Saturday, February 21, 2015

Unconditional Body Beautiful: Part One - My body

Here I am still alive and still willing to blog. But have I lost my audience? I guess only time will tell. Well, first let me introduce the new and improved Yoli... Hi, nice to meet you. I am a woman who loves fashion, makeup, reading, and recently... Exercise!! I moved to Chicago for work and I am loving each new day of self and city discovery. I know... all the fat positive people will give me grieve for loving exercise, but it boils down to this for me... I want to be healthy for my kids. Which is why this collaboration with the other plus size beauties of the internet is so important.... Let's start from the beginning.

As a child I was that adorably cute chubby kid. But it wasn't until elementary that I realized, I was fat (insert sarcastic gasp here). Well, as it goes, kids are cruel. And they did not hesitate to remind me just how "not normal" I was on a daily basis. So you add being dark skinned to that and I was picked on relentlessly. I was told on a daily basis that I was "fat and ugly" to the point that I sought out council in the form of my mother. I went to her and asked in all seriousness "Am I fat and ugly?" To which my mother replied with equal seriousness... "No, you are beautiful and anyone who tells you different doesn't know what beauty is..." So, for this I applaud my mother. She did this right. She handled this situation like a superstar and then she took it one step further... Everyday (and I do mean EVERY DAY) my mother would tell me at different parts of the day how beautiful I was. Be it in the morning before school, or the middle of the day while we ran errands, or as she tucked me into bed each night. She did not miss a day to remind me that I was beautifully and wonderfully made. Yeah... my mom is pretty awesome like that. And that is where I got my overinflated self esteem. Does it mean that I NEVER doubt myself or this body? No it does not but let me not get ahead of myself. After that day... elementary school was no longer a problem. If someone called me fat or ugly, I laughed it off. Why, because they were not in on the awesomeness that was me.

From that point on I was great until I hit 5th grade. And then the unthinkable happened... I got BOOBS. I got boobs before anyone else did. I actually got them in 4th grade but they weren't really noticible until 5th grade. And then started a whole other issue to get pass... mean girls. Of course, back then I didn't know that is what they were... to me they were my friends... and then one day, they weren't. They stopped speaking to me and eating lunch with me because I was the focus of all the 5th grade boys. To this day, I remember being really good friends with this guy named Waleed Robinson. We were both deformed, me with my boobs, and him with his... well... penis (back when I was a kid spandex was the thing to wear, and Waleed filled his out far more than the other boys - no socks). So he was my only friend and for a while I was okay with that... until the mean girls decided to spread rumors that Waleed and I were having sex (which we were NOT) but it was so hard to deal with that I just shut down. It was around this time that I stopped dressing like a girl. I mean I completely became a boy. I wore the biggest and baggiest shirts and jeans I could find. I stopped being the girly girl that my mother raised. My mother was so concerned that she put me in therapy. That is when they discovered I was manic depressive. But no amount of meds, therapy, or positive reinforcement could get me out of my funk.

So then I turned 13. And my mother was excited because I showed interest in makeup. I loved makeup from day one. But heres the thing, I never wore it out of the house. I couldn't put myself into competition with the other girls. So I would only allow myself to be "pretty" in my house. What was really funny to me, was that even with my baggy boy clothes and lack of girly appearance... boys still sought me out. WHAT?!!! I'm still cute even when I am in clothes fit for a 300lb man? Okay. Note to self: Your face is cute regardless... lol.

So that is the cycle. I would dress up for dances and such when I was allowed to go and that was the extent of the girl I would be unless it was the weekend or I was around people I felt safe with. I lost my virginity at 15 and then that is when my Dad had his superstar moment. He sat me down (yeah at the time I was mortified!!) and he explained to me something that would define me as a woman. "Although, I'm not happy that you've lost your virginity... I want you to know that you should never let a man control you because you have the power between your legs.Love and sex is not the same thing. If you remember that for the rest of your life... you'll be fine."  Those words made me the woman I am. Scared my mom to death beacause I had no qualms having sex with whoever and not making him my "boyfriend". But I was an honor roll student. I didn't need those distractions. I liked sex but my Dad's words rang true... Love and sex are NOT the same thing. And I never forgot that.

So fast forward to my senior year. Yes I was still dressing like a 30 year old man with no job but I was still cute. So imagine EVERYONES surprise when I showed up to prom in a red dress to show that I had a tiny waist and gigantic boobs. Yeah... that is the highlight of my high school career. Everyone thought because all the clothes were shapeless that my shape was the shape that my clothes were... but I wasn't that big, I just dressed like I was. I was still plus size wearing a solid size 12, however, I had a flat stomach and thick hips and thighs. I could have been a plus size model had I not gotten pregnant at 19 (even though I do not regret my son in the least). I felt like I went into adulthood really knowing my body... but I was wrong.

In my twenties (after birth of my son). I dated some really not nice men. They made me hate my body and myself. Some called me fat, ugly, and some told me that no one would want me because I was a single mother. All that confidence I had disappeared amist some really depressing years. And then I turned 25 and after the man I thought I loved left me for his crazy ex, I decided to be celebate for a year. I didn't complete the year (cause that ish was HARD) but I did learn a lot about myself. After I started dating again I started dating 2 men. One was this guy that I regret everyday... the other was my husband. 12 years later, my Dad's words still resonate with me. Love and sex are not the same thing, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE that man. His devotion to me and my body no matter my size is heartwarming. Have you ever had a bad day and just hate your body. Maybe because you ate poorly or someone said something hurtful. Well, imagine coming home after a day like that to take off your clothes in front of your spouse only to find that he has stopped what he was doing to watch you get undressed. That is what it is like in my house everyday. So when I say we go together for life... I mean it... I pity the chick I will have to murder if she tries to come between me and my husband. I equally pity any man who thinks he will come anywhere near being a great a man as my husband is...

So that is my body story... the ending is simple. I'm a 37 year old mother of 3 kids. I recently decided to lose weight because I was tired of being tired all the time. And with each pound that I lose... I love my body even more (if that is possible). And I don't love it more because its smaller. I love it more because it's powerful. And although my post is not laden with awesome photos of my youth... Know that every memory is filed in my brain to help me push through any situation.

And just so you know how important that advice from my mother was... I said the same and passed down that same knowledge to my girls.


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