After turning 30, I've realized that it's very important for me to share more of myself and more of my testimony with you all. Beauty and style are wonderful, but there are deeper aspects of me and I realize that my purpose is truly to help women all around. With that said, I had a very enlightening moment recently. If you are on Twitter, you may have seen that #FatSideStories was a trending hashtag a few weeks ago. This topic was about men and women sharing stories of things said and done to them because of how others felt about their weight. I came across this hashtag one day as I was online and I was amazed at the things I read while scrolling through.
I soon realized that many of the things that were said to me as I was growing up were said to so many others. In fact, some recounts were even worse and truly made me question why we allowed those things to be said and done to us. The truth is we're all growing and sometimes it takes true growth before we realize that we are worthy of better and deserve the utmost respect. From boyfriends telling their then girlfriends that they would be perfect if they lost weight to parents saying harmful things to their children to "encourage" them to lose weight, the types of stories ranged from one spectrum to the next.
The funny thing is, though, this hashtag was trending several weeks ago. So, why would I talk about this now? Well, everyday since then, I have received a Twitter notification of someone either liking, retweeting and/or commenting on the tweets I shared during that time. That tells me that this is still an important topic. As I reflected on my own stories I shared and continued to read others, I learned a few lessons.
Three Lessons #FatSideStories on Twitter Taught Me
1. My mother meant well, but that doesn't mean she was right.
This seems strange to write because so many who know me offline have heard so much about my mother and many have met her. My mother is a huge support of my business and has been a great encourager of me using my talents. It wasn't until I began to really read the other #FatSideStories that I realized the one hurtful aspect of my relationship with my mother. I've heard that most mothers are pretty critical and that's one thing about my mother that has always been hard to digest.
Growing up and being overweight caused a lot of criticism. I remember dieting in middle and high school frequently. I'd receive lectures about my weight almost every time I visited home. I remember trying to lose weight like crazy when I was a size 16 because I thought I was fat. It had been ingrained in me since I was young that if I wasn't a size 10 or smaller, I was fat. I've literally been talked to about my weight from the time I was a child until today at 30 years old. My mother never seems to understand the impact this had on me and even today, doesn't feel she's critical.
It's hard to realize our parents are not perfect. We grow up with our parents being the ones we look to for guidance and example, but a lot times we forget that our parents are human. Today I realize that my mother raised me the best that she could and a lot of what she said to me was probably said to her. That doesn't make it right, but I realize that I cannot hold onto it. I've let my mother know the topics that are off limits and I've created boundaries to protect my own mental health.
We are all entitled to our own opinion. We hear that all of the time, but have you ever thought about not sharing your opinion? I recently heard that it's important to not share your opinion unless it's asked for. Can you imagine how many arguments and hurt feelings that would save you from? Now if someone is in extreme danger then we know that this doesn't apply, but think about people who are overweight. I can speak for myself and say that I know that I'm currently overweight. It's not necessary for you to tell me. I don't need your tips and suggestions unless I ask for them.
I wish more people thought about that. We don't need reminders of our weight. We don't need your cruelty. We don't need your opinion. When we ask for help, then we can receive what you have to say. In reality, this can be applied to so many parts of our lives. I think it would be great if we could all be a bit nicer. This hashtag showed me that people really think it's OK to say any and everything to someone.
3. You are always worthy of the best. Never settle for less.
One of things that really shocked me during reading some of the stories shared on Twitter were the amount of mean things said to women by men, even men that women considered to be their boyfriends. I was shocked at how so many said their boyfriends told them they would be absolutely perfect if they lost weight. Their relationship would be perfect if they lost weight. That some even tried to hide them because of their weight. They aren't alone. I had an ex-boyfriend tell me that I was too big several years ago when I was only wearing a size 14.
It's amazing the things that we allow to be said to us, but if you don't see the value in yourself, I'm pretty positive that no one else will either. When my self esteem was lower, I attracted and accepted people into my life that didn't value me. When I learned to truly value myself and realize I was worthy of the best is when I began truly attracting the best. I know we live in a society that preaches perfection, but flaws is where real beauty is. Always know that no matter what, you're worthy.
Have you seen #FatSideStories on Twitter? What are your thoughts?
God bless & stay fab,