Open Your Mind Before Opening Your Mouth

Growing up, I have always been a little thicker than other girls. While I am perfectly comfortable blaming this on Friday night Happy Meals I sometimes got as a kid and the pão e manteiga I got from my avó; in reality, I know that it has everything to do with how I was treated because of my weight and how I chose to handle my emotions. I was always self-conscious about how my clothes fit and how I looked in them because my thighs were thick and my belly maybe hung over my jeans a little, but I was never so big that it was a concern for my health as a child. I was just bigger than what I “should have been”.

When an adult that is close to you and is supposed to be supportive, is saying things like “you’re too fat, you’ll never be able to get a boyfriend, you would be so beautiful if you lost a little weight.” why would a kid growing up think any different?  I grew up, and I never thought any different.

I thought of myself as those comments, and they controlled my life.

If this one negative person in my life sees me this way, everyone around me must also, right? To cope with the hurtful comments, I would self-sabotage and eat my feelings until my stomach was so full that that fullness was all I felt. Looking back at pictures of myself when I was younger I caught myself thinking I wasn’t big at all, I was beautiful. The above picture is a picture of myself around 16 years old, you’re probably wondering why I would post an old, pixelated, not so great photo of myself for everyone to see. I remember the day this was taken. I was heading to the park with my cousins and my younger brothers and they wanted to bring my new camera. I offered to take pictures while they played baseball because I didn’t want any pictures of myself, I wore a sweater on top of a t-shirt because I knew they would try to take pictures of me and I didn’t want to look fat in them if they succeeded at getting the camera from me. This photo represents a version of my young self that was stressfree, even if only for the moment my eyes were closed to the world around me. Imagine, if this negative person was never in my life and I never had to deal with those hurtful comments. Maybe I would have passed the camera to someone else and posed for some photos with my family, maybe I would have found a love for baseball that I don’t know as an adult, maybe I could be an all-star, super famous baseball player right now! Okay, let me calm down and be realistic- I can’t sit through a baseball game to save my life. The point is, if these nasty comments weren’t constantly swimming in my head throughout absolutely everything I did, maybe I would have taken more chances and had a little more fun. Maybe I would have stayed a carefree kid for just a little longer.

As what some would call an adult, I am still thicker than other girls. What has changed with age is that I now refuse to allow that negative energy into my life that once smothered and consumed me. Granted, I can’t sit here and say that I don’t still think about these things and have these worries. I can sit here and say with complete honesty that I am stronger than the opinions of the misguided, sorry people who speak without thought, and I do not allow opinion to be mistaken for fact. This is something I will never apologize for.


13 thoughts on “Open Your Mind Before Opening Your Mouth

  1. I’ve heard these comments too, “Oh you would be so beautiful if you could just loose some weight.” It’s hard when so many of us have unhealthy relationships with food. It’s taken me 10+ years to realize I am beautiful. This fat looks pretty good on me. Yeah I suppose if I could loose it I would but right now, right here I am happy because I realize I am more than my body! You are too. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe when a parent does that to a child, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I have a friend who’s extremely overweight and is now a diabetic. Her mother used to tell her she keeps eating she’ll get fat and sure enough she did. It makes me so sad for my friend. I’m sorry you went through this, but it sounds like you’ve got a handle on it and remember as long as you’re healthy that’s all that really matters. ((Hugs))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Unfortunately, it was my grandfather who made these comments and I’ve been lucky enough to keep him out of my life as an adult now. I can’t imagine having my parents say these things, I’m so sorry for your friend.

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  3. I believe that a doctor or medical professional should have that conversation with someone, if their health is a concern. To say that to anyone else, let alone someone you love, is a devastating thing, and certainly isn’t easy to get over. With over 20 years of ballet under my belt now, I’ve experienced and seen the effects that offhand comments can do to a person, and it is no little thing- they embed themselves in your mind and are near impossible to work out. You are amazing for your strength, though- to recognise the positive in ourselves is difficult but so important!! Thank you for sharing your story

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  4. It us a tragedy for sure. I have a 6 year old in my class who is pretty overweight and she says it herself. “I’m fat. ” because she hears it at home . when she’s down. She us a wonderfully bright and loving child and as her school we are trying to reverse that negative image .
    Sorry you went through that growing up . Some people really don’t realise what their words end up meaning to a child…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely relate, and at some point you have to just stand up and be proud of who you are. People that don’t love you for you aren’t worth your time or energy. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for this post! I am so sorry your grandfather said those things. I’ve found that some people of that generation has 0 filter, finding this behavior socially acceptable. Keep up the positive attitude!


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