No Fat Talk Tuesday: Laura’s Story

In Uncategorized by Madison Mayberry7 Comments

{The day I felt the most beautiful I ever have in my entire life. Although I must confess, I had one flair up where secretly I was grateful wedding dresses are traditionally long. Doh!}
I have been looking forward to sharing Laura’s story with you ever since she offered be a part of No Fat Talk Tuesday. Laura was a dear friend of mine in college, and when I first met her I was blown away by her joyful spirit and love for life. Seriously, this girl just screams ‘confidence.’ Which is what makes her story even more interesting. I know Laura was nervous to share this story, but I’m so grateful she did, because I can imagine there are plenty of women who can relate. Thanks, Laura! (oh, and don’t forget to check out Laura’s blog, Oakland Avenue) – Madison 
It wasn’t until high school that I really started picking apart my body. My hips were too big, my legs not slender enough, and I considered my ankles two sprains away from the dreaded “cankels.” My arms were acceptable and my stomach was decent, but my legs — oh my legs. You see, I have what I call “marshmallow legs,” legs that are not what I would define as lean or “runway ready,” legs that I wouldn’t have picked if I had a choice, legs that I was so embarrassed of, I rarely wore shorts in order to hide them as much as possible.
Of course, I had to wear shorts at times; I played basketball and ran cross-country (in a secret effort to streamline my legs), but I was self-conscious the entire time. On the outside I was happy, self-assured and confident, but on the inside I was self-conscious, negative and insecure. No one would guess that my thoughts and actions revolved around my embarrassment of my legs. I dreaded pool parties and trips to the lake and often wore shorts over my swimming suit under the guise of “modesty.” On the rare occasion I did show my legs, I often assumed people around me were thinking about how ugly my legs were. It was all I could think about — how could they not be as well?
I tried lifting weights. I tried running. I tried not eating. I tried it all, but none of it gave me the results I was looking for to keep up with the habit — but I still remained obsessed with trying to “fix” my legs.
I berated my legs daily, picking apart every bulge, dent and shape. In the back of my mind, I always thought of how I would trade anything, anything for pretty legs. How my legs were the reason I wasn’t getting asked on a date or the reason I couldn’t go out to the lake with friends. They were the sole reason I didn’t like the way I looked, and at times, the reason I didn’t like myself.
Then, one night in college, something snapped. I’m not going to tell you I suddenly loved my legs. No, I simply began to hate the feeling of hating my legs. I realized that I hated feeling restricted, self-conscious, discontent and ugly because of my hatred of my legs. I began to hate the fact that I’ve hated my legs for all these years.
That night, I realized that I was defining my entire life — what I did, thought, wore and said — by my perception of my legs and my negative self-talk had taken away an enormous amount of enjoyment from my life. From that day on I made a truce with the war on my legs. I promised to get rid of the “leg-lies” (or “fat-talk” as Madison would say) from my life. I didn’t want to think about them any more — it just took up too much brain power. Daily, I strove to think positive thoughts about myself and my legs, and I vowed that I would wear shorts nearly every day in the summer, and I would never again decline a trip to the lake out of my leg-insecurities.
  {I made peace with my legs before I met him, but more than anyone, my husband has helped me find
acceptance of my body.}
At first, it took an enormous amount of courage and “self-pep-talk” to bare my legs in public on a regular basis, but over time my mind began to empty of thoughts of “what people around me thought of my legs” and instead I began to enjoy my new found freedom in having confidence in who I was and what I looked like. No more desperately hoping a photo was taken from waist up, no more wondering if that new person I met would judge my legs — life was so much easier when I didn’t worry about those things. They no longer mattered to me and I finally began to accept myself. It was not easy, but over time it has become easier.
Those who know me may think I’m being too hard on myself, and my legs “are not that bad” —but isn’t that the curse of fat talk? That it stops us from seeing the truth? That it illusions us with insecurities, blasts us with lies, and berates us with worthlessness? I nearly backed out of writing this ten different times, wondering why in the world would I admit all the gory details of my insecurities on a very public and popular blog, when I never whispered a word of it growing up?
Then I remember: It’s because I’m willing to bet most of you have your own “marshmallow legs.” Some part of yourself that you have allowed to define yourself, and I want to encourage you today to let. it. go. It’s not worth it. Stop confining yourself to a mediocre form of happiness because you just can’t seem to “get over” that problem area – be it your stomach, arms, hair, weight or whatever. I know how women’s minds work – that annoying fat talk voice is always there, always pestering you, berating you and telling you lies. I heard it every day for years, until I finally got up the guts to stop it.
I said it earlier and I’ll say it again, it hasn’t been easy, but it has become easier. And you can do it. I promise. You may not have a light bulb moment like I did in college, but I hope at some point the switch is flipped for you. Maybe it will be in one crazy instant, or maybe it will be slowly turned on over time, but either way, know that there’s someone out there rooting for you – someone who’s been there in the trenches and has found acceptance of her body. If I can do it, you can do it too. 
I am looking for No Fat Talk Tuesday guest posters for the spring and summer months. If you are interested, email me ( for more information.