|Left side: me in 2010 at 196 lbs.. Right: me in 2013 at 165 lbs|
"You look fine, you don't need to lose weight"
"You know boys love em thick!"
"You have a pretty face so you good girl"
"But what are you going to eat?"
"Why are you doing this for?"
These are questions that you will get hit with on a constant basis. Some from family and friends who support you, some who secretly do not support you, and some who want you to remain the same because they love you just the way you are. All of these questions are and will be detrimental to your weight loss journey. The only question you should care about is "why are you doing this?" And you should be the one asking yourself that question...
During my years at Western New England University, I focused my studies on social interactions, the African-American community, and education. What I learned about with sociology, is that social groups influence an individual just as an individual can influence a social group.
If you have always been "THE BIG GIRL" in a group, that is how all of the groups you belong to view you as, thus you viewing yourself as that as well. You are involved in many groups (family, friends, acquaintances, school, sports team, church, work, etc.) All individuals label the other individuals in their group. "She's the smart one, she's the nice one, she's the rude one, she's the big one, she's the blonde one" etc. We do this without even knowing.
|Image: BPNE Organization|
When an individual among a social group decides to change something about themselves (we will focus on weight here), the dynamics of the group shifts. At first, they may be supportive... but few weeks in, the questions will begin to come, the statements will come, the haters will side eye.
It takes awhile for a social group to get use to weight loss changes that an individual is making. They won't know how to identify with you anymore. You won't be THE BIG GIRL or THE BIG GUY. Who will you be to them??
WHO WILL YOU BE TO THEM??????!
Who will you be to yourself!? Your identity does not stem from what others view you as. Your identity is who you are in the inside! Just how society can influence an individual, you can influence yourself.
|Image : thesweetestfragrance.com|
Cut out all side remarks you have been hearing from others and focus entirely on your goal. Sometimes its best to keep your goal to yourself. Let others witness your determination, perseverance, and dedication through the inches you lose week after week.
THAT will show them who you truly are.
You will not be THE BIG GIRL or THE BIG GUY, you will be that strong willed, dedicated, hard working individual.
That hard dedication is the best feeling in the world. 3 years ago, I was in your position. I kept my weight loss goal entirely to myself. I had a blog that I didn't tell no one about to help me track my meals. I heard the "oh you look good, you have a nice body", "you have a big butt", "guys love your shape." I did not embark on this lifestyle change for vanity. I did this for my future. 4 out of 5 African American Women are overweight or obese in The United States. I was in that statistic. I wanted to be healthier, and I was not going to accept being titled as "the big booty one", "the curvy one", "the thick one." I am so much more than that and you are too!
The moral of the story is, focus on your weight loss goal like you are in a tunnel seeking for the light. Focus on the end of the tunnel, no distractions to your left, no distractions to your right. Once you reach that weight loss goal, others will applaud you for your hard work and dedication. They will admire you and your new found passion. Then you will start to influence your social groups, just like how I am doing today!
[images: BPNE.org, thesweetestfragrance.com]