A topic that I've been wanting to blog about is confidence. Confidence is defined as "belief in oneself and one's powers or abilities; self-confidence; self-reliance; assurance." Whenever I read e-mails from you all about loving my confidence it always touches that little sensitive spot in my heart. I don't think about how I'm confident, I just know it took me awhile to get to the point where I loved me and didn't care what anyone had to say. Therefore, I think it's time for me to share my story with you all.
Growing up, I was always chubby and taller than everyone. I was always bigger than my friends. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio until I was 11 and then my family moved to Charlotte, NC. I never experienced a lot of name-calling when I was in Ohio, which was predominantly white. But I remember this summer camp I went to, which was all black kids and that's when I would get the periodic "fat girl" name or joke. When I moved to Charlotte, I was 11 embarking on my 12th birthday. It was the middle of sixth grade and I had to start all over. It was a complete culture shock for me being in a classroom with kids who looked like me, but I still felt like an outsider. I got picked on for "talking white" and my preppier style. I didn't understand why the girls were so mean to me. I made a few friends and even had a birthday party, where a ton of people came. Seventh and eighth grade were the hardest years for me. I got the "flat butt" joke from boys and girls and of course every fat joke in the book. One of my closest friends told me that the mean girls picked on me because I was smart, dressed nice, and had long hair. I thought that was the stupidest reason to dislike someone and be mean. Eighth grade was the same.
Finally it was time to go to high school. I had a boyfriend (the only real one I say to this date) for a month and he was so sweet to me. My parents were very strict and I wasn't ever allowed to do anything besides school, home, and maybe the mall on the weekend. By tenth grade, I was really obsessed with fashion and beauty. I knew from that moment I wanted to work for a fashion magazine because I loved to write. Developing my sense of style, was one of the key components that helped my self-esteem. Still having a strict dad, I wasn't allowed to wear certain things. I got in so much trouble for cutting up some jeans I had. My dad didn't like anything that made me look older than a 14 year old. I used to read Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Suede, and Essence and envy all of the beautiful clothes in those glossy pages. I remember senior prom, I wore a short beach dress that had a bamboo leaf print on it. After prom, a group of girls who didn't even go to prom were outside of the venue making fun of my dress. Ironically, short prom dresses were the thing the following year in 2007. I always did my own thing and considered myself to be somewhat of a trendsetter. The same things girls made fun of me for were the same things I saw them wear to school the next week.
My transition to high school to college is when everything fell into place in my life. I was free from my parents and all of the mean people I grew up with in Charlotte. I was able to wear what I wanted, eat what I wanted, hang out until as late as I wanted, do whatever I wanted because I was 18! I remember my freshman year at Winston-Salem State a lot of people asked me was I from DC. I never understood why until I started meeting girls who were from there. I just felt like I was doing my own thing and what worked for my taste and body . I knew I was a plus size girl and never in my life did I pretend I was skinny or tried to fit into skinny girl clothes. I dreaded when the dj would play "Watch Out For the Big Girls" because this was every low-lifes attempt to try to dance with me. I wasn't a joke and I made sure every one knew that. At the age of 18, I truly loved myself and the skin that I was in. I hated hearing people say "Oh, she's pretty for a big girl." I always used to say "I'm pretty for any girl." I started blogging my sophomore year in 2008 and created "Lifestyles of the Broke & Famous" as you all remember. This was an outlet to voice my love of fashion from my perspective. I found it very thereaputic and also a portfolio to showcase my writing skills. One thing was missing - I wasn't blogging about the main thing that was relevant to my life - plus-size fashion. Then "Diary of a Fatshionista" was created and it all made sense to me. Being a plus size woman, the easiest thing to blog about was the life I was living.
Now at the age of 24, I'm on a journey to lose weight, but never lose who I am. I don't want to be "skinny," but healthy and fit. I get so many questions asking what am I doing to lose weight. Well, for one I sought professional help from a bariatric clinic. They weighed me, did some blood work, got a B12 shot, and a HCG shot. The initial visit was lie $160, but it was worth every penny because I've lost 14.5 pounds since I've started at the end of May. I procrastinated doing this for over a year and I owed it to myself to be the person on the outside that I felt on the inside. My goal is to be 260 by November and from there continue to lose weight. I want to have a flat stomach and toned arms. Going through this program, I'm much more conscious of food. I eat mainly salads, fish, chicken, Greek yogurt, smoothies, and tons of water. Every now and then I'll treat myself to something. I try my hardest to work out, but I've seriously slacked. I lost 9.5 last month, which was phenomenal. I hope when I go to the doctor again on Monday, that I lost atleast 5 pounds to take me out of the 300s. My best advice for losing weight is to seek professional help if you feel like something isn't working for you, find a support system, change your diet, EXERCISE atleast three times a week, and make sure that your exercise is something fun. Losing weight is 90% mental and 10% physical work. I psych myself out so many times and many excuses not to work out. We're human! But I know that if I want to look like Tara Lynn or Denise Bidot, then I have to hit the gym.
There are days when sometimes, I'm like "OMG, I'm fat and disgusting," but that motivates me to take my butt to the gym and hit the treadmill for 45 minutes. Yeah, I have moments where I question failed relationships and blame it on him not wanting to be with a fat girl or say I'm single because no man wants a fat girl, but those are just weak moments. I know there is the perfect man God created just for me, but right now this is my time to work on myself. I've received some mean e-mails from a fake e-mail address saying "Why do you hang out with all skinny girls and you talk about 'Big girls you are beautiful!' and I'm the fat friend that no one likes." It amazes me how someone can sit behind their computer screen and type such hateful words, but we live in the day of modern technology and cyber bullies. Even now little comments like "Big Mia" and fat jokes sometimes get to me a little. I know that cruel words only come from individuals who have battles within themselves that they need to work on. At the end of the day, they don't know my life or my story. Society doesn't dictate or define who you are.
I'm confident. I know when I walk into a room people can smell and see it. Being fat, chubby, a big girl, overweight has never hindered me from doing anything on God's green earth that I want to do.
Don't be afraid to walk into Forever 21 and think nothing in there will fit you. Being a plus-size woman you have to be creative. A little stretch goes a long way, but in the same breath you still have to dress for your body. My fashion idols are of course the Kardashians, Rachel Zoe, Nicole Richie, Lala Vasquez, and a plethora of others. See what they wear and try to find things that will work for you. I love every aspect of being a girly-girl from make-up to nails to hair to shoes. Having a few extra fat on your body doesn't mean you have to bury yourself in layers from the old lady section at JC Penny. Try new things, be daring, be adventurous.
I never had anyone growing up telling me these things. I feel like if I could just impact one young girl who is experiencing the things that I dealt with, then I've done what I set out to do in this world of blogging. Don't let anyone make you feel inferior, ugly, worthless, or anything less than what you are. I'm always one e-mail away. I love of all of my fatshionistas and thank you so much for continuing to support Diary of a Fatshionista.