“I’m not beautiful like you. I’m beautiful like me…”

by developer1_webspresso
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Hey PRIDE,

I didn’t realize that the ‘fat jokes’ I post on my Covid Chronicles stories would hit a nerve with a friend one day, enough for her to reach out to me and offer to help me shake off this weight once and for all.

I’d been hiding behind the humour of it all and not doing much to take control of my ever increasing curves.
In a way, I think a huge part of me had come to the conclusion that if I couldn’t change it, then at least I would laugh through it.

But when faced with my new juicing plan and the commitment it needed from me, I took to it like a fish in water. Determined to prove to myself and my new audience of a friend who’d stepped up to help, that I could do this.

A few weeks later, I was radiating positivity and glow and had shed a few kilos for my hard efforts.

But then Festive season came, lockdown life continued and I found myself right back at square one.

 

          And then it hit me, that I had been dieting my entire adult life, searching for this svelte image of myself buried deep in my voluptuous folds that so desperately needed to be revealed one day, like a great coming out!

Believe me, I have read all the self-help books, as well as noted the medical advice that said my weight was most likely linked to psychological issues (or traumas) that I wasn’t addressing and now were piling up as access weight that I continued to carry over – one year into another.

Maybe it’s this pandemic life, but I am finding that I am more committed during these unusual times, to think things through a little better and make the conscious effort to break habits that are no longer working for me and serve no purpose in my life.

So in the spirit of last month’s self-love journey, I found that as I was exploring how to be gentler with myself and really taking the time to jot down all my positive attributes – therein came the moment of Divine clarity… 

 

Before anything could change in me, outside of me and definitely around my image of self, I had to first accept every part of me as is, lock stock and barrel.

Why couldn’t I love my curves and my mid-40’s belly along with the softness of my arms? And what was the repeat cycle of failure where weight loss was concerned that I always seemed to bump heads with..? What would it take in me to break through this mental barrier of thick, grey fog once and for all and walk the journey to good health?

Whose version of beauty and body image was I tuning into and what did my own version of self really look like to me..?

I was asked to host a series of online décor features this month and with this deadline looming up ahead, I decided once again to make losing weight a challenge and goal that I needed to reach before the said shoot date.

Speaking to the producer and client representative, trying to figure out what look they wanted from me, I referred us back to the shoots we had done last year and was the first to criticize my own appearance. My boobs didn’t looked right I said, they were sagging too much. My tummy was not flattering in the dresses I was wearing, my left eye seemed to have a mind of its own – and on and on I went bringing focus and attention to all my cosmetic flaws, with absolutely no response from my team.

A follow up meeting with the producer, lead to her showing me all the various presenters they had pulled in for these new campaigns and what I was met with were ordinary people where a few not only looked like me, but on the screen were men and women who were big, short, tall, round, skinny, dark, light – just people reflecting a wide very healthy demographic.

You see it wasn’t my potential dream size 12 they were looking for and how I could snatch myself in with underwear that had great support. They were looking for me, as I am. Not the future me who is skinnier, taller and more put together. Just me.

I was stunned at how I had thought that I wasn’t good enough as I was and that the world would never accept me as I was and had made it my life’s mission to do all I can to change myself so that I could ‘fit in’. Into that jean, that t-shirt and that image of magazine beauty that many of us are always striving for.

 

 

But during the month of self-love, I found a beautiful photo of this chubby little princess, lying in a tub looking all sorts of content in herself and surrounded by delicious fruit.

I looked long and hard at that image and searched for the suitable caption to match, and what I found was a quote that said…

“I’m not beautiful like you. I’m beautiful like me”

And the little girl inside of me smiled because this little girl in the photo and the attached quote had finally hit home to the adult me.   

 

 

I am my own kind of beautiful and every God created part of me is truly gorgeous and unique. I refuse to spend the rest of my adult life stressing about how I don’t fit into the standard societal image of beauty, and instead will spend the rest of my days celebrating how God made me and the positive effect I can have on other women by simply being comfortable with me, as I am.

Sure if there are areas to fix and improve on, I remain forever open to that. But it’s the obsession with a certain kind of beautify and physical perfection that I am detaching from. Because from here on, when I look into the mirror I am ONLY going to see me, as I am – perfectly imperfect and content in my own skin.

You dear reader, ARE beautiful. Just as you are.

With Love & PRIDE,

Nthabi Taukobong

      

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