Guess who’s back? Back again?? YES ME! And I STILL have weight to lose. And if I hear one more time, “It’s a journey, not a race…”I KNOW!!!! I have been on this journey since the 7th grade.
Seriously, the 7th grade. I recently posted on my Tik Tok account (heck yea, ya girl has a TikTok!!) a question to my peeps. What is your earliest memory of realizing you had a body image issue. You would not believe the answers I received. One woman remembered her dad making sounds every time she walked through the den…in the 3rd grade!! Another person said that at every reunion, her aunt would call attention to the fact that she had to wear women’s size clothes…yea, she was in the 6th grade.
My memory? I remember my aunt calling me “Fatty Jody” when she came to visit us. I had never had anyone directly say something to my face. I mean, there were little signs…like shopping in the JCPenney husky department for back to school clothes. Or when the class would stop to watch me try and do the 1/2 mile run for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award (yea, that is a whole ‘nother blog). But my parents had never said out loud that I was heavier than the average young girl.
So my aunt just spoke the facts that she thought were actual. She saw me as “Fatty Jody”. She didn’t see me as the young girl who was throwing her lunch away at school every day so people wouldn’t watch her eat. She didn’t see me as the girl who would be the “ear” to all the boys when they talked about the girls they liked. She didn’t see me as the girl who tore pictures of girls out of her Tiger Beat magazine and tried to imagine what it felt like to look that way.
But what is the saddest of all is that I didn’t see myself as anything but “Fatty Jody” either. I was always the class clown, because who would take someone who was overweight seriously. I always made good grades, because I sure as heck wasn’t getting any athletic awards and I never put myself out there. I never attempted so many of the things I wanted to because of how I felt about myself. I think back to that 7th grade girl and I just want to hold her and I want to tell her what an amazing sense of humor she has, I want to tell her she is beautiful and I want to tell her, more than anything, I want to tell her she has to love herself.
I am still working on that one. I am still working on loving myself. So many people are in this same boat. We grew up with judgement and from that judgement, we formed our opinions of ourselves. One year ago, I went on my first kayak ride down the Savannah River near our home. That was a huge deal for me and I almost chickened out at the last minute. But I didn’t. Do you know why I didn’t? Because I have built a wonderfully positive and amazing support group around myself. I don’t hear the negatives, I hear “Of course you can do this” or “I am so proud of you”.
That is another thing that I would tell “Fatty Jody”. I would tell her to build a support network. A strong group to surround her. Oh and I would tell her to tell her Aunt Daisy to shut the hell up.
Oh and look for me on TikTok @higgsbunch!!
Until next time…