m fucking happy. I’m happy so remind me why I give a flying fuck what you think?
Oh that’s right, I don’t.
Except when I do, and sometimes I do. I don’t want to, but sometimes I care, a lot.
Deeper than any doubts I have in my head, deeper than all the fears I have about myself, and my inherent lovability (because we all have those low moments where we question why anyone would put up with us). You wound me more than I can ever wound myself because you’re supposed to love me unconditionally.
You see, I’ve fought to love myself. I’ve spent years learning to love myself and I’m really proud to love myself now. I’ll tell anyone I talk to how great I am and how proud I am to be the woman I am today.
So when somebody smiles at me and compliments me on my hair, or my makeup, or my success with my business and I hear you say:
“She’s got a beautiful face but she’s too heavy.”
“She works too much and doesn’t take care of herself. She’s too fat.”
“She’d be beautiful but she’s got to lose weight”
Bit by bit and piece-by-piece you are starting to tear away the very confidence and self-love that I have fought so hard for. Your words stab at me and leave me scarred.
The smile won’t leave my face and my head will never dip down to stare at my toes-not anymore, not ever again. I will act like I didn’t hear it, I will redirect conversation, I will laugh it off but every single time you say it, you hurt me.
And you don’t say it because you love me and it’s not because you want the best for me. It’s because I make you uncomfortable. I make you uncomfortable with my wide smile, sparking eyes, proud chin and round body. I make you uncomfortable because I’m not your idea of beautiful or confident. I make you uncomfortable because, to you, I’m not visually appealing and you want me to fit the mold you have for somebody like me.
Somebody who works day in and day out to inspire other women to lead their best like shouldn’t look like me, right? Maybe if I lost the weight I’d find a guy who wanted to marry me and fit your idea of what a woman should be doing? Perhaps it bothers you that I give so little fucks about what other people think of me when you worry about it day in and day out?
Why do you care what people say to me? Because, I’m betting people do the same to you. Maybe it isn’t your weight, maybe you hear these instead:
“Yeah, she’s brilliant, if only she’d pick a major already!”
“She loves her new just but I just don’t see it going anywhere. She’s wasting her talents for pennies.”
“I mean, sure her kids are clean but did you hear that she didn’t get them vaccinated and that she lets them sleep in bed with her still?!”
“She’s pretty but does she have to work out so much, she’s starting to look manly.”
The list goes on an one, for everyone. Everyone has something that they’ve worked really hard at becoming confident with and when people put you down for it-it chips away at you. Brave faces and fake smiles only protect you for so long. Eventually a toll is taken on your spirit.
To you I tell you that you are enough. You are wonderful. You are beautiful.
I love you, just as you are. I love you and accept you without saying ‘I love you, but’, “I love you, if only’, or ‘I love you even though you’. I have plenty of love for all of you, enough to spend my days writing articles to inspire you, build you up and lead you towards an amazing life. I love you because you are worthy of it, of being accepted for exactly who and what you are without judgment.
And I beg you to continue loving yourself and being proud of yourself. Don’t let anyone, ever, dull that shine. Sure we are going to have breakdowns, hot tears streaking out faces and doubts creeping in. Email me, tweet me, read this and know that you are a beautiful work in progress. Read this and know that if they are judging you that is on them and not on you. That is their insecurities and problem, not yours.
Shoulders back, chin up, head high. Fuck ‘em. You’ll shine brighter through the cracks they put there until you can heal them-you beautiful disco ball of pain and healing and spirit. I adore you.