Recently, I was complimented on my swollen belly and über confidence for rocking my two piece at a local beach with my wee ones. A mom, with whom I had no previous relations, a fellow tribes woman whose worn our scars from bearing her own, but boy was she fit. It made me think. Women should be a support system for each other. We should raise the standard at which we see each other.
At 11 years old, I was a 150 lbs and couldn’t go more than an hour or so not thinking about what I was going to eat next. The mile was a daunting task, and asking me to do a pull up was a joke. I watched the clock, hungrily awaiting my next meal, or would hide quick bites from the pantry while Mom was cleaning. For an honestly happy kid, my eating habits didn’t show it, and with that came a journey I am so glad I started.
The summer before going into 8th grade, I started Weight Watchers with my Dad. We went weekly to the meetings and religiously got weighed in. What really hit me, and has stayed with me was the life long lessons they taught me about how to love my body in relationship to food. Yes, I could have the pizza I wanted so badly, but it was all about balance – a word in my food vocabulary that did not exist until that point in time. By summer’s end I was down 30 lbs, and for a small framed girl that was a dramatic impact when I walked into school at the beginning of my eight grade year.
I can still remember the response I got when I walked in. The looks and stares, but most of all the girls who reached out to me and asked how had I done it. You see, I hadn’t had it very easy in middle school. I was the teacher’s pet, and so liked being that. Adults made me more comfortable, if only my classmates had understood. And to be called a pig to your face was not the most proud moment in my school career. What I have learned from these moments of challenge is the rainbow that comes from them. It does, I promise. The compassion I have for my fellow humans is endless. I will always put myself in another’s shoes before judging.
We live in a world with people of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. That should be celebrated and more importantly complimented daily. God bless, I will rock my two piece 6 months pregnant, swollen belly and all, and feel GREAT. This is the day for us to celebrate each other – our bodies, minds, and souls. Get up and give a compliment to a complete stranger and see how that transforms your day and theirs.