If you are plus-sized, you have probably heard some variation of one of these statements.
” You’re so brave and confident.”
“Wow! You lost some weight, you look so much better.”
” You have such a pretty face”
You know, the back-handed compliments and the sly remarks about your body. People are very judgmental when it comes to looks and when you don’t fit into normal beauty standards, they are almost offended by it. Add on being confident and you should be tossed to the wolves. We have become a very opinionated world where everybody thinks that their opinions are somehow helping you.
They have not walked a day in your shoes, but want to tell you how you should be walking in yours. I guess that’s what comes with having some extra weight on you. I wish I could say it stops when you get smaller, but that just isn’t true. I’ve been every size in the book. I was an athlete when I was younger, so I was ripped. Muscle definition and all, then I was medium-sized, and now plus-sized. I can honestly say I was judged at every weight.
When I was smaller (128 pounds) I was bullied for my weight. So much so that I developed body dysmorphia. I was 5’3, 128 pounds and felt like the fattest girl in the world. I didn’t look in the mirror and see a pretty, fit girl. I saw a disgusting slob. I remember going to a fat camp at age 13 because I felt like I needed to lose more weight. Keep in mind that, according to doctors, healthy weight for a person who is 5’3 is 120-130 pounds. You can now see how horrible my body dysmorphia was. I would starve myself some days and force myself to exercise twice a day.
When I got to a “fat” camp-not many people there would fall under the fat term-I got a rude awakening. A lot of people were questioning why I was there. I felt like an outsider and that’s when I realized how out-of-tune I was with my body. I did lose some weight at the fat camp and kept it off for about five years.
When I got to college, I was one of those people who gained the Freshmen 30. I was living on campus and I had no rules or parents telling me what to do, so my eating habits turned for the worse. I would still exercise which I think helped me not to pack on the weight too quick, but I was definitely not maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This went on well into my adult years. Now, I am 28 years old today and the biggest I have ever been in my life, but there is one HUGE difference…I am the most confident I have ever been in my life.
Now before the fat shamers and fitness experts start pulling at their roots and getting ready to yell at me, hear me out…
WHAT IT TAKES TO BE MORE CONFIDENT
Stop caring about what people say
I was the size that everyone thought I should be at and I was criticized. Even more so than I ever have been as a big girl. Anytime I ate anything, people would always say, “You’re going to eat all that?” or “If you keep eating like that, you are going to gain weight.” It was constantly being said to me over and over again to the point where I would sometimes avoid eating around people. I just didn’t understand why people could not mind their own business. My body was none of their concern.
This went on for years and I developed an unhealthy relationship with food. It also was one of the factors in my binge eating habit. I couldn’t tell people how I was feeling about my body because they would look at me like I’m crazy and say things like, “You’re so skinny though.” I was trapped and I didn’t know how to get out.
When I started putting on some extra pounds, I was then hit with the, “I see you are putting on some weight,” or “You look different” comments. Personally, I liked the way I looked. I had more cushion for the pushin’ and my curves stood out more. I felt more grown up and sexy. Even though I was feeling more confident, I was met with negativity from others.
Letting go of people’s opinions
Not everyone is going to like you or approve of your life decisions. Yes, they will let you know that, but it doesn’t have to affect you if you don’t let it. Their opinions on you hold no weight (no pun intended). One of the most liberating things you can do for yourself is to let go of their opinions. You have to let it slide off of you like butter because they are just words. Yes words are powerful, but only the words that you choose to be powerful in your life. You accept and embody the positive words people tell you and choose to deflect away from the words that are hurtful. It does take some time, but when you have mastered it, nothing they say can affect you.
No matter what size I was at, people would always have something to say. I decided to let go of all those negative thoughts I had about myself and decided I would be confident no matter what people thought. I would slap on that bright green dress and strut my stuff. I wouldn’t hide behind some stretchy, bland clothing that only came in neutral colors. You were already going to notice my big ass once I walked in the room, so I might as well look good AF when you do.
Learning to love every inch of your being
This is by far one of the biggest challenges in my life. For so much of my life, I hated myself. I had no sense of an identity and I let people use and abuse me. I can honestly say that my self-love journey came from me being at one of the lowest points of my life when I didn’t want to live anymore. I was depressed and nothing in my life seemed to be going right at that moment. It took God and my will to live to get out of that rut and to where I am today. I started working on loving myself. I started focusing on the things I liked about myself. It was a short list, at first, but it grew to be a very large list.
I would use affirmations, dress in clothes that I really loved, and never uttered a negative word about myself. I would look in the mirror, smile, and say “Girl you look good today and your skin is glowing.” I did this until I believed it.
It has completely changed my life and the way I view myself. It helped me develop morals, values, and respect for myself. You can say that I found my Godliness (I know it’s not a word). By that I mean, I realized who I was and that I needed to hold my head up high and walk like the queen I am. Gone were the days of letting anyone disrespect me. I now had a voice and I knew how to use it. It meant I now had boundaries and a backbone.
Realizing your greatness
Confidence stems from self-love. It is a result of self-discovery. It happens when you start speaking words of life into yourself. It means accepting and forgiving yourself for the wrong you have done to yourself and others. It means letting go of your past trauma and learning to understand it. It also means realizing that God made no mistakes when he created you. Confidence it loving yourself through every part of your journey in life. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
No one will understand you like you understand yourself and that is all you need to remember. Stop letting people have the power over you and your thoughts. It doesn’t serve you in any way. We are all quick to judge when for some people just getting up in the morning was all they could do today.
A gentle reminder
You are beautiful, gorgeous, and powerful and it is about time that you realize that. Don’t let people bring you down and take away your joy. That is doing a disservice to yourself and to God. This does not mean that you need to neglect your health. If your health is in trouble and it could be fixed by losing some weight, then lose it girl. Be the weight you want to be, but not at the expense of your health. That does not mean you need to be a size 6 or a size 2. This just means you be the healthiest weight you can be, whatever that looks like. If that is a size 12 or 16, then that is okay. Don’t listen to what anyone else says about that. If you want to lose 20 pounds or 40 pounds to feel more confident, then do it. Be the weight that makes you feel the most beautiful, but also realize that confidence comes from within.