If you weren’t aware, I have shaved my head. And not the typical fade that you’ve more than likely seen me rocking, no ya girl is BALD, BALD. Like Michael Jordan scalp bald. Yes let that sink in. Any who, I will start by saying that I suggest everyone both male and female go bald. Aside from being super cold at night time, because apparently we lose like all our body heat through our head, being bald has been the most gratifying, COOLING (cause I’m from Texas) experience ever. I also can’t lie, I am continuously greeted by women of all racial backgrounds about “how beautiful I am”. Aside from the one woman at HEB who told me to keep fighting the good fight (she thought I had cancer) the reception of this #baldlife has been wonderful. And you know what’s most important, I love it.
But let me get to the point. The topic of discussion today is not my bald head, but in fact my weight. Now I have always tried to live my life by my own standards, march to the beat of my own trap drums. If I like it, who cares what you think.. That has been my mantra since I was a mere 14-year-old, because lets face it; I was definitely picked on. As previously mentioned, I was one of those girls who didn’t have the hair length to formulate a ponytail, with hang-time. Therefore, the pseudonym for my old Instagram was “baldheadscallywag”. Most people would read that and think it befitting, because I indeed am actually Amber Rose bald, but only those of you who truly know me are aware of just how lovely and painful my relationship with hair is.
Until now, I thought hair would be the thorn in my side. After so many years of internalizing that I was not attractive with short hair, imagine my surprise at legitimately being bald in my old-er age and bagging a guy or two with no hair (take that all of you people in my younger years who berated me and started this vicious battle with my self-esteem). YET AGAIN, I’m getting off track. I was always focused on my hair; that was my “eternal flaw”. But guess what guys, there’s a new threat on the block…. my weight!
My roommate and I spend the majority of our evenings post-work sitting on the couch and watching random shows on Netflix. We landed upon this random show titled “Insatiable”. We have not finished the entire season, but so far the premise of the storyline surrounds a girl who was fat her entire life, gets punched in the mouth because she wouldn’t share a candy bar with a poor person on the street, has her mouth sewn shut for (I believe) 6 months, and inadvertently loses weight and pursues a life in beauty pageantry. I don’t think we will finish because I for one find the show to just be completely ridiculous, but one thing that stuck out to me was her pageant coach, who was also a fat kid and struggled with that as a skinny adult told her three words “skinny is magic”. Now being a black woman, and a woman who up until the last year or so realized that my BMI was in the morbidly obese category, I was never concerned about my weight. In school, I was bald-headed, “girl with no ponytail”, but I was also “girl with rather large back-side and itty-bitty waist”. I was pretty fine, and I never really worried about being heavy because, I was never heavy. When most girls were counting the calories of the cafeteria food, I was sitting with the O-line throwing back not one but two chic-fil-a sandwiches WITH THE FRIES, drinking two of the vanilla milk shakes, and managing to get to 6th period on time. I was never a fat kid, but I sho’ll ate a lot. My entire life my mother was on my back about all the food I ate, and even then, when I wasn’t struggling with weight, my mother was still making fat jokes. Now this is not a mother-bashing session; I love my mom and she just wants nothing but for me to live a long healthy life. I would like to point out, that I am on the other side of 230 pounds. Yeah, ya girl got two degrees, a nice car, SWAG out the ying-yang, and in the morbidly-obese category.
Again, as I mentioned earlier, my weight never bothered me, because it was never a factor. Even in college when I got my “woman weight” it still never phased me because I thought I looked good. My waist cinched in, and my hips and butt jutted out; and since Sir Mix-a-lot had approved that body-shape, I figured I was good to go.
Skinny is Magic; Insatiable Reference
So aforementioned tv show had a once chunky, now skinny character state “Skinny is magic”. And at first I thought to myself, people are so dumb; confidence is magic. Exercising five times a week is magic. Love is magic. Waves in your fade is magic; but taking up less matter is not magic. And then I began to reflect on the last year of my life. Since I graduated from my Masters program a little over a year ago, I have packed on about 15-20 pounds. What was once a cinched waist is now a cinched back because I got a little pot-belly in the front. Sure, I’m still coke-bottle, just liter size I guess lolol. Regardless, I have gained weight. I know it, my mother knows it, old people from my hometown know it, the lady at Student Affairs at my college knows it. But not once did I ever feel like being heavier was keeping me from being the boss that I am. I find myself very attractive, round face and all, but the more I watched this show, the more I realized that plus size is still an acquired taste of attraction.
Now let me back up here. I am in no way fat-shaming. I mean, that would be dumb because according to the scale and my BMI, I’m a fattie. But I am saying that perhaps I have been a bit delusional in my views and perspective of the worlds attraction level to sizes. Like I said, my thorn in the side was hair; once I got over that insecurity, I thought I was good. Perfect! Insecurity free! But, there’s the pot-belly. I don’t like it. But what I’m getting at is that I don’t like it because my lower back aches randomly, my calf’s burn if I walk for more than 45 minutes, and you can play tic-tac-toe with the stretch marks on the inside of my thighs and arms. My body is telling me in more ways than one that I am not supposed to have all this wagon that I’m dragging.. The fatigue, the low-back pain, the way my shoes cave inwardly, all of that is a sign that I can be smaller. So being smaller and getting healthier (i.e. occasionally working out, drinking water, less donuts more farm-raised fish) is why when I decide to get it together, I’m going to lose some weight. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, the “magical reasons” for the #skinnylife that surround outside peoples’ perceptions of smaller body sizes, not it, not happening, not at all why one should lose weight.
Disclaimer, I can list all of the things that I see wrong with my body from the rapid weight gain and still tell the truth by stating I look in the mirror and love it all. That’s right, as I mentioned, I think God blessed me with some great physical characteristics, whether they are stretched or shriveled, my self-esteem is where it needs to be. Meaning, skinny is not magic; our mindset is magic. If what you see when you look in the mirror repulses you, than maybe you should hit the gym and eat chicken and raw spinach out of a bag for lunch every day.. And maybe if you are repulsed by what you see in the mirror than maybe you should seek a counselor, God, friends, family, a journal and really self-reflect on what you don’t like. Is it something that can be changed or are you struggling with a deeper rooted issue?
Newsflash, we all out here struggling and trying to make it. I know that my struggle consists of wanting to be the best woman that I can be for myself, by myself, yet not really knowing what she looks like. I also can admit to eating my feelings and stress away for the last 13 months. I graduated from college, acquired a full-time job, was in a long-distance relationship, was questioning my walk with Christ, was actually questioning everything from the new style of wig I wanted down to the cut of socks I needed for work (we settled for tube socks. Tube socks rock! Yay Tube socks) In all of that I avoided the gym like the plague, became friends with little debbie like that bihh was my twin sister, and came home from work and literally laid in bed to scroll through my IG day and night. I fell victim to the art of comparison, the art of delusion, and the art of depression, because lets be honest, on social media everyone has it going on with a new boo, new do and new waist… And yet here I was slowly wasting away.
It was not until a month ago that I had to remind myself, everyone is out here struggling. Speaking of struggling, so is my waistline. I am going to spend these next months working on my body. Whether that looks like a keto-diet, working out two times per day, or just plain jogging 4 times per week, it’s gonna happen. I need to lose weight; but not for men to like me; not to be on the cover of a magazine; not to be treated differently; I need to lose weight because I am unhealthy. If you are in the same boat, start by acknowledging that there is something about you that needs to be changed. Once you identify these changes, stop and ask yourself if this is something YOU want to change, or is this something that someone else wants you to change. If it is the latter, keep doing you boo, because I’ma tell you something; changing for others will leave you frustrated and eventually alone. We are all out here struggling, so struggle to be the best you for you! Skinny is not magic; loving yourself is the key darling!