I wish I had a dollar for every time I was told that I was “pretty…for a big girl”. I guess in some warped way this is supposed to be a compliment but the giver could have just ended with “pretty”, I’m still not sure why the other adjectives had to be included.
I say this with absolutely no conceit because the fact that I have a pretty face has been perhaps my greatest set back. I’ve always relied on being pretty. Being pretty ensured that I had a man, despite being over 300 pounds. Being pretty kept me in the popular circles and among the superficial elite. Being pretty distracted people from the fact that I was unhealthy. Being pretty tricked me into believing that I was happy in my obese frame. I could always hide behind being pretty.
But you know what pretty couldn’t do…It couldn’t get me up a flight of stairs. Or help me take bike rides with my son. Being pretty couldn’t make the airplane seat belt fasten or qualify me to fly in a helicopter. The only thing being pretty is good for is a selfie.
Being pretty has been my demise. It took me years to accept that pretty doesn’t equal substance. Pretty doesn’t equal success. Pretty doesn’t mean shit. I spent way too much time focusing on pretty and at the end of the day, being pretty is pretty petty!
Don’t get me wrong, I embrace and enjoy my beauty. But I’ve come to place in my life were I no longer want to be caught up in the superficial. I crave a beauty that is of more substance than can be reflected in my Instagram posts. I crave a beauty that is internal and everlasting. I crave a beauty that is whole.
For my entire life up until this very moment I was content being unhealthy as long as that sickness was wrapped in a pretty package. As long as I could dress it up, accentuate the assets and batt these eyelashes I thought that I could camouflage the true nature of my situation.
During a gym session a few months ago my trainer told me to look in the mirror while I done a particular exercise. In frustration I told him that I can’t. Of course he asked why. My answer…I don’t like looking in the mirror. I had never said that out loud before. But it was true. I hated full length mirrors because I hated my full length reflection. And I hated that feeling, that self-loathing feeling of disgust and disappointment that I felt every time I saw myself from head to toe.
I’ve been on a spiritual journey towards self-love and acceptance for quite some time. I’ve been working on removing the toxic thinking, toxic relationships and toxic habits out of my life. But my body was still toxic and I couldn’t continue on this journey without addressing it.
Even the most confident woman has to be honest enough to admit when her size and weight is interfering with the quality of her life. And that is where I am at on this journey. Even though I may be able to get away with being “pretty for a big girl”, being pretty is no longer enough for me. When someone looks at me I want them to see more than my face and my size. I want them to see that I am powerful, dynamic and most importantly healthy. Healthy from the inside out.
There is nothing wrong with loving yourself at whatever size you may be. But there is something wrong in being so confident that you deny the effects your size has on your body and your overall health. No one is healthy when they are obese. No one!
It’s only by God’s grace that I don’t suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure or any other weight related disease. It’s only by His grace that I was able to birth three children with this body that had been abused for so long. It’s only by a miracle that I still have the opportunity to change my life and be the best version of myself.
Every day I choose to make healthy choices. I go and bust my toosh in the gym. It hurts. Sometimes I think that I can’t do it but the feeling of satisfaction that I have when I leave that place is amazing. No amount of pretty could give me that.
Being able to keep up with my kids during a trip to the playground is a gift that I thought I would never have. No amount of pretty could give me that. Knowing that if I just stick to it I will add years to my life is a promise that is unparalleled. No amount of pretty could out do that.
I’m over the pretty part and ready to embrace a new, healthy and whole me! There will always be time to be pretty, but I have to get healthy now before it is too late.
Healthy lasts much longer than pretty. It is much more valuable than pretty. In fact it is priceless.