Fat – that’s what they call me, and you know what? No, it’s never been okay. You see, our perception of beauty has been tainted. At least, my perception was for a very long time. Growing up, I idolized those around me who were skinny and beautiful, wondering why I hadn’t been given the same fate – why I, unfortunately, had the problem of being the “fat” girl. Don’t get me wrong, beauty has no size, nor color, but at a young age, I couldn’t see that. No, my life wasn’t a sitcom where everybody made fun of the fat kids, threw food at them, etc, but I was young and naïve, I just thought that someday I would grow up to become this thin, long legged woman.
If there is anything that I have learned in life, it is that my journey is not anybody else’s. And so, I am slowly making changes in my life. Not because I let the judgement of others question my worth as a person, but because at the end of the day, I have promised to live my life for myself, and nobody else. Aside from losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle, my biggest change first comes from within, and that is pledging to love myself – every inch of my body as God has always intended for me to do.
I was ashamed of who I was, how God made me! I spent years wondering why I had to be different, why I couldn’t just blend in with other girls in the crowd, but it wasn’t until high school – perhaps a little later- that I began to grow into myself. It’s ok to love yourself and work on you, for you. Being a size 2 doesn’t make you healthy, being a size 16 doesn’t mean you’re going to keel over and die at any second. I mean, really.
Let’s face it, I was so critical of myself and never took the time to appreciate my curves. Only as an adult have I come to love the skin I’min, and wear it proudly. Yes, I have rolls and stretch marks, but I love everything about me and my journey on self love requires no maintenance from others. Seriously, the feeling is so frustrating that I’ve honestly tried to write this a million times, but even as my fingers hit the keys, I’m questioning if I’ve said the right thing … if I’ve gotten my point across, and if I’m all alone in my thoughts.
I have spent so much time worried about the opinions of others, and hiding myself in shame. Changing myself is not going to be an easy process; and yet, I truly believe that anything worth working for will never come easily, and that is a challenge I am more than ready to accept. By loving myself, I choose to be confident, rather than holding my head down in fear … to be open and refusing to let anybody tear me down for their benefit, and lastly, to never lose myself in any of the craziness that may be happening in my life. My point is that it’s more than okay to love yourself and mold a new “you” in the process; people become so fixated on the “ideal” person, that they don’t take the time to stop and admire who they are in the process. I am working on a better Alana, for Alana … and if you are working on yourself, as well, just know one thing: you are not alone.