Wednesday, June 3, 2015

End Game

Recently, female students from my school attended a Girl Empowerment Summit hosted by Fearlessly Girl, an organization founded by Kate Whitfield. Fearlessly Girl creates movements to increase leadership and empowerment among young women, and encourages working on positive self image, decreasing girl-against-girl bullying and more. From there, these students decided that our community could benefit from bringing some of this knowledge to our school.

Between college and my time working in the field, I have 11 years worth of stories, stress, set backs and successes with children and youth facing these issues. I've encountered so many who have sadly turned to unhealthy and dangerous ways of coping. It's important to work on setting up effective strategies while facing challenges - but getting to the root of the problem is really the best solution. If we could work on bullying in general, we may not have to work with so many who are being torn down by it. So, I of course wanted to help. We got together to begin planning. As we are reviewing our Fearlessly Girl book (available here) we are discussing body image...rocking what you got, beauty-full you, self esteem make overs, etc.

It really had me thinking...I've been so public and up front with this journey, but have I given the wrong idea? I like to joke around and poke fun at some of the things I do - But plain and simple, this is all about feeling good. I don't want the girls in our community, my own family, or any random female who might stumble upon my blog to get the wrong idea. The effects of my weight were mostly mental, but were not extreme. It wasn't okay and I should have worked through it then. Now, I'm much older and the effects are more significant...mental, physical and magnified. Those minimums turned to maximums - I am far from comfortable and capable, and there lies the issue.

I don't want any visitors to begin to read about my journey and think I spend my days putting myself down in front of a mirror or on top of my scale. I also do not want them to start thinking about themselves and feeling like they need to change. Happy and Healthy - this is how we should be gaging our success.

I should be representing a population of girls my size and encouraging them to love themselves, be proud of themselves, don't hide it, be who you are...But, as you've read - I was not happy and healthy and needed a change. I have the utmost respect for any other curvy lady living that way...and I hope to join you. I just have some work to do first. It shouldn't be about what I see in the mirror, see on the scale or what size my pants are. Happy and Healthy - that is the end game.

For this journey, the best way to track my progress has been Weigh-In Wednesday. But, I know it's not about the number. My TOPS leader is always reminding us that we are more than the number on the scale. Yes, I use the scale to determine my successes - but it is simply to help me know that I am on the right path. I would really hate to give the impression that it means more than it does, and I'd hate to have my journey encourage someone else to think that way.

While, I'm not quite ready to set myself completely free from the scale, I do think a scale make-over is in order. I talk a lot of numbers, and this needs to change as I do. A good project to work on would be to find some more creative and encouraging ways of determining my success. I am going to try to J.Law it up for a little while. In the spirit of this post, and J.Law'ing it up - I will not give a specific update, but let you know that my TOPS meeting last week was positive - and I felt good. Success!

As I strive to be a positive role model, I don't strive to be "thin", or have my hair and make-up done every day, or wear the right things or wish I didn't have a lazy eye. My end game does not have any specifics on appearance or weight. I want to feel good, I want to be comfortable, I want to not feel anxious. I want to be confident, I want to be proud - I don't believe I have to be 131 lbs, have flexing oblique muscles, or only one chin just to feel that way. I have an idea in mind on how comfortable with life I wish to be. That's my end game.

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