“You won’t lose your butt. I promise.”
It was the first time that my personal trainer and I were working out together. Before we started our sessions, which I love, I had to tell her what I wanted. I immediately told her what most black women would: everything can go, but not my butt.
That’s Serena Williams. She always looks so amazing!!
I was, like most black women, worried about losing my shape. I didn’t want to look like a woman who was on steroids. I just…don’t want to look like a man.
God bless this woman, but she scares me.
The process of losing weight always brings up some concern. When I tell some men I’m working on losing weight, they panic. Some have said I look just fine. Others have said that if I lost anything crucial, they would feed me biscuits and gravy until I got right back to where I started.
Back in the day, I lost a bit of weight, and dropped a few sizes. I was a very healthy size six. But I was a very lonely size six. The men that did like me disappeared, seemingly into thin air. Back at a size ten or twelve, men were (politely) fighting over me.
I always thought that if I was a bit skinnier, if my cheekbones were slightly more pronounced, or if I was more brilliant, my life would be perfect. But I learned that even when I look like a better, healthier version of myself, bad things could happen. Life didn’t change for me: I was still a grad student, still a teacher, still going on bad dates, still hanging out with my friends.
I learned an important lesson: being physically fit, or looking perfect, does not ensure a perfect, happy life. But working out is still important.
77 year old body builder Ernestine Shepard!!
As a Christian, I have to be a good steward of the body God has given me. That means that I have to eat good things. And I have to exercise. I think that God can use me no matter what, but it’s a bit easier for Him to use me when I’m healthy. This also means I should be content with where I currently am.
I could, for example, get into a fit of self loathing about not being able to run as far and as long as I used to. I could complain about how I’m bigger than I used to be. But I don’t think that would make me a good steward either.
I am content with where I am, but I also acknowledge that I could be healthier, and I’m working towards that. When I am a size 12, I enjoy that. Seriously! I wear my body con dresses and my high heels, and I look great.
that’s a ‘plus sized’ model
And when I am a size 6 or 8, I enjoy that too!
Health is not only about my body–it’s also about my mind. It’s about how I see myself when I look in the mirror.
When I know that I’m beautiful, just the way I am, then I work out to maintain my beauty. But when I feel down, then I’d rather sit on the couch and watch Law and Order and eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or not eat at all. Having joy about who I am and where I am in my life is key to making positive changes.
While working on your health, recognize and embrace your beauty. You’ll be happier–I know from experience.