I have been marginalized. It’s not my sex. It’s not the color of my skin. It’s not how much we make (another day…). It’s how I’ve marginalized myself.
It’s my weight. (big girl panties up, big ole’ gulp of fizzy stick, here we go…) As much as it pains me to throw that out there, it hurts more to hold it. This was an epiphany I had while I was doing my dishes today (which is when most of my epiphanies occur).
I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. Literally for as long as I can remember, it’s been an issue. I don’t know what caused it to be an issue. I remember a comment here and there from people I was related to or kids at school. But, I can’t pinpoint that one moment that made me so aware of my weight and what people thought of it. Even in high school, when I was playing sports pretty much every single day and I was a lovely size 10, I absolutely hated my body.
I’m fully aware that I’m not telling a story that is unique to me. Especially as women, this is a struggle for most of us at certain points in our lives. But, I allowed it to get deep into those private, molding places that change everything in us. Maybe you did too. I hope you didn’t.
I allow myself to be marginalized in my own mind, by none other than me, myself, and I. I assume people are judging me because of what I weigh. I’m sure some are. But I’m also not sure of anything. I belittle myself. I don’t allow myself to wear things that I would love to wear. I don’t go to certain things because I know that I’ll feel uncomfortable and out-of-place. I don’t spend time with certain people because something they do or say makes me vividly aware (by no fault of their own) of my girth.
I have allowed my weight to define me and my world. I’ve always had a Christian world view… but maybe I have a fat Christian world view? I see the people who love me and I am often amazed that they do. My two best friends of almost 20 years are amazing, incredible, and talented people who love me so deeply, and show me so. But, I often have found myself thinking, and sometimes saying, “I don’t understand why they love me so much.” Because in my life, fat has meant that I’m not lovable.
There’s a lot of wounds and psychology behind that from my childhood and my first marriage. But, the gist of it, whenever I was treated badly or unfairly, instead of saying “What’s wrong with that jerk for treating me that way?” I’ve said, “they’re treating me this way because I’m fat.”
I’ve recently started following a few plus-size models on Instagram. It started because one followed me, and when you’re trying to build your Insta-following when someone follows, you follow back. It’s a thing. Anyway, when I first saw her pictures, I thought “who does she think she is to flaunt this!” I wasn’t upset. I truly didn’t understand. Not that I found anything wrong with her at all, in fact it was like looking in a mirror. But, I didn’t understand why she was OK with it? She proudly stood there in amazing makeup and a seriously booty kicking dress, and she didn’t try to cover her “troubled areas.” She didn’t try to hide a roll with her arms or strategically placed objects or people. I don’t even think she was wearing Spanx!!! She just stood there. She was gorgeous, confident, and damn proud. I’m not gonna lie, it took me MONTHS to even grasp this mind frame. I don’t have it yet. But it took me months to even identify it.
Why now with all this? Well, I honestly don’t know. I definitely know that God put it there today for a reason. I’m also starting a big journey, and weight is a factor. Perhaps this is a part of that journey (more on that soon). I’m excited and terrified to dive into this and stand up for myself to myself!
My identity is clearly not my weight or my body-type. It’s not the color of my hair or its style. It’s not my outfits and shoes. It’s not my make-up or jewelry. I am valuable ONLY because God says so. I’m created in His image. I’m an image-bearer of a King! Of the Creator of the universe! God thought of me and knew all the damage I would do in this life and LOVED that thought SO much anyway, that He made me. I AM VALUABLE and I know it in my mind. This is a journey to get it into my heart and my belief. Time to bust outta my own margins…
Anyone else out there need to bust out of their own shell?