When I first heard Oprah was buying stock in Weight Watchers, I had mixed feelings. On the bright side, millions of people would be inspired to live healthier lives. Of course it would be effective – hello, she’s OPRAH! Then I saw the commercial and I was overwhelmed with sadness. Here is a woman who has taught us so much. A woman who has changed countless lives. One of the most powerful and revered women alive and she doesn’t feel good enough because she isn’t thin. WHAT?
Melissa Harris-Perry, it is like you read my mind. Take a look at this video she shared on MSNBC.
I couldn’t agree more. If Oprah isn’t good enough, who is? I have always felt connected to Oprah, hasn’t everyone? I think that is part of her success – she is so relatable. Even though she has accomplished so much she struggled too. In recent years, I thought she felt acceptance and dare I say LOVE for all her curves and “imperfections.” This is why her Weight Watchers commercial made me uncomfortable. Oprah, how can you be saying you don’t feel good enough? That inside of you (an overweight woman) there is a woman you know you can be. Aren’t you already that woman?
Now I understand having a goal of shedding a few pounds. My weight fluctuates, and personally I am working to lose about 10 pounds. This isn’t so I can look “bikini ready” (that term is another blog post right there) but so I can feel better when I’m dancing and living my life. Being your healthiest is important and getting there might include weight loss. Losing weight is fine if that is your goal and you are doing it a healthy way. But you are good enough BEFORE you lose the weight!
As a fitness professional, I am often told I don’t look like a fitness professional. I am a fitness professional, not a fitness model. I work out every day so I feel better, think clearer and can live a long full life. I may not look perfect, but I strive to be an “imperfect” model of fitness. I am able to reach thousands of people through my fitness classes and online programs. I have spent far too many years chasing after perfection and not only was it unattainable, but I was miserable in process. And interestingly enough, even at my thinnest I didn’t feel good enough. Thinner doesn’t mean better or more beautiful. Less isn’t more. I now know, from years of deprivation, guilt and resentment that I will never look like the people on the cover of magazines. That’s okay. That is better than okay. It’s who I am and who I am designed to be.
Hopefully, one day I will be on the cover of a fitness magazine, not because I finally found a magical diet that got me to an unrealistic weight, but because the public demands a variety of body types that truly reflect what fitness is. Until that time comes, I no longer let my size define my value or accomplishments. Let’s change the conversation and help young women (and older gals too) to LOVE who they are, just as they are. Will you take this journey with me? Let’s start living happy healthy lives!