Friday, April 25, 2014

15 Things I Know About Losing Weight & Loving Yourself

for the size 12+, Long, Wide and courageous girls.

I hated shopping. My mother and I would go into stores looking for jeans that would fit the length of my legs, shoes that would go with the long and wide flat feet I abhorred, and plus size wear that actually made me feel womanly. I was eighteen when I’d finally narrowed down the stores that carried clothing I was comfortable wearing. I finally stopped asking my mother to accompany me on the wild-goose-chase we called Saturday shopping and took to perusing online sites.

Around age twenty-four, I started to adapt a healthier lifestyle (for the most part) and take morning jogs around my neighborhood. Post a ridiculous break up and the anxiety of a temporary job, I needed something that I could control. That something turned out to be my health, weight, and exercise.

However, there was so much more than physical work to be done. I was also on a quest to love myself. I’d shied away from stores and perusing them, because I felt awkward in stores that clearly catered to small women. I ignored bright colors, because they brought attention to a figure I didn’t deem worthy of it. For the last few years, this has been an ongoing plight, but I’m in a place where I can safely say I absolutely love all of me. Here are the things I learned, in the process:

1) Folks will take second glances, maybe three. This is fine, when it comes to new folks. However, I’m leery of people who’ve always been in my life and are just starting to pay me compliments or trying to embark on a sudden friendship. Despite my weight, I’ve always been a talented, incredible, and awesome person to get to know. Why now?

2) None of my new confidence came from weight loss. In fact, after I lost weight, I became conscious about how different I looked. It took continuous “you are beautiful” chants, in my mirror, to bring about the pedestal I carry myself on now. It took several journal entries, recanting all that I had to offer. It took remembering that I had my father’s smile and my mother’s hips.

3) Spanx are inevitable. I love those things. My weight loss is constantly fluctuating. Gain ten here, lose ten there. However, I can always rely on these body conscious glories to make my hourglass pop. That’s right, I’m not ashamed! (Unless things get hot and heavy with my future boo and I have to run to the bathroom to rid myself of them.)

4) Confident me is quite the kitten. Meow.

5) I’ve always been uncomfortable about my height. I avoided heels, because I could easily become 6’4 with the wrong pair on. Now…that’s kind of my thing. My calves are killer; with the right heel I become quite the Redwood. No climbing please. ;)

6) I’ve grown to adore men who appreciate old me, alongside new me. My current situation came across some old photos of me. I cringed, because I thought they’d turn him off. Instead he said, “Babe, you did that.” I smiled and kissed him on the cheek. I think he sensed my nervousness, “Listen, anyone can drive straight. It takes a real man, driver, to handle the curves.” I’m sure he stole that from a witty meme somewhere, but it was damn sexy.

7) There’s nothing wrong with standing out. I’m usually the tallest girl in the room. Amongst a sea of small/petite (no diss), men notice me instantly. I don’t quite mind this. I used to think they were gawking at how huge I was, but now I’m absolutely sure of what they’re ogling. Ha.

8) There are good days and bad days. Some mornings I wake up upset with myself, concerning my food intake from the night before. I’m a cook and I love to experiment with several foods. Sometimes, I can’t avoid the unhealthiest things. & let’s be real….most recipes aren’t the same without them. I can’t beat myself up for this. I’m allowed to splurge, in moderation. I can always rectify this, with the next day’s selection.

9) I cannot fathom, sometimes, how I’ve turned into the blooming being I am. I reread entries of a girl who clearly didn’t know how astonishing she was. I yearn to go back and hold her, when I realize I’ve done that already…in so many ways.

10) Stomach exercises are no joke. I’m aspiring to a six-pack this summer. (This could also mean beer. Let’s see how this next diet goes.)

11) I no longer look around, when I hear, “Hey Beautiful.” & if they weren’t speaking to me…I pretend it was meant for me. Convince the world of your excellence, through believing it.

12) Planet Fitness gets on my damn nerves. They had a whole ad campaign about keeping muscle heads out, but that’s all I see when I get there. & now it’s a spot for freelance trainers. Sigh. I’ll just keep doing Black Girls Workout Too, at home.

13) If you don’t own a floor length mirror, to dance in, you’re losing. (Cues Ciara)

14) I am a product of my own design. Anything I feel on the inside is easily reflected on the outside. I’m constantly doing things that’ll fill my heart & soul, so I can lend the love I feel for myself to others.

15) I will always be thick and tall. It’s my build. It’s who I am. I love big Riv, tall Riv, bow-legged Riv, thick Riv, and plain’ ol’ Riv.

& I know you do too. ;)

What have you learned about loving yourself? Comment below!


Tea said...

I have almost the complete opposite issue. I have always been painfully thin and people always assumed I had eating problems. But no matter how much I eat, I just don't gain weight. Some say I should be "lucky" but it's equally as hard to gain weight for some as it is to lose weight for some. I skip dinner and lose a pound. Finding jeans to fit me perfectly and my lack of curves made me hate shopping to the point where I avoided it. Being a black woman I was always teased and self conscious about having no hips or butt. I'm busty but my bottom half never matched my top. Now I'm learning to love my body just how it is. Curve less and all. I still do my squats but regardless of the results I finally love my body.

Unknown said...

One thing I learned about myself I love being short!!! It seems to drive the guys wild when I'm the shortest girl in the group lol