I might be a little late in the game, but I recently started to watch This is Us. It got me thinking about how I relate a lot to one of the characters. The blurb about the show from the NBC website says “Sometimes life will surprise you.. this refreshingly honest and provocative series follows a unique ensemble. As their paths cross and their life stories intertwine in curious ways, we find that several of them share the same birthday and so much more than anyone would expect… a smart, modern dramedy that will challenge your everyday presumptions about the people you think you know.”
Many of you lovelies already know that I was bullied relentlessly for my height and weight growing up and that it has had a strong impact on how I look at myself back then and even today. You can read my story here. Along with that, I’ve struggled with how I see myself as the ”fat” girl or the “giant” of the group. I have tried different methods to lose weight or to seem shorter and I am currently battling certain fears that have developed.
Here are just a few of the different “diets” I have tried to lose weight: ginger tea(yuck), Weight Watchers, SlimFast, only eating cereal, grapefruit diet and many more. I’ve also tried different workouts like 6 min abs, Pilates, Yoga, Richard Sims videos (waste of time), and many more. Ways I tried to conceal my height: slouching (that hurts my back), super flat shoes (which has caused knee and back pain), leaning on one leg to look shorter, bending my knees more than normal while standing, and getting less sleep so my spine wouldn’t fully rest.
In my mind all of these were ways to fix me, but I never had anything tailored to me specifically.
So back to the show… the character Kate, played by Chrissy Metz (whom I am just adoring right now) has had a weight problem her entire life and her mom has put her on diets, made her exercise, to cover up her bathing suit and simply trying to be a good parent to help her daughter. Kate at a young age felt like she wasn’t pretty because she wasn’t a size small. She wasn’t small so she couldn’t be a singer, because singers are only small. She was short and not tall like her mother, so she wasn’t pretty like her. She was bullied by people at a young age which made her doubt herself even more.
All of these things shaped her choices and who she was as an adult. She became afraid of doing things because she was too big. She would obsess over losing weight and would just start to binge eat if she didn’t lose a certain amount of weight each day. She was afraid of having a relationship with someone, because she felt like no one would love a fat person. And she was depressed about all of these things.
Every week as I am watching This Is Us it got me thinking about myself and my own fears. I am going to be honest and vulnerable and I encourage you to do the same.
My fears/insecurities are:
- If I sit in a chair, am I gonna break it?
- Will I fit in that small space?
- Can I get up off the floor by myself?
- If I get a pool float, will it actually float?
- Am I a giant?
- If I get that long dress, will it touch the floor?
- Can you see my fat roll in an outfit?
- Are my arms too hairy?
- My feet are ugly, don’t bring attention to them.
- I need to cover my arms because you can see a fat roll.
These are just some of the fears/insecurities I have on a daily basis. Because some of my fears have actually happened to me.
I got to thinking about these fears/insecurities and noticed a trend. As I got older, I became more fearful about who I was. I was afraid of my look because of sexual harassment that had happened to me. I was afraid of what people would say because of verbal harassment. I was scared of fitting into something because of a situation that happened. These fears and insecurities were actually lies.
Now, I am not going to lie and tell myself that I am the thinnest, most beautiful person in the world and everyone else is crap, because that is not true. What I do know about myself is that my fears and insecurities are just lies that I have allowed to take over my life.
After talking with my mentor and other Lovelies, I knew I had to make a change. So, I’m taking the Dave Ramsey approach to battling these fears and implementing baby steps.
Here are the steps I’ve started:
1. Try to wear something out of my comfort zone once a week.
This has been a challenge because it means that I need to think differently than I normally would when getting ready in the morning
2. Stop the negative talk.
I noticed when I stop talking badly about myself, I would hold my head up more and actually be able to see the beautiful things around me.
3. If I am feeling insecure about something, I talk to a girl from my #squad.
If I am having a bad day and I feel like I can’t do this anymore, I call up my mentor or girls from my #squad and talk about how I am feeling. It really does help me pay attention to the words that I am thinking about myself.
These three things have really made a difference in my life. I started this process back in the summer and it’s the first time I felt comfortable wearing a swimsuit without a cover.
I encourage you today to look within and recognize what’s holding you back. Don’t be defined by fear like I was. Push through and share your fears and insecurities with a trusted friend. Make a plan to conquer them together! You’ve got this! You are so Lovely.