So a woman I know is also facing her own weight loss battle. And, I mean that in the most respectful way. Anyone who wants to lose a significant amount of weight faces a major battle.
The struggle is real and is constant. I mean, yesterday's post is a classic case of that.
Anyway, we were chatting via Facebook about going public with our journeys. She posts on her page everyday about her workouts and her daily efforts to become her best self. She commended me for putting it all out there over the past week or so. I told her that her commitment was partly the inspiration of my putting myself out there.
She then said something that totally rocked my world. Apparently a friend of hers said she shouldn't post so much about herself like that; she had to stop finding her affirmation from the number of likes she receives.
Read that again. I'll wait.
What the fuck?!
I don't know about whom this wonderful lady was talking about, but the person is clueless.
Do you think a plus size woman is putting pictures out there is looking for affirmation? Hell, doing it puts us at risk for mockery, shame, hatred, insert negative reaction here. Social media can be a cesspool in the best of circumstances. A fat girl who dares to post a photo has some serious balls.
Here's what I told her:
I wear my fat on my body all day every day. It says a lot about me - some true, some not. It tells some people I'm lazy and I don't give a crap about myself. Which, has been true. I think it's ok to show I'm doing something about it now by posting about my journey.
Every time I posted a picture on social media (NOT often) or went somewhere, my battle was on display. It was a losing battle. The way my body looked told many stories about me - most of them I didn't want to share. I don't exercise. I don't take care of myself. I'm insecure. I'm ugly or at least I feel I am. But, there's no hiding it when you weigh more than 350 pounds. I am an open book, leaving myself open for anyone to read and interpret what they want. I've only recently realized that.
But now, I want to take control of the story. As does my friend. So, we post to stay accountable. We take pictures, even though we despise them. My pictures show multiple chins, large legs and arms, an overly-rounded face and the belly and butt - don't get me started! But, I'm standing up to the fear of the camera to show I'm doing it.
A part of us hopes that maybe it might inspire someone else like us to see if we can do it, so can they. We want reminders of what it was like now when we are later in our journey, when it might be so easy to forget where we came from.
We want to let people know that we may look like we're weak, but we're getting stronger. We're fighting back. It's a daily battle.
Bottom line, I told her, let the haters hate. If they don't like what you have to say or share, keep scrolling. I told her don't stop! She is inspiring me and many others! So, keep it up Heather! I'm so proud of you I could bust!
Another friend of mine said I was fearless in sharing this personal journey. I responded that was the farthest thing from the truth. I'm scared to death. Scared I might fail. Scared I'll be ridiculed. Scared I'll won't make it.
Bravery isn't the absence of fear. It's facing it head on. When we share our journey, we're facing our fear.
Besides, there's so much negative crap on social media. I think it's great to see people going out there and taking charge! We could all use a little more encouragement.
And, yeah, the likes are nice, too. Can't lie about that. :)