|Summer 2002, Dominican Republic|
|Summer 2004, San Diego, CA|
|Spring 2007, Austin, TX (Hook 'Em!)|
|Fall 2010, Durham, NC|
What a timely topic for today's 30-Day Blog Challenge. I just started working out again -- joined a gym, walking, running, playing tennis, etc. In fact, I've worked out more consistently AND frequently in the last two months than I have during the entire first half of 2011... and I feel absolutely fantastic.
Body image proves to be a sticky-icky subject, especially for women (much like the "concept of beauty" post from Day 2). Most women I know can think of at least one thing they don't like about their bodies. Some women want to lose weight while others (who might be reluctant to speak up for fear of ridicule) want to gain weight. I have heard little girls and teens talk about dieting, and, much to my disdain, studies continue to show eating disorders are on the rise in the young black female community.
I'm 5'10", 35 years young, and as of three weeks ago I weighed 218 lbs. When I was 18, I weighed a mere 165 lbs. I gained most of my weight after I got married, and then even more when I got a job requiring me to sit in front of a glowing screen for 8-10 hours/day. The number on the scale has always been less important to me than how my clothes fit and I have hovered pretty consistently between a size 12 and a size 16 dress, depending on the designer of course. I don't own a scale and I weigh myself infrequently - maybe once every 6 months or if I go to the doctor.
I could complain about the weight I've gained, the way my jeans fit, the spillover belly, or my "wings" (my affectionate term for back fat), but really -- what's the point? I believe there comes a time when we have to actually attack the problem by fully embracing the solution.
Despite the fact that I'm 50 lbs heavier than I was when I graduated high school (yikes!), I love my body. It's healthy and strong. I'm am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of God. I do not take for granted the healthy support system I have in friends and family. My Mom has always been health conscious, and she's never berated me about my size. I have several friends who are active and will exercise with me, and they make it so enjoyable. My husband shows me lots of love regardless of my size, and we like to work out together as well. I know that not everyone has this same kind of support, but I tell you... whenever you start feeling down about your weight, especially if you're a little heavier than you want to be, I encourage you to recall the words my grandma said to me several years back, in her deep Southern accent:
"Girl, you're fat and fine!" (you have to say it like it's one word -- fatandfine!)
You tell 'em, Grandma.