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I Had To Stop Shaming My Body ….

Summer is in full immense and the weather feels hotter than ever! You know what that means right? Time to put away the long sleeves and bring out the tanks and shorts. This is all fine and dandy for some, but for the rest of us who may have body insecurities, its not so wonderful. I know the select few people who know me will be thinking, “What body insecurities could you possibly have?” Well, I’m going to tell you, BUT before I do, you must promise me that you won’t be judgmental.

You promise??

 

pinky swear…

 

Okay then. I’m insecure about my muscular arms…
I know. Some of you reading this probably want to hit me in the face, but please, try to at least understand my point of view. I’m a tall woman (6’2 to be exact) who has always had a hard time feeling womanly. Ever since I was young, I was extremely girly and adored indulging in activities that society deemed as “feminine” (i.e. barbie dolls, makeup, that stupid easy baked oven that NEVER baked the cookies all the way, etc.) . As I continued to grow taller, I became more insecure with who I was and the way I looked because we are programed at a young age to perceive that a tall stature is more of a masculine feature. And all I ever wanted was to feel “dainty” and “cute”, which are typical attributes of femininity.
It didn’t help either that, as I progressed in my basketball career in high school and college, my body had the ability to develop muscle mass rather QUICKLY. My arms looked so built that even an ex- marine officer was astonished when he saw them. It may have been fascinating for some, but not to me. I felt even more masculine than I did before.

Now,

I look back and see how foolish I was to think like that. In fact, a lot of people never saw my arms as gross, but they truly admired them. Additionally, I began to feel a lot better about it when I saw beautiful women like Michelle Obama, Angela Bassett, Misty Copeland and Simone Biles, gracefully and confidently, show off their muscular physiques. The lesson I want you to get from this story is: STOP ALLOWING YOURSELF TO SHAME YOUR BODY! Forget what society tells you on how your body should be and find contentment in your physical feautures. No matter if you are a size 2 or 2x, you are beautiful and deserve to see all the glory and power there is in being you! So, let us not forget that body shaming comes in all different sizes and we (yes I’m talking to you) need to rally together, support one another and change the common perception of what an “acceptable”  female body looks like. As a woman, you have all the credentials to establish your own definition of femininity. Don’t let this chauvinistic world tell you otherwise…

FOUR WAYS TO RELIEVE SELF DOUBT

Insecurities and feelings of inferiority are the monsters that rove in the minds of just about any human being. Due to the competitive nature of our culture, we are constantly comparing our mental and physical growth to others. And if you are like me, you feel like you NEVER live up to everyone’s expectations and standards. It’s as if the whole world are dominant, ferocious lions and you are just a mere abandoned kitten. For the majority of my childhood, my social anxiety was so bad that I wouldn’t look nor speak to people I truly didn’t know because I never felt worthy enough to be in anyone’s presence. My shyness and insecurities only intensified throughout middle and high school, in which I had a multitude of panic attacks because I felt like a complete failure and that I was not competent enough to do any task that was given to me.
Now, let’s fast forward to the present….
I’m a senior in college and ,yes, self doubt is still a problem that I must face everyday. Yet, I have taken enormous steps to eradicating my self doubt, which has aided me to live a more enjoyable and fulfilling life. I can honestly say that I am not the same self-deprecating person I use to be. When I make mistakes, I can get past them without putting myself down. And, everyday, I’m learning to love myself and the intricate qualities that make up my being. But what aided me to get to this better place, you might ask?
Here are four lessons I learned to get rid of self doubt:
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1) IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN THE MOMENT, STAY IN THE MOMENT
I know, it makes no cotton-picking sense (I’m sounding like my grandma now >.< ) to allow yourself to stay at your lowest emotional and mental state. Yet, this technique is quite similar to the old phrase, “When you’re down, you have no where else to go but up.” Allow yourself to feel all the pain and hurt that your anxiety and self-doubt may lead you to feel. Then, after you have had your “moment”, move on from it as quickly as you can and try to find an alternative activity to focus your attention and emotions on. It’s as if you are, in a way, emotional exhausting yourself from thinking negatively. It may still sound a little crazy, but trust me, it helps!! Recently, I had intense feelings of being a disappointment, which is a huge component that triggers my anxiety. That entire night, I couldn’t help but cry and reiterate to myself that I wasn’t good enough. Yet, the next day, something strange happened. I thought I would be in the same melancholic mood I was in the previous night. But yet, I was too emotionally and mentally tired to dwell on the negative thoughts. In fact, I really desired to uplift my physical and emotional state.
* Disclaimer*
This advice is NOT endorsing the notion that it is healthy to feed your negative voices. Instead, I am saying that it is best to face your emotions to the best of your abilities. Masking emotions will NEVER help. Additionally, talking to a respected colleague or loved one is another way get through these “moments” when your self doubt is at its worst.
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2) STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Just stop doing it!
I know its hard since we are social creatures that all desire to be admired and well- liked, but its imperative that you see the beauty and power in being YOU. So do not try to measure up to anyone’s standards, expect for Jehovah’s and your own. You are phenomenal and do not need anyone to tell you how to exude your greatness.
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3) PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION
 Self compassion is having the ability to forgive yourself when you err and make mistakes. I never really paid attention to my lack of self compassion until I had to take a clinical psychology course, in which the professor said, “When other people (especially on minor circumstances ) mess up, we tend to forgive them and act like it wasn’t that big of a deal . Yet, when we make the same error, its as if the sky is falling and we turn it into a huge dilemma”. It’s so true. We are more harsh on ourselves for the same miniscule mistakes that almost everyone, and their mama, makes. Learn to lessen the perception of severity in regards to your mishaps and truly comprehend that EVERYBODY makes errors from time to time.
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4) PRAY FOR HELP
The biggest helper you have on your side in the battle against self doubt is Jehovah God. He has the ability to provide comfort when anxieties overtake us (Ps. 94:19). Earnestly go to him in prayer. No matter the issue, he desires to hear your concerns because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Just like a mother who is close to their child’s bed in times of sickness, Jehovah is close to you when you are mentally and physically ill. Talk to him as much as you can and, undoubtedly, he will provide the best way to alleviate your negative feelings.
Dealing with self doubt and anxiety is a continual course that is embedded with an abundance of peaks and valleys. Some days, you will be elated with your progression and feel on top of the world. Yet, on others, you will feel that your efforts to obtain a healthier mental lifestyle are futile. At either time, DON’T NOT GIVE UP! In the future, you will thank yourself for taking the time to improve your self perception. Great experiences and opportunities instantly open up when you finally become unleashed from the chains of self doubt. So, go ahead and break free!

Can Tall Girls Wear Heels?

All my life I have felt insecure because of my height. When I looked in the mirror, I always perceived that my height made me look man-ish or EXTREMELY unattractive. It took me years to think, or even look at, a pair of heels. It was when I moved to the big city that I told myself, “Hey, I can wear whatever I want to wear!”And so, I started to wear heels at school. Then, the indignant comments began.

“OMG why are you wearing those? You are already tall enough!”

“Wow you are such a giant!”.

“Girl you need to take those off, you already make me feel short!”

I began to feel even more self conscious, to the point where I truly hated myself! I remember one time I lied on my bed and started to cry,immensely. I just kept replaying in my mind the harsh looks and crude comments I received from others that day. Finally, my mother saw that I was distressed and asked what was wrong. I told her about the rude remarks I was getting from my peers due to wearing heels. At that moment, my mother gave me precious advice that I have always remembered, even til this today!

1) DO WHAT YOU WANT: Why should you stop doing what you like because someone dislikes it? Skrew that! If you are not hurting yourself or others, then it’s perfectly fine. If you are tall and love your heels, then I say girl, “Werk it”!

2) THEY ONLY SAY THINGS BECAUSE THEY ARE INSECURE/JEALOUS: Think about it. Why would someone shorter than you care that you are wearing heels unless they are insecure about their height. Some people like to retaliate on others by making them feel less about themselves because,internally,they feel inferior. NEVER let someone make you feel bad about yourself because you are BEAUTIFUL:)

3) DON’T BE RUDE. JUST CALMLY SAY YOUR PLEA. If someone ask you, “Why do you wear heels?” Don’t become belligerent. I know, it’s very annoying when people always ask that question, but there is no reason to get upset or mad. Just calmly reply to it.

4) ALWAYS BE CONFIDENT. Don’t ever doubt yourself. No matter if you are 5’6 or 6’2, your height is beautiful. Heels are just a fashionable way for us to show off our gorgeous long legs 🙂 Always remember three things, “Pose.Strut.Werk!”

Have any questions? Something I didn’t cover? Comment 🙂