From Frugivore — After I blended my homemade kale and green apple juice, I decided to get some exercise. I finished my spinach salad for dinner and threw on my workout clothes for a few running/walking laps around the lake in my neighborhood. The sun is going down as I take my second lap around the urban oasis. My mind trailed off to when I first began to run just over a year ago. I remember telling a friend that I “couldn’t” (as in uncomfortable/did not like to) run, but to keep her company, I would tag along and walk behind her. Today, I am running, increasing my speed from a jog to a sprint. I notice how my stamina and stride have improved. Through controlled yet heavy breathing, I wave to neighbors and say hi to those I pass. I nod my head and flash a quick smile to the older gentlemen sitting on their porches watching the day go by. I notice that I am paying more attention to me and less attention to what others might think of me. In the past, that held me back. As a woman over six feet tall, I am used to people staring at me for one reason or another.

But when it came to exercise, I was so self-conscious that I just didn’t work out. At all. Whenever I did get the nerve to do something outside of a home video, too many thoughts ran through my head: how will I look running? The “girls” don’t stay in place like everyone else’s do. What if people hear me when I get tired and my breathing changes? What if I have to stop and catch my breath? Won’t people think I’m weak? How will I look on a treadmill doing my best at level 3 and the person next to me starts running at level 6- will I look fat and lazy?

Oh, the things we say to ourselves when we don’t like who we already are. It’s like we are defeated before we even start. Trust me; I get it. I understand how it all works. There are billboards that promote fat-shaming among children and adults. Millions are spent on infomercials and tv ads promoting weight loss as the gateway to a happier life, encouraging (especially) women to fit into a narrow standard of American beauty. Some people are very vocal about acceptable body politics, positive and negative. So it is certainly not purely from thin air that you wonder about your ability to feel acceptable while working out. The reality is, though, it’s your life. Find your “Oh yeah that’s right; I’m doing me,” Drake attitude added to a #kanyeshrug and make it clear: “No Haters Allowed!”

(Continue Reading @ Frugivore…)

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  • Beautiful article!

  • Anon

    I was with you until this “There are billboards that promote fat-shaming among children and adults.”—-> There is a serious obesity epidemic in this country, and if putting up billboards shooting down how diabetes and Mickey D’s every day is not the business, then that is PUBLIC HEALTH not fat shaming. The only way to be shamed by these billboards is if you’re engaging in said behavior.

    I am however, happy that more black women are taking better care of their bodies.

    • LemonNLime

      I’m with you. I think most people throw the words “fat shaming” around anytime there is an article, comment, PSA, etc. regarding the fact that being fat isn’t healthy. It is a way of shutting people up who don’t agree with your stance (not that the author is doing that). But it is that way with everything, critique the tenants of Islam then you’re an islamaphobe, critique the gay rights movements then you are a homophobe, critique the social ills off men in your community then you are a self-hater, don’t like the President’s policies then you are a “racist”.

      I’m not attacking the author it is just irritating and think that there are better words for it. Either way I am will always be happy to see black women making healthy choices.

  • I just want to know if you all read the entire article which goes more into personal responsibility, not just being on it when it comes to what other people or billboards have to say. Speaking of that, there are all kinds of campaigns nation-wide that talk about health and weight. Some are informative while others are horribly and border on bullying!