When I was younger my nanny called me “Mafutha” (after an elephant famous for its girth) to the great delight and guffaws of her friends! I couldn’t have been more than 3 years old and it’s the first memory I have of feeling ‘too fat’.
There’s no doubt that she loved me and didn’t intend to be mean, but sadly little Helen was mortified! That nickname was the first time (of many) that I felt embarrassed about my size. My small and absorbent brain began to accumulate evidence that I was fat, and that being fat was not cool.
That was the beginning of a long journey towards bingeing and purging in a desperate attempt to force my body to be the size and shape that would be loved and accepted by all and sundry.
It’s a journey that ends well though.
A hero’s journey.
But it could so easily have been a tragedy of a young life lost unnecessarily.
And as with every good hero’s journey I had a lot (aka a SHED TON!!!) of love and help along the way.
Now, as a Bulimia Freedom Coach, I get to pay that all forward.
Happy Days 🙂
Just like me, many of the women I work with have a first memory of not being thin enough at a very young age! In fact, some don’t remember a time that they didn’t feel ‘too fat’ (to be loved or accepted).
Coming to a place of being able to truly accept my perfectly imperfect body wasn’t easy peasy, and it isn’t easy peasy for my clients either.
Who am I to say, “Don’t worry about your weight” in a world where fat shaming comes standard with every McGirl?
To truly accept your body requires that you disagree with an ENTIRE SYSTEM that says, ‘You’re Not Good Enough’ or “Thinner Is Better”.
(Even L’Oreal’s “Because You’re Worth It” campaign – which was marketing genius – connected a woman’s worth to her beauty.
But i digress!)
We have work to do people!!
And it’s time we turn this BS around.
As adults we MUST watch our words. Kids are absorbing them like little sponges. And if a 3 year old Helen in a world without social media could come to the conclusion that she’s not “thin enough” to be loved, then what chance does Generation Instagram stand?
Well, that’s tricky, but to my mind we can start with …. drum roll please …..Unconditional Love & Acceptance babyyyy!!
If we’re waiting to be thinner to be happy – that’s a condition.
It’s time to accept ourselves AND our little ones unconditionally.
Let’s resolve to lead by example.
It’s the only way this shizzle is going to change for the little girls and boys that come after us.
BIG Mafutha Sized LOVE 💕
p.s. Listen to this little song about Mafutha The Elephant.
The blatant fat shaming will blow your socks off!