I recently wrote a post celebrating my yoga mat’s existence, thanking it fir being such a solid foundation and getting me in and out of poses free of passing judgement. I mentioned being grateful for how my practice makes me feel strong and powerful. I truly embrace the woman I am and that is something not all can easily say.
But before I wrote that post, before I praised my curves, before I gave myself a pat on the back for all the moments I overcame despite the fear I felt, I was body shamed. Yes, it’s true and yes, it caught me off guard. I wasn’t surprised over who said the thing they said. This person is notoriously negative. I was taken aback that after talking about how great I felt – how much I was really loving myself – this person would responded with, “Are you lifting weights? Because you look big. Maybe you should lay off the weights.”
Look big? Like, masculine? Are my shoulders too broad? Do I have thunder thighs?
Taking a quick mental body scan, I continued to study each crease and contour as this person made a comment about my headband (I had just come from the gym prior to meeting them) and proceeded to give me tips on how to be fit but not bulky. I, by no means, consider myself bulky. I’m not a size 2, but I feel confident in a size 6 or 8. My inner thighs touch but if you poke my quad, it won’t jiggle. Sometimes I get frustrated when I can’t find a top that lays nice (I’m a tad top heavy) or when I can’t zip up the back of a dress but the waist fits fine. I like cheese fries but I listen to my body and nourish it properly most of the time.
And after this person was finished talking, I smiled. I smiled because I wake up in the morning, look in the morning, and say “HEYYYYY, GIRL” to my reflection. It has taken years to get to this point of self love, self appreciation, self respect that it is hard to look at myself any other way. There was a time when I ran miles because my then-boyfriend liked skinny girls. There was a time I lost 10 pounds after a breakup because I thought it would make me look prettier, attract more guys, feel better about myself.
All I felt was insecure and hungry and unhappy with every dimple of cellulite forming on my thighs.
That was enough for me. The minute I stopped living for other people, I finally started loving myself.
Because here’s the deal, my friends…
In life, you will meet people. They will either feed your soul or attempt to destroying it. They will see your happiness and raise you hell. If you come across these humans, smile. Have compassion. Their perspective is not yours to adopt. If you feel good about yourself, own it. If you like yourself just as you are, embrace it. If you like what you see in the mirror, smile at the reflection. And if you don’t feel this way, I will tell you that you are something special, a rare treasure that only graces this earth once. You are unique and bold and possess all the power you manifest into greatness.