with Lynne and Leslie

I am not a fat girl, or The Fitness Benefits of A Large Man Yelling At You

by SweetMidlife
leslie and victor

This is my friend. He loves me enough to yell when I am mean to me. This is a good friend.


“You have to cut that mess out!”

I am running up the steps of a fancy outdoor mall, on the ascent of my second of five trips up and back. And there is large, black-clad man standing at the top, his eyes wide, arms above his head in emphasis. He is serious. He is not playing.

And I’m not gonna lie – It freaks me out a little. But because Victor is my friend, and my trainer, and I am paying for him to make me run up and down the steps, I keep toward him, admittedly wobbly because we’ve been at this for a few minutes and stairs hurt, and because I know I need whatever is coming. I can’t even breath right now, so I can’t muster more than a half-nod and a huffed “OK.”

What Victor is mad at me about – and what I should be mad at me about – Β is my self-deprecating tendency to call myself fat. Or old. Or something. And it is true that I am…more robust that I was when we met, back 25 pounds ago when I even thought I had weight to lose then, and that I am like ten years older, but isn’t that a gift to be. I do it because I keep remembering what I used to look like, what my knee used to feel like, how easy this used to be or at least how easy my self-deprecation tells me it used to be (NOTE: This was never ever easy, even when I was all relatively hot and stuff.)

I also admit, when the stairs are done and we are taking a nice recovery walk, that I do that as a way to say I’m fat first before anyone can say it first. I know it’s messed up.

So does Victor.




Apparently, yeah. I’m not alone, either, the people – probably mostly women – who think they can motivate themselves to change by bullying themselves, not in a “Girl, you better do this” tough love way, but the way an actual bully who hates you and wishes you harm would do. Like you’re worthless. Like you suck.

I do not suck. I am worth being out here on these steps so early in the morning, watching my mother wheel my kid at a leisurely pace around the square in a non-sweaty fashion. Those people make me worth it. If I am not worth being healthy, being happy, why am I here? And what makes me think that if I find reasons to hate myself at this weight that I won’t find more reasons to keep slagging myself?

So I’m done. I don’t need to pretend that this body is my ideal because it ain’t. But I can tell myself that it is strong enough to get me up the steps, that it physically carries another human being to bed when he’s sleepy and kicky and weird, that it calms him when he is scared and cranky and ready to cause mischief. That it is worthy because it is mine.

Thanks Victor. I got it. And if I lose it, feel free to yell. I can take it.

6 Responses to “I am not a fat girl, or The Fitness Benefits of A Large Man Yelling At You”

  1. tate_franz@comcast.net' Thaeda says:

    I believe that “I AM…” is the most powerful declarative statement we can make about ourselves. When God speaks in the OT, and says “I AM…” there is a profound sense of authority and permanence and certainty to it. As co-creators with God, and as beings who share (by virtue of Her having created us) Her divinity, I believe we are creating ourselves and declaring who we are and will be when we say “I AM…”. I think it is womderful that you are choosing to leave aside derogatory declarations and I am so excited to see all that will unfold for you as you speak affirmation and the truth of who you are from here going forward. What a magnificent unfolding that will be! Be blessed! πŸ™‚

  2. palmbeachpr@yahoo.com' Elizabeth says:

    One of the most powerful adages I ever read was: “Would you be friends with someone who spoke about you the way you do about yourself?” It actually made me stop and realize that I once HAD a friend who criticized me daily (not pretty enough, funny body shape, dorky, etc.) and that I ended our friendship after years by admitting her negativity was toxic. And yes, I was mentally saying the exact things about myself on a daily basis decades later! I’m stuck with myself and I want to be as good a friend to me, as I try to be to others. I am so happy you can see how freaking amazing you are. You’re seeing what the rest of us see, too πŸ™‚

  3. chdior888@hitmail.com' veronika says:

    Great article so true how we can down ourselves and depend on others aproval neglecting our own. Every woman is a goddess

  4. pgivens517@gmail.com' Phyllis says:

    You are right on time with this!!!! How is it that I can easily motivate someone else, but I’m so hard on myself!!!??? Thank you for challenging me to do better and speak more positive messages to myself. We are superwomen!!!
    Phyllis recently posted…Attack of the the Newlywed 15My Profile

  5. offthepotomac@gmail.com' Teems says:

    We all need a push sometimes! Mindset is very important and is the first step to really making a change.
    Teems recently posted…#OPERATIONSNAPBACK Link-Up: February 2016My Profile

  6. raisingsavannah@gmail.com' Tia says:

    Having a trainer is soon nice! I wish I had one. He’s so right though. We shouldn’t bully ourselves. We have to stay positive and look at the small accomplishments along the way.
    Tia recently posted…Army Wife Life: We’re Moving To…My Profile

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