I've been feeling like a double agent for a week now. I was completely loyal to my Planet Fitness membership but now I find myself feeling like I'm cheating. I walked past the location, although taking me out of my way, just to see the locals. At the moment, I refuse to part with the Barney reminiscent colors of that membership and will keep Blink Fitness and Planet Fitness. If there was a hashtag for this, I'm sure it would go under #firstworldproblems or #gymproblems.
Nevertheless, I managed to pack everything but my sneakers Friday morning and found myself making up curse words for the commute back home at 6am, practicing for the unofficial audition as an extra on Disney on Ice. Obviously people in my neighborhood could give two bits of a shit about shoveling. After almost making my 9 year old a cold case on Law & Order, I made it to the gym somewhere around 9am. I followed my very mundane routine: Assessed the gym, looked at my notebook to see the exercises that I planned out for the day, took a selfie and started my workout.
I couldn't help but notice a few guys staring at me. Coincidentally, I just finished writing a blog not even the night prior about The Fat & Skinny of Gym Anxiety and here goes these gentlemen transitioning from subtle stares to blatant gawking. Perhaps they were looking at my ass or it was my imagination again. Nope. One of the members of Boyz II Hobos felt like it was imperative to interrupt my time on the battle ropes to pick my brain:
Similac, Jr.: You have a lot of energy.
Harpo, Who Dis?
Okay, rant time.
WHY?! Is this the way we pick up women in the gym in 2017? Do you shit on their existence, try to give suggestions to build their self esteem back up and then ask them out on a date? If this is the case, please send me back to 1980 - 1990 where I was sung sweet nothings from a boy band about being wined and dined. As much as I would love to make this an entire fuck him and the Similac/Enfamil pack post, it's truly not constructive. I am a firm believer that there's a conversation or possibly to lesson in almost everything. In turn, I will channel parts of my petty and stimulate a discussion through this post: Why are people so bothered by your fat or skinny rolls more than you?
I'm Not Uncomfortable. Please Don't Create a Support Group for Me.
Thankfully, he wasn't one of the overly preachy guys who wanted to 'educate' me about the dangers of being plus size but his assumption of my 'weight loss' journey annoyed the hell out of me.
Regardless of your weight, size or stature, ask yourself these questions:
When you answer these questions, please heavily focus on questions 2 and 3. Reflect on those answers. Are you one of the people who care more about what others think or are you like me who could really give two bits of a shit?
For those folks who don't understand why I don't really give a damn about what others think, let me hit you with the short rundown:
6. ::head tilt::
Aren't You Tired or Uncomfortable? Why Are You Confident About Being Fat?
You would think the mindless hell was a one time incident. Unfortunately with my very short lived exposure on BuzzFeed, it's made the trolling cases go from once in a blue to weekly. Without the satirical humor or an attempt at being snarky, I seriously laugh at a lot of these attempts to throw jabs at my fat folds.
I woke up fairly late yesterday morning and turns out someone took two snippets from my New Years' Hiking video on Instagram and screen shot a portion where my ass crack and stomach made an appearance. Thanks to one of my lovely Instagram followers, I was notified about this and he reported in the post. Unfortunately I am only aware of one of the two people who did it but I am conveniently blocked from the account on Instagram and Facebook. I wasn't able to see the original post; I wanted to send them my form of a thank you by professing my love for their hate. Since this person was dry stalking my page, I made an ode to them on the 24 hour Instagram Snapchat thing (there's no name for it that I know of as of yet) thanking them, along with countless others who make failed attempts to fat shame on a daily basis.
Frankly, my fat folds do not hold me back from being a dream chaser or a goal getter. My mind is the strongest muscle that I exercise in and outside of the gym. It's downright depressing that there's people who take joy in destroying others.
For those who question if my fat makes me uncomfortable, my simple answer is NO. When I was 265 lbs., the weight physically hindered me because parts of my body wouldn't work at its highest capability. Please take into consideration that my dietary habits were shit and I had no interest or desire in going to anyone's gym or race track. My mind made me exceptionally 'comfortable' with my weight at every stage because it was much more than just physically moving. I pushed myself beyond my wildest imagination. For a short portion, the weight loss on the scale was a temporary fix. Honestly, the running adventures, jumping out of airplanes with good engines and taking on new adventures is what fueled my confidence and ultimate happiness. Being healthy and given a second chance at life is the greatest reward that I was given.
Here's the real deal: You cannot purchase confidence and true happiness in a store. There's no outfit or pound of makeup that you can apply to mask your insecurities. No burger that will numb your pain if you're hurting. No number on the scale will fill that void. Confidence and content comes from within and it requires regular maintenance. If you do not think you can do this on your own, please don't frown on the idea of seeking professional guidance. Words hurt and heal. Find the right words to guide you into a new mantra.
I would be lying my ass off to tell you that I do not have bad days. There's days that I go through body envy when I see really stereotypical fit people because I love the way that they look. More than anything, I am fixated on some of the things that they're able to physically do. On the other hand, I know that if I truly desired that and wanted it for me, it could happen and much more. In that instant, I remind myself that not even three years ago, I made it to that point and I wasn't enthused by it in the least. The physical form doesn't tell you about someone else's journey. You did not live out their life or shadow their journey to safely say that you truly want this person's life. What is meant for you is truly there for YOU and nobody can stop you from attaining it. If you desire to look or be a certain way, use that person or thing as a muse like a vision board and let it serve as one of your motivations. From here, ask yourself what else would you like to do to personalize it. Mocking someone else's life isn't fun if you are just trying to be their clone. Be inspired by someone else until you are able to inspire yourself.
My personal goals shift by the day and weather. Once I stopped looking at the mirror and my scale as the enemy, there was nothing that a salty ass troll could tell me that would shift my soul into a dark place. Sure, a few messages sting once in a blue but truly hurt me, HA! Negative.
Yes, you heard it several times: Hurt people hurt people. It's so cliche but it holds a lot of truth. A person who is okay with who they are don't have time to invest energy into making a mockery out of your existence. People will hate something about you simply because they aren't sure on how to attain that level of peace that they feel as an outsider, that they think you may have. Some folks only know how to step on others to make themselves shine for fifteen minutes. Fuck em!
Some of your haters will come in the form of friends and family members. Hell, a few don't even know that they're doing it because they lack tact to tell you that they're concerned. Most times, people are uneducated or feel privy to inserting their opinions about your life when they didn't receive an invitation. At these moments, try practicing how to deconstruct comments. Actively seek the constructive criticism that may be provided in the conversation so you can learn their intentions, things that may hold some form of validation and then recycle the garbage that's not necessary for your well being. If these people cannot respect your wishes, remove them. It may be temporary or permanent. Anyone who truly care about you would not try to make a mockery out of you.
My confidence wasn't built over night. Please understand that this body held multiple babies who didn't make the full journey. This body managed to give life to my almost ten year old son. This body has survived multiple operations after near death experiences on multiple occasions through the skinny to fat years. This body nurses temporary pain that feels exhilarating 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. This body is strong as hell. This body is resilient and has ran multiple marathons, ultra marathons and obstacle course races. Hell, this body is Harriet Tubman 2.0 and doesn't negotiate with terrorists. But this mind is my vessel. This mind is the captain of this ship. This body will go down with the ship if the mind isn't able to navigate the storms as well as it does on the smooth sailing days. This body is supposed to be tested as much as this mind. Again, I thank my haters because they're my dedicated supporters. I absolutely love my readers because you keep me going on days where I question the journey. If this journey taught me anything, I learned that you never know who you will inspire simply by living in your own truth.
Give me sufficient reasons why I shouldn't be confident and I'll come equipped to give you answers on why your thought process doesn't serve me. As always, I urge you to find your happy.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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