Tag Archives: Confidence

Fat Shaming Is A Thing, But It’s Not A Helpful Thing

Fat shaming has never made anyone healthy…ever. I doubt that it has ever made anyone skinny either, and before I go any further, I want to highlight the fact that these adjectives are not synonymous with each other.

Being skinny doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy, and being fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy. My blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, resting heart rate, etc. is all excellent now. There are a lot of risk factors associated with someone my  size, but you can’t judge a person’s health based on how they look.

You can’t look at me and know that I significantly reduced my chances of having a heart attack or stroke by dropping a significant amount of weight or that I exercised today, nor can you know that I’ve struggled to keep a lot of it off because of thoughts that swirl around in my mind. You can’t know the reasons why.

One of a few significant reasons is that I allowed an airline’s perception of me to take up space in my mind. I allowed one seemingly disgruntled gate agent’s blanket prejudice to define me long after his hurtful comments were an old headline in the news, and it didn’t cause me to lose weight. I didn’t thrive off of the negative attention that followed his comments either; I caved.

I take responsibility for that. I am the only one who can make a decision to change or to let others define me, and I accept that. It’s all on me to change what I need to change for myself, but if fat shaming worked I’d be skinny by now.

On of the reasons that I stopped blogging as much is that I no longer wished to put myself on a chopping block for trolls who think I shouldn’t exist or that I don’t have a right to share my story because I’m obese. That’s nonsense, of course, but eradicating that negativity has been good for me.

I’ve been quiet here for quite some time. I’ve shared opinions, pissed people off and taken a break, but that break is over because it’s time to stand with other voices and to say, Hey, it’s none of your beeswax if I’m fat or not. Your opinion of me doesn’t define me; it defines you.”

kenlie

I’m not skinny…not even close, but I love myself.

I’m lucky to have a supportive group of people in my life who love me and accept me. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to undo the damage that I allowed to take root in my heart and mind when I allowed society’s opinions to define who I was.

I gained a significant amount of weight that I had lost, and I’ve felt a lot of shame as a result. Never has that led to a lower number on the scale. It doesn’t work that way, nor should it.

The last few weeks have been healthier and more successful for me because I’m enjoying my life. I’m reclaiming a lot of the confidence I lost thanks to my friends and family, a significant other who loves to remind me that I’m brilliant and sexy, and I’m making healthier decisions because it makes me feel good (not because people think I should feel bad.)

I don’t hate myself, so that will never be a driving force in my fight for better health. I exercised today because I value my life. I shopped for groceries and prepared for a healthy week of meals because I want to be around for a long time to love people, and I can only hope (and assume) that these small positive steps will lead to other positive steps.

If you truly care about my health go for a walk in the park with me, or take me to lunch and order something healthy and delicious. There are people in my life who do that. There are people who want me around for a long time, and they offer support, not criticism.

I’m not going to link to that newest fat shaming video that’s making its way around the internet  because plenty of others are doing that. I don’t know when it became acceptable to spew hatred on social media, but I do know that there’s no end in sight.

I do know that the responsibility for my life falls on me, not on a skinny girl who could benefit from some acting classes or a gate agent who was probably having a really crappy day. I get to decide what I’m worth. I’m just sorry that I didn’t always know that.

At our core, we’re all the same. We desire to be loved and accepted (even the jerks who spew hatred…especially the jerks who spew hatred.) One important lesson I’ve learned is that I’m lovable, and I don’t have to care if others agree with that or not.

 

 

 

 

Friend Makin’ Mondays: What Makes YOU Beautiful?

Last week was incredibly busy for me, and I’m looking forward to being back in class today so I can get back into my routine (at least until I’m gone again next week.)  A few of you asked how I could travel so much while taking classes so I figured I’d answer your questions today.  I am not doing online classes this semester.  I sit in a classroom (in a regular desk which is victory, by the way,) but I only go two days a week.  And last week was Mardi Gras (and in New Orleans that means no classes for the first part of the week) so I didn’t have to miss class to be gone.  The rest of my travels typically take place in the later half of the week though I will miss one class next week when I head back to New York for a while.

Now let’s talk about FMM.  If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Last Summer I met a talented, young girl named Dorian and her mother while shopping for groceries in Los Angeles, and we talked a few times before parting ways.  And last week, she shared a link on my Facebook wall that had a profound effect on me when I finally took the time to watch it.

The 5 minute video that can be seen here, shared a simple message: You are beautiful.  And in the video, people took a moment to write something beautiful about themselves which has inspired me to ask this question…What makes you beautiful?

Take a few minutes to share what makes you beautiful, and don’t be shy!  I know we’re often our own worse critics, but there’s something beautiful about every single person reading this.  And today seems like a good day to reflect on what makes us beautiful so let’s do it together.  (Come on…this will be good for all of us!)

 

Fmm: What makes YOU beautiful?

Leave out all of the negative stuff, and concentrate on the beauty that’s within you – seen and unseen.

 

  • I have beautiful lips and teeth.
  • I’m easy to talk to.
  • I also have pretty hands and nails (maybe that’s why I’m obsessed with nail polish?)
  • I have a nice voice too.
  • My eyes are bright and animated.
  • My hair is healthy and shiny.
  • I push myself even when it’s scary.
  • I like my thin ankles.

Now it’s your turn to share what makes you beautiful! Don’t forget to come back and post your link in the comments! Happy Monday friends….

 

Screw the Fries…I’m Having Salad…

I’ve been in a pretty healthy groove again since late December, but I’ve had some thoughts in the last 24 hours that have helped me regain some of the confidence that I lost last year…

Shortly before dinner last night, I went to the grocery store to pick up some vegetables to add to my salad.  And on the way home, I passed a restaurant that makes gigantic, deep-fried cheese sticks that make me salivate whether I’m hungry or not (even right now.)  And for a moment I thought about the days long ago that I used to visit here, drive to that place and pick up an order (or two) of the big, hot cheese sticks and eat them all when I got home – followed by a 3 scoop ice cream sundae.  That occurrence (though not with this particular restaurant)  was far too familiar in those days, and when I’d finish, I’d feel sick and promise myself that I wouldn’t do that again…then I’d do it again.

As I drove by that place last night I realized that I hadn’t given it a thought in years.  And when the restaurant did catch my attention, for a split second, I thought about those days.  I remembered a time in my life in which I ate without thinking twice about it, and I remembered the taste of those stupid cheese sticks.

But in the next moment, I smiled as I drove by because I thought about my life now.  Sure, I don’t take a bite or a drink of anything without calculating it in my mind, and everyday I wake up and think about the workout I’m going to do.  I go out of my way to look up nutrition facts, and often times,  it takes monumental effort to tell myself no.

And last night I thought about how delicious those cheese sticks would have been for a moment before coming home to see homemade french fries that my visiting relatives were eating while I was preparing to have a big spinach and cabbage salad.

And as I sat down with my family, after a little teasing, I took a few bites of the fries before quickly pushing away the rest, and I said…”Do you know how hard it is to pass up those fries right now?  Not nearly as hard as it was to walk up a flight of stairs before I started making healthy choices.  Screw the fries.  I’m having the salad.

I got up immediately and prepared my giant salad with baby spinach, romaine, cabbage, cucumbers and tomato with a little protein on the side then sat down again and ate it while I enjoyed their company.

I’m not saying that we have to choose salad over fries every time, but I am saying that while the fries or the cheese sticks, no doubt, would have tasted great for a few minutes, the salad which was loaded with healthy and hearty things that I like too, left me feeling full and satisfied while bringing me closer to my goals.  And with that knowledge, I can tell you that last night’s salad was the best salad I’ve ever eaten.

A few minutes after dinner, the dull craving I experienced (which I’m going to talk about it a post soon) passed, and I was happy with my choice to eat something healthy, flavorful, delicious and filling.

I know that my journey is not over and that some days will be harder than others – I’m no stranger to that.   But today, I am not intimidated or nervous or anxious about it.  Instead, I’m clinging to the knowledge that I can do this…I am doing it, and once again, and it feels good to say that I’m healthier today than I was yesterday.