I’ve been fat as long as I can remember. People try to serve it to me candy coated and call it pleasingly plump, thick, plus sized, bbw and a bunch of other larger than life names that all mean the same thing…… FAT. My doctor likes to call it overweight, too heavy or (my favorite) morbidly obese. I get it. I’m fat. I don’t know how I got here but I do know that I am tired of living in a world where I am called gross, disgusting, ugly and unhealthy. The truth is, sometimes I feel those things so I don’t really need to be reminded of it. The world is full of all different types of people and everyone should be respected for just being human.
I’m sitting on a bench in the park writing this with tears in my eyes. The weather is nice and I decided not to get on the treadmill today and to go walking in the park. After walking about 1.5 miles I was exhausted but decided to push myself and jog the rest of the way to my car. I wasn’t pushing myself to show off… I was pushing myself because the home stretch was uphill and if I had walked I probably would have tumbled in a ditch from exhaustion. I was jogging slowly and giggling, thinking of how my grandma used to call me Turtle, when I approached the basketball court and heard laughter. Laughter loud enough for me to hear over the sound of LL rapping about his Cool J cookies so I stopped and looked around to see what the men on the court were laughing at. Well apparently they were laughing at me and my attempt at fitness. I’m not the one who likes the spotlight so I felt my face begin to flush and tears form in my eyes. I wish I could have turned into a tree but I said fuck it and kept going, only now I started walking. This guy who had passed me at least 4 times stopped and took my hand and began to jog with me. That act of kindness made the tears come but I held that stranger’s hand (with my other hand on my pocket knife of course) and kept going until I got to the table by my car, where I am writing this.
My journey to healthy living is just beginning and it won’t stop because of a few mean people. However, I hope people understand how their actions shape and mold people’s perception of themselves. Fat shaming is not new, which is why many overweight people workout at home. It’s hurtful being the chick that is laughed at for trying to do better. Luckily, my self esteem isn’t lacking because I see how one incident can make people give up on what already seems impossible. If you don’t know the struggle of being “morbidly obese” or have never struggled with your weight, you really have no clue the courage it takes to get out there and begin the journey. At first I said that I didn’t care because I would never see these faceless men, whose laughter taunted me, again but then I realized that I will likely see them very soon. I will be right here at this park tomorrow walking my fat ass around this trail and laughter or not, I won’t give up on myself.
Last night I read an interview with Monica, who spoke of feeling like she was not the kind of woman that a man should love. She spoke of having been through so much with men that she felt like something was wrong with her. It’s natural to feel like that after a break up but how do you move past it and get on with life? Usually I have great words of wisdom or motivation but this subject stumps me every time. Let me be candid with you all.
When I think of what it means to be loved I don’t see the couples who stay together for the sake of their children or the couples who are comfortable with one another and afraid of change. When I think of real love, I think of that Michelle and Barack type of love. I think of the woman I met in the furniture store 2 years ago who had been married for 40+ years and when she spoke of her love for her husband her eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. I think of the woman I met in Arkansas a few weeks ago who doted on her husband and spoke of him like we were all in high school and giggling at the lunch table, who has also enjoyed 40+ years of marriage.
Sometimes I wonder if I am unlovable. Sometimes I feel like I’m the chick that can always be liked but never be loved. No matter the amount of loyalty, honesty, trust and love I pour into relationships… I don’t even get a small percentage in return. It’s hurtful being the chick that no one wants and I often wonder why I am so hard to love. Am I a nagging bitch that’s impossible to live with? Am I a troll that is impossible to look at in the morning? Am I unapproachable, undesirable, unreasonable or just unwanted? I’m very protective of my insecurities so I have spent years trying to find the answer to one simple question. What about me is just never enough?
I have been told by an aunt that I need to be careful because “men love to prey on fat girls.” I have been told by an almost family member that if I ever want to be happy I needed to lower my standards and be with someone “more like me.” I have been told by a man who supposedly loves me that I am likely still single because I’m overweight and it shows “a lack of mental strength.” These are just a few of the more biting comments that stand out in my mind when I think about why I am unlovable. Last night I got in my feelings and spent hours driving to clear my head. I thought about past relationships and failed attempts at relationships and I realized that I am not unlovable. What I realized is that people can only love you the best way they no how. People cannot give to you something they do not possess so I have been loved but I have not been loved the way that I have given it… unconditionally and strong. The only unconditional love I have yet to receive is the love God pours into me daily because sometimes even I find myself impossible to love. On those days, like yesterday, I feel like a failure at life. I don’t feel like I have reached my potential, almost as if I have just been going through the motions but not truly living.
Lately I’ve been feeling like the things I desire are not the things that are written in my destiny and what I have decided to do is live… in spite of it all. There is too much to enjoy about life and being alive to dwell on the things I don’t and may never have.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy being in love with myself and taking advantage of new opportunities.
Good men are hard to find! All men are dogs! All the good black ones are taken! Black women are mean! Black women think they don’t need a man! Black women aren’t supportive! Good women are too high maintenance.
If you’ve heard one of these lines, you’ve heard them all. The truth is…. None of them are true. All men are not dogs, a good man is quite easy to find and there are plenty of good black men available. Black women need men just like every other race of women. Black women are not mean. Black women support their men more than most. A weave and a mani/pedi are not high maintenance. So why are there so many black men and women, who desire strong and loving relationships, single as the penny in my pocketbook?
Black men and women are single because they don’t know how to love one another.
Let’s start with the black man. Just because you have a job and the desire to be someone’s husband doesn’t make you a good man for every woman. Black men have the tendency to start feeling themselves once they get a little bit of responsibility. Buying bottles, slangin wang and netflix and chilling don’t make you a good man for every woman. Getting a degree, paying bills on time and driving a Benz doesn’t make you a good man for every woman. Men, especially black men, need to understand that being a man doesn’t make you a good man and being a good man does not make you a good partner. Think about why you want a wife and whether or not you’re truly ready. Then find a woman that compliments you rather than imagining what you THINK you deserve and being disappointed when you don’t get it. Stop overlooking good women for the easy ones. When you and your rib are reunited everything hard will be bearable.
Now ladies, don’t think I forgot about you all. There is a major difference between being an independent and confident woman and being a bitch in heels. You cannot continue to emasculate these men and expect them to be the kings they are designed to be. A man that allows you to walk around with his manhood in the palm of your hand is a manchild that needs to continue to grow. How can you expect to be in a healthy relationship when you’re posting titty Tuesday and back shots on IG and acting like there’s nothing wrong with it? As women, you have to learn to grieve losses and move on because if you keep treating the next man like the last man; he too will leave you with a broken heart and a wet ass. Stop being thirsty to find your dream man and appreciate the man who cares enough to find out what your dreams are.
What’s wrong with black men and women today is that they think they are entitled to something spectacular just because they desire it. If you’re not living a life that is a representation of what you want then you’re living wrong. You can’t be a McDonald’s negro looking for a Ruth’s Chris woman. You can’t be a Victoria’s Secret chick with a La Perla attitude.
Long story short, understanding that there is someone for everyone is important. I’ve seen some crackhead marriages stand the test of time because they dated someone they were equally yoked with. So please, before you start talking about you’re single because of the flaws within the opposite sex; look at your reality and see if you’re attracting what you deserve. If you’re attracting the same man/woman with a different face, then maybe you’re looking at a reflection of yourself.
If you know me and my family then you know what an integral part of my life Lavelt Smith played. When I think of my grandmother, I think of family because that is what she was. When I think of strength I think of the only time in my life that I witnessed my grandmother cry. She thought I was asleep and while I wanted to reach out and comfort her, I felt the strength radiating from her soul and knew that she was being comforted by a being greater than me. When I think of joy, my ears still hear her laughter… the sound that used to escape her after fussing with me and finally telling me to turn around, stick my face in the crack and go to sleep. When I think about unconditional love, I think of my grandmother because she was love. She gave love in whatever way we needed and I am astonished at how she knew us each well enough to know which type of love we needed and just how to dish it out.
My grandmother is always a half a thought away but every year around this time I notice the mood changes in my relatives and myself. 15 years ago today, our strength, love and family was changed when my grandmother was called to serve The Most High.
Sometimes I sit back and reflect on the way losing the only grandparent I ever knew effected the way I marched into womanhood. What I realized is how I have been blessed enough to understand that while my grandmother is not physically with me, I receive everything she would have been giving me through the women she raised. My mother and each of my aunts give of themselves differently but they all learned to give their particular type of love from the woman who created them and to me, that makes them worth more than anything in the world.
It has taken me 15 years to realize that in addition to watching over me and motivating me, she is still right here giving me the things I crave through the women she raised.
And in true Smith form, I will be sad and miss her more than ever today but tomorrow I will continue to grow in family, strength and love.
Yesterday morning I watched Beyonce’s new video for Formation and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The political undertones were extraordinary and while people talking about Hot Sauce and Red Lobster, do yourself a favor and watch the video that accompanies the song (on her website they have a clean version for church folks who swear that cursing makes their ears bleed and young children). If you haven’t seen the video by now, at least you have heard the song. While the imagery ties everything together, the song itself speaks to Beyonce’s women empowerment movement. I mean, what woman can’t benefit from a little Black Girl Magic?
Now last night I watched Superbowl 50 in support of Cam Newton, who has been called awful names because of 1. His greatness and 2. His blackness.
But like most women I know, I watched
Beyonce’s halftime show has received much backlash from the racist community (I said racist, not white) because she made a statement for black people. She is an entertainer so why wouldn’t she use her craft to provide her opinion and support for her people. The shout out to Malcolm X and the Black Panther party speaks volumes. We, as people, are tired of being treated as second class citizens and shown how our men and boys are disposable. She made her statement and got these white folks SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS mad!
I guess they thought that their support of her would mean that she should be ok with our communities being treated the way they are treated by the people who we expect to protect us. But at the end of the day, Beyonce is a black woman who has a black husband, a black child, black cousins, siblings, neices, nephew, aunts and uncles. So why would she be expected to not feel the pain of injustice or see her family in the faces of these murdered men and women?
GET IN FORMATION!