What body positivity means to me, and how other's think I contradict that

So this topic has weighed heavily on my mind lately and I knew I just had to write about it. The world of “influencers” is something fairly new to us but also something that has taken off lighting fast. Basically for those who don’t frequent social media, an influencer is a person with either a large following or engagement who will work for companies basically advertising for them. This is usually based off what their page reflects, i.e. fashion, beauty, fitness, etc. Depending on the size of your following you can get paid from companies to be an influencer and it’s a cool way to try different products or review them. I would be labeled under that but I don’t like to use the word influencer. Mainly because I don’t want or like to influence anyone one way or the other, rather I like to share my opinions with those following me and to try to help them when ordering from certain companies. That still may seem like i’m influencing but one thing that I do not do when working with companies is to lie to others just to get you to buy the product I may be wearing or trying out. The common misconception “influencers” get is that they are paid to say whatever it takes to get our followers to buy, but to be honest most contracts that come from said companies only require us to show you the product. I’ve had companies give me words that they would like to be to say with the products i’m trying and I will not do that. I do not want you coming to my page seeing the same verbiage used that you see on other pages promoting the same product. I want to be honest with you and I have turned down many companies that I am either not a fan of or that I just don’t see myself using. With that said I want to talk about a controversial subject that I see all over my own timeline and as comments under my pics, and that is the body positivity movement.

My social media represents me living my best life, through adversity, through the highs and the lows I am an open book to all. That has left me a target to many mean words, comments, dms, and even from close family and friends. Some people don’t understand why I share my life the way I do, others think it sets me up to be talked about or letting people in who shouldn’t know so much about my life. All of those things are true, but I am an open book for one reason and one reason only..because there is someone out there that needs to hear my story. I realized after so much trauma I've been through and surviving all of that, that I am meant to help others. Yes you see lots of fashion on my page because I LOVE fashion, I love creativity and I love being a plus size woman who can try to empower other plus size women. But at the core of it all I want to help other people learn to live their best lives. With living your best life comes moments when we have to face the uncomfortable parts, and for me that has always been my struggle with my weight. I have talked before about how I got to where I am with my weight, and many of you know the steps i’ve taken to help control my weight, yet there are times when I talk about this subject that I am faced with those who are a part of the body positivity movement who think I am betraying them if I admit that I want to do something to better myself. They think I contradict that whole message behind body positivity or that I am contributing to the diet culture. But I see it differently.

Body positivity is a social movement rooted in the belief that all human beings should have a positive body image, while challenging the ways in which society presents and views the physical body.” That is wikipedia’s definition of what the body positivity movement is about. You should love your body, no matter what condition it’s in, because when you love your body you want the best for it! Just because I promote loving your body as it is, doesn’t mean i’m against wanting to be the healthier version of yourself. That doesn’t mean having to alter your body, having to be what society views as “skinny”, that means that if you see there is something wrong then you do what you need to do to make sure you are healthy. That healthy body can still be viewed by others as being overweight and that is ok because again we aren’t doing this for others, we are doing this for ourselves. There are times when I know I need to change up how much activity I need or check what I’m putting in my mouth. I know this when doing simple tasks become harder for me or I’m feeling sluggish because I ate whatever I wanted to and it wasn’t the best choices. Mind you i’m all about balance, but lately the scales have been tipped towards eating all the things that do nothing positive for my body lol. That is when I know it’s time for me to get real with myself and make healthier changes. In making those changes, I have worked with and tried different companies that i’ve always been curious about. That is usually when the chaos starts, when my dms start to blow up!

I have worked with companies that sell protein shakes and detox teas and I know it’s a sensitive topic for soo many!! Whew honey my messages blow up after I post a pic with it, but guess what…before I decided to work for these companies, I tried their products and I liked them. I have never promoted that they are a one stop shop for losing weight, rather tools that have helped me get back on track with healthier eating habits. Many of those who are so upset about these products, have never used it, rather decided to join in on an ongoing conversation had by others over how they felt these companies were a part of the diet culture. I agree, there are people who use the same jargon, claiming that they made their stomach smaller and so on, but I am not one of those. I use the product because guess what, sometimes I eat stuff that isn’t good for my body, sometimes I need a little help getting my body on track and I am firm believer in forming my own opinions. I also try to make myself very clear to others that this is my experience with the product and my opinions of them. But I still get those who feel like i’m contradicting myself and that is frustrating.

Can I be brutally honest with you for a second?? I have actually hindered my own weight loss out of fear that if I lose weight that I would be doing a disservice to those women who look up to me! Omg that is insane right?? But I get it, because there have been times where i’ve seen other women who have the same body type as my own, lose weight and then bam…it left me feeling bad about myself!! Almost like they betrayed me or something…absolutely bonkers but I know there are others that totally get what I’m saying. But that cycle has to stop, because just like for the same reason we don’t want to be judged for being bigger bodies, we need to stop judging those for having different bodies then our own!! You heard me, we need to stop judging the girls who don’t gain weight as easily as we, those girls who lose the baby weight faster then we did, those girls who find a workout regimen and healthy eating plan that actually works for them, the girls that needed weight loss surgery, WE NEED TO STOP JUDGING..period! Let’s stop looking at others successes as bright beams shining the light on our failures. This may sound harsh but I am speaking to myself too! I have been praying lately, praying for a healthier body. I owe it that. I want to live as long as I can, I want to experience things that sometimes my body doesn’t allow me to, not because of the size but because of it’s capability. So next time you see me talking about Keto, or working out with my husband, or even the shakes that you might not be a fan of, try reading my words for what they are and not take them as a way of me saying that something is wrong with you or I. I am not going to stop talking about my life anytime soon, and I want to include it ALL, so try to see that I will ALWAYS be an ally for the body positive movement. But I love my body enough to know when it’s time to make sure it’s running at tip top shape!! I hope you all got what I was trying to put out with this post. I also hope you know I am always open to talk about this. So if you want to chime in, please do so in the comments section. All that I ask is that we all remain respectful. Thank you!!

Hugs and positive vibes.

Lissa

outfit from Shein

outfit from Shein

Let's talk about weight baby....

So this topic has been weighing heavily (no pun intended) on me lately. If you follow my social media you know i’m known for the plus size girl who is full of confidence and found love at her highest weight. And while that is mostly true (I too suffer from insecurities too), lately I have been getting a lot of flack for promoting a healthier lifestyle. There are some who feel as though I have abandoned my self love beliefs because I want to become a healthier version of my self. So I feel the need to just get it out there, have “the talk” and explain the why’s of what got me here and why I feel the need for change.

Ok so here is where I have the difficult talk of what got me here. You know I’m an open book, and with that comes times where I need to be open with myself and acknowledge truths of why I have spent my adult life overweight. Sadly it is a story all too many of us can relate to. At the age of 5 I was sexually abused by a neighbor. He was the big brother of my friends and later I would find out that he had been abusing his sisters, my friends for years. I wish I could say that that was the worst of what he did to me, but it wasn’t. He subjected me to images, horrific images that only further took away my innocence and my sense of safety. From that moment on I feared men, I mean I could not be in the same room with any man, even those who would absolutely do no harm to me. As much as I wish more then anything that those moments didn’t alter the course of my life, changing me forever, but the truth is that dealing with trauma like that at such a young age did change me. I had a hard time feeling safe and even more I had hard time valuing myself. So naturally when it came to relationships with men, I succumbed to things I didn’t want. I feared what would happen if I didn’t and honestly I didn’t love myself to know that I was worth more. I became a mother at 17, and soon after my son’s birth the weight started to creep on. I remember starting college 6 weeks after my son’s birth, determined to be better for HIM, not me, and sitting in the cafeteria looking at people my age so carefree void of major responsibilities. I felt so alone and isolated so I ate, ate all of those feelings down. The more I ate the more invisible I felt, the deeper I went into a fog of depression. The only thing that I had in my life that brought me joy was my son and I was determined that everything I did moving forward would be for the betterment of his life, not my own.

My weight, like so many others, would become my shield of protection. Although I have always tried to carry myself with pride and hold my head high, the weight was comforting. I felt as though I could hide behind it and somehow it would keep me invisible. But it didn’t stop hurt from happening in my life. There were times in my life over the years that I would be determined to lose the weight, and I did. But because I was not honest with myself, and because a lot of the time I was doing it for the wrong reason, I would end up gaining it all back. Over the years though I learned to love myself even with the extra weight. I realized that I did not want to be a victim anymore, I wanted to take back what my abuser did to me. It’s been a long road but I have come to a place where I truly am happy with myself. But that’s where things get murky for most.

I have been honored to be able to have a platform where I can address self confidence issues with other women. What I put out there is the truth about myself, I don’t fake my confidence but with that I also don’t fake my health for the sake of making others feel comfortable. The truth is, I have been ignoring my health for some time now. Being that i’m so used to taking care of others i’ve always been one to take everyone else to dr’s appts but not making them for myself. I have been dealing with hypothyroid for over 20 years now, and I do go to the dr for that, but there are other issues that i’ve allowed to be ignored and I can no longer do that. I made myself a promise that this year I would take my health more seriously, and part of that is recognizing that those bad habits from long ago have crept back in. This time for different reasons. I got married to my amazing husband and honestly got complacent..lol. Plus we are both foodies and he LOVES to spoil me with all of my favorites, so over time I saw my clothes fitting tighter and more importantly I found myself getting more winded and having a harder time with physical exertion and that is when I knew that it was time to do something. So that is exactly what I’m doing, and guess what, i’m sharing that journey with you. Not because I feel like everyone should join me, or because i’m saying there is something wrong with you, but because it might inspire others to put their health first. I want you to know that when I envision my “healthy” body, it includes my curves, my thighs and booty. I have never desired to be what most people would call “skinny'“ because I truly believe we are all not meant for that body type. But I desire to be stronger, to be able to get a clean bill of health from my dr and to enjoy activities that won’t leave me winded. And if that isn’t the definition of self love, I don’t know what is.

So I pray as you see my posts about how I eat, or my workouts you realize that this is coming from a place of wanting the best for myself! After all how can I tell you to live your best life if i’m allowing myself to be complacent at the comfort of others? We all have different visions for ourselves and who am I to tell you what healthy for you looks like? Therefore who are you to tell me that I am not standing by my body positivity because I chose to become healthier? Can we all take less time worrying about how others live their lives, and focus on what brings us joy? I mean I want to be around for a long, long time. I have people who are relying on me to be the best version of myself! And honestly for the first time in my life, I am treating my body the way it deserves and that is a great feeling!!!!

As always, I appreciate all the support I am given everyday! Love you all!!

~Lissa