Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Love yourself! Go on, I dare you...

One of the possible side effects of losing 50 odd pounds has been unmerited über confidence - reverse body dysmorphism of sorts...at least for me.  

Last Saturday I was walking around like a rockstar...wearing size 18 blue jeans and a 3X leopard print sweater.  I even pulled out my old motorcycle jacket to go with, in my head I'm all Sophie Dahl meets Beth Ditto in Jean-Paul Gauthier (here I go with the comparisons again), but really, I'm Suzie Spitfyre, a fat girl in regular clothes.  I did don a pair of fabulous Tom Ford cream-coloured cat-eye sunglasses that I purchased last year in New Orleans though, so not ALL "regular."

I used to live under the cover of darkness...my entire wardrobe was black.  And I honestly thought that was my style, very New York, very chic, very MAC, but I think it was just a way to cover up what I didn't like about my body.  It's true what they say about black being slimming, but come on...how svelte can you look at 292 pounds?  On Saturday, I wasn't wearng a stitch of black...in fact, the only black that I had on was my eyeliner and mascara.  It made me wonder, how many people are out there running around, as I had been, hiding themselves under clothes that don't really do anything for them...clothes that don't express their style or personality?  Clothes that expound shame, self-loathing, and fear.

It is true that plus-size clothing leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to fit, colours, patterns, availability, cut, and cost, but they should never make you feel hopeless, unworthy, and depressed.  In the past, when I would get a new piece or an outfit even, I don't think I ever felt sexy or good about it, I was just thrilled that it bloody well fit.  And, that's a terrible way to live.  They are onl clothes after all!  They shouldn't dictate you mood or demeanor.  But, I couldn't have been the only one who yelled at their husband for throwing that extra, extra, extra large chemise that it took me years to find and went perfectly with all of my extra, extra, extra large dresses in the dryer.  I put so much stock into that one piece of clothing, that when it was shrunk beyond all recognition my life, for a few minutes, was over.  How horrible is that?

The other day I stumbled upon a page on social media called Big Hips and Red Lips - "A celebration of life, love, laughter, lust, and learning to love your body."  This page helped me see things slightly differently, it embraced beauty at all sizes, and made me think maybe I should have started this love affair with myself much, much sooner.  Don't get me wrong, I don't think I hated myself all the time....but I certainly embraced a lot of negative self-talk.  "If only I could lose some weight, then I'd be happy.  If only my thighs were smaller, if only my boobs were perkier, if only my gut didn't jiggle so much,"  I said a lot of mean things to myself, and I started to believe them.  And, don't be fooled, this isn't just a fat chick thing...this is universal.  I know plenty of girls and guys of all shapes and sizes who want to change this and that...and my point is...LOVE YOURSELF THE WAY YOU ARE!  Don't be afraid to accept yourself and rock out what you've got.

This is such an important message, because I've been there, and I know how it feels.  I have experienced thin, fat, toned, lumpy, fit, flabby, and everything in between.  If I had loved myself the way I was, whatever I was and taken care of the important things like my health, I wouldn't be posting this...but I didn't, so here I am pleading with my audience to accept themselves.  It's much easier to change the things you don't like if you know yourself and love yourself no matter what.  I now have the extreme pleasure of changing my life.  A change spurred on by the Times Colonist Health Challenge, but also a change spurred on by the triumph of the human spirit, and the knowledge that healthy and hopeful is much better, mentally and physically, than unhealthy and hopeless.

I am still going through this process of practicing radical self-love and body acceptance.  There are still times when I feel amazing, sexy, and powerful, and then I see a picture that someone has taken of me and posted online, and I think, wow, do I ever have a long way to go.  But, that doesn't get me down any more...that simply gets me even more motivated do everything I can to reach my health and fitness goals.

In the words of the saucy redhead behind the front desk of the Crystal Pool & Fitness Centre, "People see you how you see yourself."

So I conclude:  Confidence is always sexy...no matter what size you are.


  1. Pete The Punk4/23/2013

    Rock on, Suzie ;o)) x

    1. Oh, I'm trying...believe you me!

  2. I found my way to your blog via the Times Colonist -- I get wistful occasionally for my home-town and check to see what's new... What a remarkable post. It seems that we receive such mixed messages about beauty and acceptance. On the one hand, if you read a magazine like Vogue (apart from their self-congratulatory size issue), you'd think that clothing sizes stopped at size 4 (which I gather is the old size 8 because apparently there's now something called "vanity sizing"). What a world. Yet there you are, looking wonderful! This is what beautiful looks like!

    1. Theresa!

      Where in the world are you located now? I'm a Montrictorian...from Montreal, moved to Victoria, moved back to Montreal, now here in Vic again. I check the Gazette all the time...so we're in the same boat re: hometowns. :-)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I find it rather difficult to love my body, as an avid reader of fashion mags...but I get the concept. Haha...but, I really think there's a difference between style and fashion...and though I (and pretty much everyone else in the world) don't fit the images I see in Vogue, I'm okay with that.

      Now if only I could afford those clothes that they don't make in my size. ;-)


  3. I love your blog, you seem like such a genuine and nice person :) I hope to someday love myself and have the self confidence you do! You remind me not to beat myself up about numbers and shape--I was never overweight in my life but I used to feel I was when I was 147lbs @ 5'6" and told myself all the time that if I "just 120lbs, 130lbs I would look perfect"...well I lost a lot of weight due to sever illness when I was pregnant and have not been able to gain weight in over 3 years, sitting at 110 lbs I still beat myself up and want to change every little thing I hate--its a terrible thing to do, and your 100% correct with the ideas of loving yourself :) Your blog helps me keep positive and see just how silly and harmful it is to hate yourself, thank you so much!

    1. M,

      Thank you so much for saying what you said! You've got me all blushy and whatnot.

      I really try to practice what I preach, it's tough at times...isn't it? In yoga it's called santosha...contentment as an active practice rather than a reaction to events. And, I need lots of practice...but I'm getting there, and I hope you will too :-)


  4. Suzie! I found your blog by googling my current life question: Go love yourself - I dare you! - and there you were.

    Cheers to you girlfriend - I've been fighting my way out of an oppressive situation, and my heart tells me that the best way out is to love my Self - totally, on all dimensions, mind, body, and spirit.

    I have removed myself from the normal input from society (news, TV networks, movie trailers, and magazines) but now I am taking a step towards totally embracing my Self.

    You know how a good mama loves her baby? How a loving pet owner loves their pet? That is how we must love our Selves. We deserve nothing less.

    Continue fighting this good fight! BTW, I am at http://www.tielhealy.com/ I have to update my website with blog changes. My new blog: http://project-noworries.blogspot.com/ is part of the process that led me to you.

    You are brave and a great example. I salute you!

    Love & Light!

    1. How is it that I just saw this now?

      Radical self love is something that I have to remind myself to do these days. My body has changed a great deal over the last few months, and I now feel like I'm less acquainted with it. Must keep loving it though :-)

      Thanks for posting your blog, I'm going to go and check it out.

      Love on, Tiel :-)