It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I am proud to say I can stand confidently and say “Eff your beauty standards.” I choose to love myself as I am today.
This past weekend I enjoyed a one day romp on the beach. I mentally prepared for this trip because this was the first time I was going to bust out (no pun intended) my #fatkini. You see, after being hit by a Ford f150 last fall, I decided that I am letting go of my self-created prison when it comes to things I want to do or say. I thought it would be a sin and a shame to have lived for 33 years and spent 66% of that time hating my body, feeling shame, and uncomfortable in my own skin when swimming or at the beach.
Here I am in all my big-girl glory.
When I first saw the pic, my eyes went immediately to my flaws. I noticed those feelings, loved them (because they show me where I need to grow in loving myself) and released them. I focused on how I felt when the picture was taken. I was feeling confident for the most part, but hating the fact that I was still “covered up.” I hate hiding. I hate secrets. At this point in my life I am over shame (and being ashamed.) So before long, I threw off my sheer robe and decided to just be on that beach. Despite the fact that I was surrounded by size zero cousins in their 20s looking all slim and trim, for the first time in my life, I did not feel like I was less (or have an overwhelming feeling of being more.) I was just me.
Not less than five minutes later, I was encouraging my cousin, who is also a graphics design student/photographer, to host a photo shoot ala Real Housewives. I primped and posed. It was in that moment that I realized how disassociated I had become with my body. I didn’t know where to put my arms. I wasn’t sure if I should put them overhead because my fat from my arms might dangle. I was, as my friend says, in my feelings and not enjoying my newfound freedom and self-love.
It took me about 30 minutes to get fully comfortable in my own skin. In a fatkini. In the Gulf of Mexico. Caring less if my rolls were being looked at. If I disgusted others with my lumps and bumps. Loving the skin I was in. In the end, I totally loved my day on the beach. I will not go back to hating my body and feeling like I can’t do what others do because I’m this size, color, race, gender or nationality. #overitdotcom
I know some people think this #fatkini movement is about normalizing obesity or something along those lines. I think this movement is about people who don’t fit in traditionally learning to full love themselves as they are to encourage both physical and mental health and wellness. If the mind and spirit are hurting, then the body will physically reflect that pain.
Following my car accident, my quality of life significantly diminished due to back spasms and constant pain. I vowed to heal my body but soon realized that without dealing with my emotional pain, I would continue to undermine my efforts at becoming healthy and whole. Yoga (one of my only approved exercises by my Doc) helped to jumpstart my reconnection with my body. I allowed myself to be invisible and in doing so did not realize the stress I had put it under. No amount of self-hate was going to get me to love myself enough to consistently change my behavior to allow my body to heal.
Since my accident, I have decided to radically love myself. In doing so, I accept myself as I am today to continue to love myself into a stronger me tomorrow.