Yesterday I shared a post-workout selfie on Instagram Stories. I was wearing new Athleta leggings that I looove and with it, a cropped top also from Athleta (sold out). One that doesn't cover my belly, one that rides up on occasion. And I love it too. I felt fierce. I was so sick all week and sick that day as well, but I rallied and went to the gym knowing it would make me feel better. And it did. I propped up my phone on the side of the parking lot with my water bottle, used the self-timer, flexed and smiled. I didn't know what caption to add to it so I shared the number on the scale that morning: This is 191.2 pounds.
I shared it because it's important to see other bodies, know their weights, their bust size, their clothing size to help normalize what we see in the mirror every morning. Living in a bubble, we see the number on the scale or in our jeans and feel bad. And being 191.2 pounds isn't a bad thing, it's nothing to be ashamed about. To paraphrase Aaliyah, it ain't nothing but a number.
I received so many DMs in response to that image. And you know what the majority of them were? Congratulations for a weight loss. You've gotten so small! You look so thin! I knew you lost weight! You're an inspiration for me to get back on my diet! Getting slim, girlie! Wow, how much have you lost?
I don't blame those who sent such DMs. We've been raised to have our value associated with the number on the scale. We'll have our stomachs rumble in board meetings, feel faint on the subway, snap at loved ones because we're hungry, say no to happy hour with dear friends, go to bed starving and dream about food. We'll blow out our knees going beyond our capability to get a few hundred more calories burned at the gym. We adopt bad habits for the goal of having someone say we look thin. We congratulate people on weight loss more than we do over job promotions, we compliment people on looking thin even if the weight loss is due to health problems, we tell people we're proud of them for losing weight more than for helping others.
Well, I am proud. I am proud that a year and a half ago I took charge of my life. I quit the job that was stressing me out and began going to a gym. I began being more conscious of what I consume and why. I started sleeping more, drinking more water, and taking better care of my skin. Nowhere in there is a thing about my size or weight. To be honest, the thing I am most proud about is through this journey, being able to disconnect my self-worth from a number. And I'll continue sharing myself in my bra, in my swimsuits, in shorts, and in leggings and crop tops and share that number because numbers do not define us. We are beyond numbers. We are fucking fantastic.
While on this topic, my friend Sarah created a line of merchandise with the most amazing messages: Your body is not a problem to be solved. My body is not a problem to be solved. I already ordered myself a t-shirt and stickers. I want to put the stickers everywhere as a reminder and motivational boost. At her shop at Teepublic, click on the image you like and from there you can order a variety of products from t-shirts to coffee mugs.
Loved this piece from Elizabeth Fever. I think many can recall a time in life where they were criticized for what they wore and it wasn't about what they wore but how their body wore it. And how that experience affected their style go forward. (Medium)
It's Pride Month, and this weekend is the Capital Pride Celebration in DC with a festival and parade today and concert tomorrow. Every brand is out there selling their rainbow-colored wares, social media is full of happy people wearing rainbows and holding hands, but few realize that we celebrate Pride in the month of June because it's the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. (The Tempest)
“What if our most fundamental means of perceiving and classifying one another is illusory and can be swept away?” A really great read on the struggles of rejecting the gender binary. (The New York Times)
Actor Ian McKellen teamed up with British charity LGBT Foundation and created Pride in Ageing, a program to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people over 50. (Gay Star News)
Not the best news for those planning to catch up on past seasons this summer. According to several experts, binge-watching can affect your cardiovascular system, your vision, your socialization, and your sleep patterns. (The Washington Post)
A walk down memory lane… the history of Sears department store with some phenomenal photos to go with it. (Popular Everything)
Are menopause and Alzheimer's connected? (Elemental by Medium)
For Your Entertainment
I'd like to see you not have this song in your head all week or catch yourself dancing to it. Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels by Todrick Hall. You may recognize him from American Idol (he was on Season 9), his YouTube videos that have gone viral, his work on RuPaul's Drag Race, or his performances on Broadway. Know this song has been added to my workout playlist!