I don’t like complicated. I like clear cut, straight to the point, give me the answers right now. Cancer isn’t simple, the answers never come when you want them and sometimes not at all. I got the news today that I would have to go back and have another Mri, this time under local anesthesia. Here again, I don’t have answers in the time I want them. Along with this I have some decisions to make about bariatric surgery, something that, mind you, has never crossed my radar…
Speaking of that, I have a little story for you and the point to this:
I’ve never been skinny, no one in my family is. Genetically speaking, I was predetermined to be big. I was bullied in school for it. I had horrible body image and no self confidence. I was in my late teens and was trying diet pills, appetite suppressants, fad diets, calorie restriction, and unhealthy amounts of exercise. You say how is exercise unhealthy? Well when you’re restricting calories which your body turns into energy to exercise you get light headed and vomit or pass out. Thankfully I never got to the last one. I was in a destructive cycle. I hated myself and my body. Then one day, I said I’m done. I found the body positive community on Tumblr and my life was changed. I took back the word fat, as it didn’t have power to be used as an insult anymore. It was simply a word to describe my body. It took years and a daily essential, but I found peace, happiness, and a love for my body.
I’m passionate about body positivity, body image, and a firm believer that your weight does not equate your health. I think all bodies are good bodies. However, being told that your weight mixed with genetics is causing cancer… Well, honestly, it’s really messing with this foundation I live on. How do I be all these things when I need to have a surgery that alters my body so I can lose weight? I’ve never wanted to be a “normal” size. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you. But I like my body the way it is, it’s lumps and bumps and hills and valleys. It was once a war zone now it’s a happy, peace filled place. I fought to be that woman, now I’m having to change without even knowing it’s going to put the cancer in remission. How do I deal with that? How does that place I’ve built to live in, not crumble? Can I find that place of peace?
We live in a world where society and media portray one body type and one extravagant love story as the gospel. We play with Barbies that are tall, thin, and perfectly proportioned. We watch Disney movies where a pretty princess gets rescued by the handsome, chiseled prince, so naturally most of our impressionable minds carry this mindset throughout our whole lives, I certainly have. Growing up I was always the bigger girl. Genetically and biologically, it was predestined. I had family that I spent those formative years with that was obsessed with their bodies and the newest diet fad, at school I was bullied for being the tall fat kid. However, with my parents I was told I was beautiful and perfect and I could do anything I set my mind to. Unfortunately, the former situations won out. The year before my dad died I spent so much time trying to lose weight, trying various diets and pills that I spent my nights crying myself to sleep because I wasn’t getting skinny and y’all, I finally had a come to Jesus meeting where I got so damn sick and tired being at war with myself and my body. I found the Body Positive community on Tumblr and my life changed. Three years later, I’d say 70% of my days I look in the mirror and love what I see. I am so much more than the weight. I like the person I’m becoming because I fought to become her, but sometimes I get caught up with appearances and outside views. I’m human and I still live in a world where these things are praised and worshiped daily. The last year or so I’ve been obsessed with finding Mr. Right and what I want him to look like or traits I want him to have. I even went as far to join a dating sites, since no one I knew in everyday life was interested. One of these sites bases matches off your first impression of the other person looks and I find myself judging a guy over his hair color, of his jaw line, if he looks good with a beard, if he’s average size. My point isn’t that these sites are bad but that they buy into what society is selling. You can’t tell if he loves God more than himself, loves his momma, or respects his daddy, or is kind to people, or if he gets along with his siblings, or if his eyes light up when he sees a dog, or if he gets invested into the books he reads, or enjoys taking in the beauty of a sunset, or how he treats a waiter or store clerk, or how he will treat you, if he’s kind, sincere, passionate, imaginative and the myriad of other important traits. I’m not down playing the importance of physical attraction but merely saying that those traits and the ones you value are truly what make a person attractive. I recently saw two videos that led to this post, one being on the body image front from my friend Whitney Thore, who has changed my life immensely in the year that I’ve known her. In this video, Whit talks about loving yourself and that projecting and attracting the right guy and this music video by Marie Miller, which is the song of my heart and the whole meaning behind this post. I have these things I’m physically attracted to but yet say “God, you can send me the complete opposite of that ” or “Lord, I’m going to be patient, but could you send him before I turn 25?” I guess ultimately I’m not trusting Him to send me my gentle giant. I think it’s time to stop waiting for Mr. right and to say “I really don’t care what he looks like.”
I’ll leave you with this secret I’ve learned on my journey, I have never met an unattractive person who was kind.
“A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever.”
(Photo and Quote from: Electric 102.7FM)
You know the old adage “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurts you”? Well whoever came up with that, lied. Words are some of the most powerful weapons you can use against someone, often they hurt far worse than any physical blow. I’ve had my fair share of mean and hurtful things said about me. Whether it be behind my back, to my face, or passive aggressively in just a “oh, i’m picking with you.” manner. It doesn’t matter the form you use, it still hurts. I’ve always tried to watch what I say because I know the pain and impact your words can have on someone, but sometimes I fail. Sometimes I say something that I never mean to hurt someone and it ends up hurting them. I always try to apologize and hope that it can make up for the hurt but like the crumpled up paper, it still leaves a scar. I often seem to be the target of the passive aggressive form. It doesn’t matter if you were just picking or if you meant to hurt that person, it can still leave a scar. So today I challenge you to carefully choose your words and remember the lasting impact they can have on someone.