I’m so excited to be kicking off our first of many ‘No Fat Talk Tuesday’ posts. In the weeks ahead, women from all walks of life will be sharing their stories of learning to love their bodies and the importance of saying no to ‘fat talk’ in their lives. With that, I’ll hand it over to Stephanie…
Take a gander over at my blog, Girl Versus Dough
, and you might wonder what makes me an authority on anything related to health and wellness – I mean, I’ve got posts on chocolate-glazed doughnuts
and bacon pancakes
, for goodness’ sake! Truthfully, some of it is the result of this mean sweet tooth I’ve been blessed with since birth; but the other part of it is a celebration of being able to bake these indulgent sweets, enjoy them in moderation and not feel like (or tell myself that) I’ve instantly ballooned to the size of an elephant. It’s been a journey, to be sure, and I can’t say I’ve completely escaped my battle with “fat talk,” but I can tell you I’ve come a long way. And I have a few people to thank for that.
My first thoughts of body image insecurity surfaced when I was in early high school – probably on New Year’s Day, actually, when I decided at the ripe ol’ age of 15 that my resolution was to lose weight. It’s crazy, I know, and I was a bona fide pubescent twig, but a voice inside my head kept telling me I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough until I lost those hips, that arm flab, those cankles.
I wish I could say that was the end of it, that I put my foot down and realized how crazy my thoughts were, but I can’t. High school and college were battles with my “fat talk” monster – a war waged between me and my floor-length mirror.
Counseling helped, yes, and so did maturity, but you know what really got me through the thick of it? The people around me whom I love and who love me back. No matter what stage of life or body confidence I was in, they were there to lend an encouraging word or offer a model of success that helped me realize: If I have these beautiful people in my life surrounding me, then I truly am beautiful, too.
My mom was one of those people. Name any disease, she’s probably had it. In the last decade, she’s had broken bones, breast cancer, bumps and bruises that haven’t even been invented yet. But, she is the strongest person I know. Her resilience in the face of adversity is admirable, and whenever I think my body is inadequate, I remember my mother – and all her strength and beauty – is a part of me, and it gets me through.
My friends, also, have been the best support system in the world. Sometimes they’ve been there to tell me my outfit looked cute or I just got a great haircut, but they also were there to remind me of my good inner traits: Loyalty, kindness and wisdom. They say that you surround yourself with people who are just like you, and if that’s the case, I am beautiful.
And then there’s my husband. He makes me feel confident in myself every day. We’ve been married for two and a half years, and in every moment I am with him, I feel beautiful, even if I’m in my sweatpants and haven’t showered for (cough) three days. He knows how to give me confidence in myself without even saying anything, and to have that around on a daily basis, well, I’m set for life.
So whenever I look in the mirror and feel unconfident about my body, I remember whose image is really reflected back to me – one that has been shaped by beautiful people who, in turn, make me beautiful, too.
Thanks for sharing your story, Stephanie! And thanks to all of you who have so bravely and kindly offered to share your story on No Fat Talk Tuesday. I’m looking forward to the weeks and months of posts ahead. If you’re interested in sharing your story, shoot me an e-mail (email@example.com) and I can share details with you.