Yesterday I was called a Big Woman. I woke in the dark of the night with a reminder that I am here to care for this body that contains my soul. It's not a new thought, just a rehash of why.
For years friends would comment, "Your clothes are too loose. Show off your assets.” I would comply for a while, then go back to my old ways. I never looked frumpy, but I rarely let my shape be loved. I would wear shapes that enhanced the size I was feeling instead of align with it.
Dysmorphic thinking is tough.
More often than not, I would feel too big and very fat. In reality I was just fine.
But my body reminded me last night, during the 2am silence, that it requires attention. That for years it wasn't just my twisted thinking about my body but the reality that it hurt and it didn't want tight-fitting clothes on.
The jewelry that I love that can't be worn because the weight makes my wrists and head ache.
The shirts that would squeeze my sides and ache down my arms.
The bras that wrapped like a barricade around my torso and gave me migraines.
The low-rise pants that cut into the ache in my belly.
Every time I dressed it was a reminder: you don't fit in.
As a 5'10" woman who is both lanky and curvy, clothes just don't FIT. The message I got was that I'm too BIG.
Have you ever had that message?
Not only was it running subconsciously, but I was trying to make myself smaller by not fulfilling the dreams that lay dormant in my mind. I also was told by others that I was Big. That if I lost a little weight I would look great. The amount of times I was called a Big Woman made me want to shrink. I didn't have it in me to fight back their words. It was a battle on the inside.
So what did I do? I shrunk. I lost 30 lbs. At first it was a healthy shrink. Then 2 years into it, it wasn’t so healthy.
I adopted kale across the board, almost every meal. I was an ambassador for the KALE PR campaign. I drank 3 green juices a day. I allowed one rice cake a day. I rationed out every meal, every portion size of protein. I restricted my carbs. All my extra time and energy went into managing my food. Dating took second wheel, and I reduced my entire social schedule.
I said to myself and friends that I was working on some health issues. I truly believed I was working on a hormone problem and doing it naturally. But in reality, I was shrinking in every area of my life. I was lying to myself and everyone else.
I was determined not to be BIG. Funny how a reflection can echo out from your heart. My life got small in many ways, primarily socially and in business. I was living in NYC trying to show up big in a broken frame.
I went from a size 10-12 to a 4-6.
I went from a Large to a small sometimes Extra Small.
I got more attention.
I got whistles and whoppers of comments.
I got a new wardrobe.
I got high on thin.
I got rid of my loose clothes.
I got tight clothes.
I got compliments all the time.
I got fed into the system that Skinny Is Better.
I wore thin well. But inside I was broken. I was trying to fix my heart with kale salad and dying at the same time.
I was obsessed. And everyone was feeding my obsession by telling me, "You look great."
Then, as consciousness arrived I realized, “This is not sustainable. This is exhausting. This is not fun.” I was sick and not just in the head. My body failed.
I lost muscle.
I lost friends.
I lost my job.
I lost my security.
I lost my heart.
I lost my health.
I never fixed the hormone problem. The weight loss never made my health challenges better.
It's hard to see the truth about your actions at times.
Right now, I sit happily between an 8 and a 10. Which is considered BIG to the world of fashion, but I don’t care anymore. I choose to wear what I want, when I want, to suit my body’s needs. And I teach other women how to dress to honor the needs of their bodies, too.
I fully support comfort over trying to be something you're not. And yet my work helps women grow into what they have always dreamed of being. How they have always dreamed of feeling. How they have always dreamed of looking. We break down boundaries together to build up new visions that have been lying dormant for years.
I never realized making other women's dreams come true would make mine come true. Over the past 3 years I’ve stepped on to the entrepreneurial path. I left all securities behind to figure out how to thrive and fulfill my dormant dreams.
It's not been an easy journey, but the reward is truth with my soul. My Boho Warrior has been activated, and she is not lying down.