Sep 11, 2015 @ 3:36 pm | By TheFeministGriote | 0 Comments
I swallowed the propaganda that my life is not where it should be, in part because of my weight. I am one of those women who think that once I lose weight, the world will be in HD, maybe even 3D. I am a perfectionist, like many awesome Black women I know, and my weight serves as a reminder that I am not truly perfect; that I have an Achilles heel; that my weakness, my kryptonite, my one obvious dereliction, is my weight.
I have been struggling with my weight since I was 12. When I was 12, my least favorite uncle got married and noted my weight was going to be an issue. So I did what all kids do when they hear negative feedback from an adult: I believed it, and made it my mission to fix myself. That was the official start to the war I waged with myself. It was also the beginning of treating myself like a perpetual project that needed fixing. If I fixed myself enough, I thought, I would be in America’s running for love, happiness, and success-and if nothing else, some fabulous clothes.
Fast forward to now: I am a grown ass woman who wants to change the relationship I have with my body and make space for healing and wholeness in my life. The biggest impediment to this relationship shift is my weight. For health reasons, I would love to be at least 30-40 pounds lighter. Sometimes I think to myself, “you are already a Black woman, brown-skinned, you have natural hair, you have radical politics, the least you can be is skinny!” Because of the white gaze, I am overly concerned with the amount of space I take up, and that extends to the amount of physical space I take up. On one hand, I want to take up less space. On the other, I want to practice taking up more space and feeling more entitled and worthy to do so. This is my conundrum. How do I acknowledge the fact that I should perhaps lose weight, but still love and honor myself in the process; not approaching this weight loss journey from the perspective that I’m a project that needs fixing.
I am perfect, whole, and complete. Perfect, whole, and complete people don’t treat themselves like a project and constantly compare their bodies to other women. The idea of saying-“losing weight for health reasons” makes me cringe-because I am healthy. I do have fibroids, but I am healthy. My gynecologist said it wouldn’t hurt for me to lose weight, which made me feel a type of way, but like many other Black women suffer with fibroids and we all ain’t fat, so…Science really cannot tell us what causes fibroids, but my very tall, slender, blonde, white doctor had no issue prescribing weight loss to me. She only examined my vagina and uterus and never ran a blood test, so she had no receipt of me being unhealthy. Again-despite these facts- my tall, slender, blonde, white woman doctor had no qualms prescribing weight loss as a cure- all to my fibroid situation.
When you live in a society that equates all of your failures and health issues to your weight, it is hard not to internalize that message and believe it.
I truly desire to lose weight for reasons that have nothing to do with vanity. I would like to be able to bike longer, to run further (in the event there is an zombie apocalypse), and to feel more comfortable in my body when I am naked alone or with my bae. The truth is I have lost lots of weight before and people treated me better. Once, a cousin who lives several states away, called me and told me I was an inspiration to him, which made me uncomfortable. What I heard was, “you are back to being my pretty Southern cousin again.” I also felt like my dad was nicer to me, and of course people treated me like I had cracked some morse code. Folks treat you differently when you lose weight. Meanwhile, nothing in my life changed other than I ate better and had cooler clothes. #Moralofthestory is that I would like to lose weight and not feel guilty about the process and not have an unrealistic expectation about what my life will be once I drop the weight.
I do not want to feel guilty for leaving team #BBW or feel like I am losing weight for all the wrong reasons. I also don’t want to feel like I am a loser at life if I never weigh 150 pounds. I don’t want to feel undesirable because I am fat, thick, or whatever the terminology du jour is.
I would love to be a size 10/12 and know deep down in bone marrow that I am worthy of love and belonging no matter the size I am and that I am enough no matter how much physical space I take up.
I feel like I need help and community in this journey. Writing is a huge part of my healing process and I want to be honest in my writing. The dysthmia has not been helpful in my weight loss journey. On mornings when I am struggling, I don’t make it to Crossfit. I really like Crossfit because not only do I feel better when I leave, I also feel powerful lifting and doing the absurd workout.
So, I am going to chronicle my weight loss journey and let you folks know how I am doing. I need accountability partners and lots of love on this journey.
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