I was at my Aunt’s tonight trying on my bridesmaid dress for my friend Rachel’s wedding when my aunt said something that hurt. Really bad. It was so simple, yet it so profoundly impacted my self esteem. As she was zipping up the zipper to my dress she says, “Are you going to lose weight? Because I can’t get this zipper up at all!”
So blunt, and yet such a normal question. And it came from a simple thought:
”If the zipper doesn’t go up, the weight must come down…”
But it hurt. And I retreated hardcore in my mind and wanted to give up, quit, feel sorry for myself, and walk away from all efforts I was beginning to gain. I just about cried if it weren’t for my amazing boyfriend making me laugh after I texted him about it. I know that he believes I’m beautiful :D
Anyway, I realized tonight that she was crushing my self-esteem without even knowing it. I was letting her. But she doesn’t have to have that power! NOBODY does! They don’t have the power to crush me unless I let them.
I’ve grown up in a large family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins) that have told me time and time again from the time that I was 5 to the time that I was in 9th grade or so: ”You need to lose weight” “You need to drink more water and less soda, then you’ll lose weight.” ”You need to not take so many helpings. You don’t need that much!” It sucked, and I grew INCREDIBLY self-conscious around them and hate eating during family gatherings. It’s still that way, and I honestly believe it has affected my self-esteem greatly. It hurt, and I never felt good enough for my family. If you add to that the fact that I am part African American, and this is my all Caucasian saying this to me, I just didn’t feel like I fit in. Ever. At all.
So here I am getting my dress zipped up by my aunt and I just lose myself in my thoughts. ”I’m not good enough.” ”I’ve always been fat. I’ll never lose this weight.” ”I’m going to prove my family right, AGAIN.” ”I won’t lose this weight for the wedding! I’ll probably gain and I won’t be able to wear the dress and it’ll be embarrassing!”
The thoughts were awful… but I made it through. I resisted the urge to eat my sorrows away in the peanut butter ice cream my aunt said was upstairs waiting for us girls in the freezer if we wanted some. I even resisted the urge to ask for a pop. I made it. Because I have the ability within me to do this, no matter what the thoughts want to tell me to bring me down.
I am beautiful. Even though I’m fat, mentally nuts sometimes, and emotional… I’m beautiful. I have a unique story to tell that is different from everyone else’s unique story to tell. And I will lose this weight.
Because. I. CAN.
(and so can YOU).