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Stop waiting to be thin to be GREAT!

Stop waiting to be thin to be GREAT!
You are wonderful right NOW just as you are!

All my life I have been told to fix my body. Given special milk and told to fatten up and I wouldn’t get sick. It would take about 30 more years to realize that no one was ever going to suggest I GAIN weight again and that I had horrible sinus issues that caused my illnesses. I found a natural way to heal them that didn’t involve gaining weight, because if that was the fix I would have been “healed” long ago!

A few years down the road, weight would continue to fill a space in my life when I started to move from that thin child to a chubby kid as the doctors in England had suggested would heal me but didn’t. Then I was constantly told to “suck it in” and listened to remarks like “heyyyy, what’s up with the gut?” You see, thin in my family was the female goal! I’m not a rule-following kinda girl and I knew this early on, so it’s my belief I purposely kept my weight at a level so I was able to do everything everyone told me I couldn’t do unless I lost that weight. After many years of studying human behavior, mostly mine, I also believe that my holding on to the weight was me taking back my power. Holding on to excess weight was one of the few things I had control over in my life at that time. So, for me, weight represented power. Which explains why I went out for the cheerleading team against everyone’s well-intentioned advice. I was chubby and I made the squad and was the only one who could do a cartwheel or round off into the splits! I just didn’t understand all the fuss about needing to be thin. I was extremely muscular with a belly, who cares? That’s a great question and the answer is…… it doesn’t matter. “Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind, don’t matter.” Quote respect here!

Speaking of the power of the mind and what matters, I proceeded to win all kinds of ribbons and trophies handed out for every event in my Catholic school’s field day that year! Trust me here, 6th graders don’t play nice if their environment doesn’t demand it, and since Sister Mary Lucy didn’t care much for me and my outspoken nature, she appeared to think my desk full of “winnings” was selfish and evil behavior. It was obvious that day that many of the other kids followed suit and felt the same. My classmates seemed really angry at me for taking first place in almost every event.

As I write this, I’m so grateful. The lesson could have gone either way. I could have learned that fateful day that if I played small (no pun intended), I’d have more friends and be liked. Instead, what I took away was this: Teresa, don’t ever be a sore loser, it’s ugly and it’s mean and you’re better than this. When it’s your turn to lose (and it will be over and over again), do it gracefully.

I hope we are not still body-shaming our youth into believing weight equals worth. I am all about being healthy but that looks different for everyone…and not everyone is meant to be thin.