I was power walking through London Bridge station already ten minutes late for work when I got stuck behind a big girl.She was wearing those 1 tog Primark leggings that come more like tights. I could see the pressure on her legs right up to her bum. My heart sank a little. I thought about how difficult it would be for her to have body confidence, in fact, how difficult most things would be with an unhealthy body.
The beginning of body confidence, particularly for Black women, can often simply be becoming comfortable with our silhouettes. I don’t know many women who absolutely hate their bodies, but we can see them as problematic. Shopping becomes discouraging when trousers have to gape at the waist to fit the bum. Or for me, playsuits and dresses that hug my hips and hang loose on the breasts. It can feel like the features specific to our ethnicity give us issues and learning how to work with them (rather than behind them) is an area we all journey through. However, sometimes we are just out of shape, over/underweight and unfit and body confidence is as much about acknowledging that.
I don’t like the gym. Correction. I don’t like exercise, which is why I never get to the gym. Some of my girls power up – I see the BBM gym status updates daily and the BFF’s on her suburban walk routine coupled with some intense DVDs. I attempted ‘Legs, Bums & Tums’ once, felt like passing out. Could hardly get up my stairs the next day, and didn’t ever look back. Everything isn’t for everybody. So I found what works for me – cycling – and even better, it’s the right form of exercise for my body type. After starting therapy (yes, that post will come eventually) I became more conscious of maintaining my health all round – eating well and adding some extra movement so that running for the bus would no longer be my short cut to a heart attack, all slim but heaving. Embarrassing. Plus, I’m planning for a better sex life. How’s that for motivation!
I’ll leave you with a few inspirations:
Queen B (Beyonce) joins US First Lady Michelle Obama in her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign to fight childhood obesity. The R&B icon releases a remixed version of ‘Get Me Bodied’ with a matching exercise routine. The girls are the cutest and it looks a whole lot of fun so I’m gonna attempt it after work tomorrow:
(via the BFF and her big sis)
And for my girls who really want to get the pounds off check this brilliant site: Black Girls Guide to Weightloss