Wonder Woman Hustle: Birthday Edition (guest post)

June 13 was my birthday which means I’m another year closer to 30. Yay?

Anyway, as I enjoyed my cake ( cakes. plural because that first piece pushed me off the wagon for a week. Still learning, y’all), I thought about everything I’ve learned since my last birthday. One major lesson I realized this past year, particularly through my fitness journey, is that no matter what anyone feels about me, I have to be ok with me. I have to love what I see in the mirror.

Uchechi New Jer 20150622_175806

It’s not like this a new lesson. More like it’s been reaffirmed and I’m glad to report that as I age, I become more accepting of who I am and I’m less obsessed by what I consider imperfections. Not that my self confidence hasn’t been tested. In the past few years, many people have given their (un freaking asked!) opinion on my shape and size.

Recently, a guy my friend (she meant well. She didn’t know he was such a fool)  tried to set me up with told me I was too muscular for a woman and I should slow down at the gym because he wanted me to be soft (Sadly, a common thread between Nigerian men that I’ve dated seems to be a distaste for women who seem stronger than them. But that is another post for another day). I’m well aware he has a right to his own opinion but he has no right to impose it on me. I almost fell into that trap of considering his opinion but then my common sense kicked and reminded me to make it clear that this is MY BODY. He, some still very random man to me, did not buy any claim to this Amazon body (Sharrap. I know I’m only 5’5. Still an Amazon). I love my body. I love her strength and her capabilities. I told him he’s a hater because I can do what he can’t.

I actually said much more but you get the gist. No need to relive the gory details. Needless to say we no longer talk.

Here’s the thing. People will give their opinion about your body without permission, especially if you are a  woman. Our bodies are continuously under scrutiny no matter the size. Because of this, many of us push ourselves to fit a societal standard when we really should be pushing ourselves to be at our healthiest and fittest.  We’re sidetracked by how others feel about our body, our own sanctuary.No one on this earth was born to please the aesthetic pleasure of their fellow human. At any any size, at any weight, only your opinion matters. This isn’t the stereotypical American “Accept everything and criticize nothing”. Let’s make it clear, if you’re at an unhealthy weight (under or over), something needs to be done. Accepting yourself doesn’t mean allow your body to deteriorate.

Losing weight is as much a mental struggle as it is physical. Whenever anyone asks me how do they begin to lose weight, I tell them the first step is saying to yourself “I want to change. I want to be healthy. “Keyword: I. Not my mother/my friends / my husband wants me to. Honestly, what will the loss do for them? If your mother is a nag, you’ll lose the weight and she’ll find something else to bug you about…like marriage. Bc that’s what mothers do. (you’re right. Sounds personal). Losing a couple of pounds won’t make your friends less judgmental.  And if you’re on this journey for your husband, just stop RIGHT there and reevaluate. If your husband is one useless individual when he was calling you sloppy at 200 lbs, chances are he will STILL be one useless individual when you’re down at 150.

What’s my point again?

Oh yes. The weight loss, the time in the gym, the strength you gain mentally and physically will only change YOU. Hopefully it will inspire others, but you will be the changed one. This is why your opinion about yourself matters most. The people who value your life will be more concerned about your health and not about if your midsection resembles that of Kim Kardashian.  Your body is your body. If you don’t love it, no one else’s love really will make much difference.

And for the confused admirers, the ones who offer opinions when you didn’t ask, who always seem to have a problem with the body they don’t carry…

Those people, you let them talk, then say “Fuck you. Still awesome”