The "F" Word
I'm due for a life update entry soon, but this entry is based on a breakthrough. There's a little 3 letter word that everyone seems to obsess over. "Does this make me look fat?" "Which burger has the least amount of fat?" "In a few years, she'll lose her baby fat." In my own experience, the word "FAT" was part of my daily verbal & thought vocabulary for a very long time. I tried to brush it off when others would say it, but every little letter stung me right in the heart. I heard it so much that It defined everything I was. It didn't matter that I was smart, talented, or attempting to be a good person. I was fat, and that was it. Years of psychological damage started to become reversed when I committed to my happy, healthy lifestyle. Losing weight was one of the goals, but really, I just wanted to be proud of myself & confident in my own skin. I wanted to do everything that I thought I couldn't do. I wanted to be extraordinary. It took several years to lose 50 lbs. But even more demanding was the battle within. It wasn't like I woke up one morning and thought, "Hey! I'm beautiful today & always!" I am happy to celebrate that I now define myself as a healthy, happy woman. I have gotten to a wonderful point in my self-esteem where I have an overall positive body image as well. It has actually been a very long time since I've looked in the mirror & thought I was fat. To get to this point could make me burst into tears if I thought about it long & hard enough, but it would be awkward to do so in this little coffee shop in Hell's Kitchen. But anyway, with my quest for positivity & a love for vocabulary, I have decided to instead pick out other adjectives to describe what I would otherwise refer to as "fat." If I don't feel my best, I'll say, "I look bloated." or "I need to get back on track." When making a choice for a cheat meal, I'll think, "I wonder how much sodium this has," or "I wonder how this will make me feel." I honestly never really think about the fat content of things anymore. With all of that being said, I'm not perfect. Most mornings, I wake up in the morning & look at myself in the mirror prior to dressing. If I feel unhappy with my appearance for the day, I'll pick at my flaws. I'll pull at my skin. I'll try to blame other factors, while strongly fighting the urge to think, "I look fat." I'm breaking lifelong habits slowly but surely, but sometimes this takes a lot of patience & a LOT of practice. Recently, while browsing around Beachbody's online store, I saw a pretty good deal on this fat caliper. For those of you who are unaware, it's this little guy.
The purpose of a fat caliper is to measure your skinfold above the hip. You gently squeeze the skin area with this little claw guy, and in turn you'll measure your body fat in millimeters. Then, based on a gender/height chart, it will tell you if your measurement is lean, ideal, average, or overfat. (( Notice how it's still a measurement - your body is over its average/desired fat content. )) In my decade+ of wanting to lose weight, I had seen this guy in plenty of magazines, doctor's offices, and weight-loss based TV shows. So, I thought, okay. Maybe I feel bloated, or gross, or beside myself. Maybe I should shake off the emotional attachment & just let medicine/science settle this debate. My package arrived in the mail, and I prepared myself to use it immediately. I took a deep breath, pinched an area of skin that makes me uneasy, and jotted down the number. My mind was blown. I did it 3 times to be certain, but finally whole-heartedly accepted the measurement. According to the provided chart, I am an average-bodied woman... and not far off from ideal. I am nowhere near overfat. It finally hit me, you guys. I've worked so hard for so long, but as crazy as it sounds, my results are not always jumping out at me. WHY NOT?!?! I'm blessed to often hear about how proud everyone is of me, I'm constantly challenging myself to do more than I feel possible, & I feel strange when I go a single day without eating vegetables. But it wasn't until this damn piece of plastic reassured me that, as much as I continue to swim against the habitual tides, there is no sensible reason to think poorly of myself. I'm going to continue striving for my best self, but there is nothing wrong with me anymore. My courage has proved this. And now, medicine is proving it. Maybe you haven't had this revelation yet. Maybe you're still on your journey, whether it be physically testing your limits or trying to retrain yourself to speak and think positively. Regardless, I will share my insight: You may have fat, but you are not fat. You are more than that. QUOTE OF THE DAY "I am not a sample size, and I am okay with that. I’m good with who I am. I like to accentuate the positive... I’m also happy that more and more women are embracing who they are, because everybody’s different. You don’t have to be a size 0 to be pretty. You just have to be comfortable with who you are." - Jordin Sparks.