A How-To Guide
I’ve talked about the negative effects of not staying out of other people’s refrigerators here. And I’ve given some quick tips on why and how to stay out here. Now comes the happy part…how staying out benefits all of us (start from the beginning here)!
I usually talk about myself but today I have someone else’s story to share! Several things stuck out about Her story:
She’s a birthday twin I met through Twitter (7/29 LEOS STAND UP AND ROAR)!
- She’s an amazing woman.
She has always loved herself and the streets need these types of stories!
Her story is related to the benefits of “staying out” (though not directly related to food).
A Fat Girl and The Revolutionary Act of Self-Love.
I was going to use this pic in a blog post on Dirty Pretty Thangs about me, how/why I lost 20lbs in the last two months and why I feel COMPLETELY disconnected from the vast majority of the online weight loss/fitness community. But I can’t do it. I don’t feel like I can face the backlash that a fat/formerly fat girl gets when she says she never hated her fat self. And that’s why I feel disconnected: It’s almost like you have to have some soul-wincing, corrosive level of self-loathing in order to just lose weight and “fit in” within these circles. I would NEVER berate or hate myself, no matter what size I am. That just does not compute with me. But if you have the gall to declare love for yourself, to be unashamed in whatever body you’re in…to LOVE YOUR FAT SELF, people think you’re either full of shit or crazy. But wait…
(click here to continue reading….you should definitely click here NOW)
One one hand, I was all hopped up on YASSSSSSSSSSS and thug tears! Not once did she say, “I had to lose weight because I hated myself.” On the other hand, I felt sad that she couldn’t fully enjoy her moment.
A few days before that post, she shared a side-by-side of her blood pressure readings from her starting date to now. That post also had me in a state squeals and tears! Those 20 pounds weren’t about going from “I hate myself.” to “I love myself now that I’m skinny.” They were about going from “I might don’t make it!” to “I’m outchea!”
SHE DESERVED TO ENJOY HER MOMENT! If turning your health around is not worth celebrating, I don’t know what is. Sure she’ll always have the sense of pride that comes with improving one’s quality of life, BUT more people need to hear/read about stories of true self-love. Which brings me to how “staying out” benefits all of us.
Analogy time! How many times have you seen (or been apart of) this conversation?
Person A: I’m going through/experiencing (insert problem).
Person B: You just need to pray about it.
Person A: ….
i take issue with Person B’s response for several reasons* but the most relevant is that Person B may be missing their own blessing. I always think, “What if God** sent me to you and you just failed your own test by not even trying to help?!!” (Because that is very likely the case.)
Here’s how that same situation looks when it comes to weight:
Person C: (Insert Her story)
Person D: Oh, so you think you’re better now! I thought you said you loved yourself! If you loved yourself like you said you did, you wouldn’t have changed anything! Black women are supposed to be bigger! I bet a white doctor told you you needed to lose weight!
Person C: ….
I’m not even exaggerating the scenario. I’ve seen it firsthand.
Neither Person B nor D took the time to really listen or understand. God forbid the fact that this person just added years to their life and vastly improved the quality of it. Person B missed their blessing, and so did Person D. Both of their blessings could have come in the form of a learning experience and/or personal growth. When you “stay out”….meaning when you don’t go spreading negativity around in others’ lives….you’re able to learn from them and add to your own personal growth. That’s because they’re more willing to open up and share their life with you!
Let’s say Person E really does know a lot about food and nutrition but isn’t so good with the exercise aspect and is often unsure of herself. Person F goes hard in the paint when it comes to fitness. She can make their own paint! But she’s not so positive about her body nor sure how to properly fuel it. And Person G over here is all hopped up on self-love but knows almost nothing about nutrition and exercise.
What do you think happens when they’re able to get together in a positive, open-minded setting?
Person E is now empowered to share her nutrition knowledge with Person F and G. In return, she’s learning about fitness and how to truly love herself (and how to treat others).
Person F is now empowered to share her fitness knowledge with Person E and G. In return, she’s learning how to properly fuel her body and how to love it for what it does, not just how it looks. (This will help her when it comes to other people’s bodies as well.)
Person G is now empowered to inspire Person E and F to love themselves through her presence and life experiences that led her to this point. In return, she’s able to learn how to take care of her body so she can keep inspiring people for years to come! (This is basically my birthday twin!)
To recap: Sense of Authority + Info Overload + Negative Experiences = THE FOOD POLICE
BUT Positivity + Open-mindedness + Knowledge = YASSSSSSSSSSSSS!***
In this case, YASSSSSSSSSSSSS equals empowerment and growth through learning from one another. If all you’re doing is adding negativity (or pointing it out every chance you get), you may be missing out on something bigger.
Now let’s say you’re all, “I don’t judge other people’s food choices so I’m good.” Great! But how are you when it comes to other people’s fitness (body) goals?
I actually did send a lengthy response to the original post that I had no intentions of sharing. However, she asked if she could post it. So after you’ve read the full original post (here), you can check out my long-winded reply (here). 🙂
*The other reasons I do not like that response are it is dismissive and assumes Person A has done nothing to change/fix the problem. However, there is an exception. If the statement is in conjunction with listening, understanding, and compassion (and not adding negativity), I welcome it. That’s because in that case, they’ve done what they can. Maybe they don’t have any advice but they’ve shown that they value your concern/problem. Also this person is more likely to say, “Keep praying on it.” or “I’ll pray with you.”
**I understand everyone does not believe in God but regardless of whether or not you believe in a God or a God at all, the same life lessons apply. If it helps, change the response to, “You just need to let it go.” Same thing….
***Some positivity and open-mindedness would go along way within the Beyhive. Folks get all hopped up on Bey-love and well…..I think we’ve all seen how that goes 😛