Jasmine N. Tucker
Ladies, clench your pearls, grab a blanket and take a seat. This is a good one.
Every woman looks in the mirror every day and magnifies on one aspect about their physical attributions. Hair isn’t long enough. Ears are too big. Eyes too far apart. Nose is too wide. Lips are too big. Breast are too low. Body is too fat….there are always something we pinpoint.
We rely, unconsciously, on the realm that society places women. Our breast has to be perky, large, and close together. Our teeth need to be straight and crystal white. Our hair has to be thick and long, or curly, natural with edges. Our body has to be thin with a small waist and frame, but have big hips, butts, and thighs. And it goes on and on. We go through so much to achieve what society portrays, not for ourselves, but for others.
So they scream to us size matters. But everything matters. So because that’s what is screamed aloud, and we break our backs to achieve that. But my question to you...what matters to you? What do you desire for yourself?
Let me be transparent.
I was a thin child who suddenly picked up weight around eight-years-old when I was placed on steroids for my asthma. So, I grew up chunky. Very uncomfortable in my skin. I was bullied in elementary. Often looked at as a homegirl/sista’ but not a girl anyone was interested in.
I entered into my senior year size 18, roughly 245 pounds...happy with life but yet uncomfortable in my skin. Christmas break rolled around, and I told myself “ I refuse to go to prom and my first year of college fat. I refuse!!!” I was so adamant about it y’all. So I went on a diet (not a lifestyle change), but a diet - by April at prom, I was in a size 12. When I attended my freshman orientation at TCU in August, I weighed 175 pounds and was able to wear size 10 clothes. Like I was poppin’!!! Then - first semester hit, the numbers went up. Sophomore year hit - the numbers went up. Now that I am one year out of college, I am back to where I started in the beginning of that journey in December 2011. What have I learned? I let myself go. I was focus on a temporary goal and did not mentally prepare to make a lifestyle change. I cared about being accepted by society but loss my identity along the way, so now I am sad. I am trying diets every other month yet “stuck” in the same position I started with because my initial focus was not on Jasmine.
So I lost my way. I lost sight of stability, balance, and values pertaining to my health. Because I wanted to look like them. To only be accepted by them. To only be loved by them.
I found my light again half-way through college when I moved off campus junior year, and I remember speaking a word into my own life. “Health is important, but next time you commit your life to this...it has to be for yourself and it has to be a lifestyle change.” Yes...I’ve tried a billion quick fix diets since then, but I learned that I will never make this change until my mind is made up for myself.
Although initially it was for the wrong reason, I was determined, motivated, and had my mind made up to lose that weight. So now I need that same grit and tenacity for myself. Not because my mom and grandma pointed out my back roll. Not because I am tired of shopping in the plus size section. Not because it’s hard to bend down to fasten my heels. Not because everyone else has a coke-bottle frame. But because Jasmine wants it.
So I admonish you all to do whatever it is for you. Make that lifestyle change for yourself. If you do not want to lose weight, but you are happy with yourself --- that is awesome! Do what makes you happy! If you want to make a change in your health, then do it --- do it for yourself! Live, breathe and thrive with confidence in your own skin for yourself.
So when they say “size matters”, rebuttal and say “LIFE MATTERS!”
However you make your life joyful - it matters. Put sticky notes on your mirror, daily note reminders in your phone to remind and empower yourself to be great for YOU!