There I was AGAIN…letting my insecurities overwhelm me, my confidence plummet, and my beauty be defined by everyone but me. Now, I was in this dark parking lot, in this car seat, opening my heart to someone I wanted so desperately to change, love, and then be with for the rest of my life. When I didn’t even get a call, there I was filled with strife. There I was…losing me. There I was…searching for something my eyes should’ve seen.
My story does not start from this, but rather a combination of low self-esteem, an obese childhood, tauntings, and looking for validation in all the wrong places. Growing up was beyond decent for me. I lived with my grandparents who’d sacrificed just about anything to take care of me. I was blessed with a family that supported me and sacrificed just about anything to see me succeed and reach my dreams. But, in my mind something was still missing…What was wrong with me?
Love. They say it’s a drug. They say it hurts. They say it’s addicting. They say if you find that perfect someone…you keep them. They say if you love someone, you set them free. If they come back, then it was meant to be. I’ve experienced all of these. Love. It’s all I ever wanted and all I thought I would need.
I remember barely fitting in the desk in middle school and looking around at all the “pretty” girls around me. I wanted what they had so badly: the attention, the guys…I wanted everything BUT to be me. Here began my downward spiral, grasping any guy that came and wanting all the attention to go viral. I began to switch. I began to hide behind makeup. I began to forget Song of Solomon 4:7. I began to let my body play up.
Once I got the validation I seeked, it became something like an addiction. Once I had my first kiss in the back of a classroom while no one was looking, I became my own worse affliction. I became everyone’s little secret within one stunt. I allowed myself to play the back so long, when I should’ve been in the front.
There he was…standing like a knight in shining armor. I thought I picked up my confidence off the floor and now, God sent me the right charmer. With a face full of Cover Girl and eyelids tattered with gold, I approached what I thought was me only being bold. I never knew I’d fall deeper. I never knew I’d sink. I never knew God told me I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I never took the time to just think. I…just wanted my heart to link.
And it did…and for the first time, I wasn’t a “big girl”…I was pretty. Finally, there was someone who told me he loved me. Captured in lust and lies, I was more than likely eating. Captured in these endless thoughts of “Why me?”, and the scale kept ascending. But my heart…kept bending. Discomforted, I stepped on one day and there it was…260 pounds staring right back at me. I think that’s when God shook me…and I realized this was seriously happening.
Dia, you’ve done it now. You stooped so low, but how? I’ll tell ya. Beyonce was right. “Pretty hurts. Shine the light on whatever's worse…Tryna fix something…But you can't fix what you can't see…It's the soul that needs the surgery.” I was focusing on something that’s only skin deep. This time, I focused on me.
It was squat after squat, chugging water by the gallon, and lap after lap on the track. It was countless crunches and leg lifts on my back. There were nights I had no calories left but I was determined to stick it out. It was A LOT of control of what I was putting into my mouth. It was new recipes, new clothes, and new inspiration. It was smiles, laughs, prayers and later…a LOT of motivation. Mostly, it was an abundance of sweat, tears, and pain. It was my blossom. If there was no pain, there was no gain.
See, my weight loss journey was more than me redeeming my self-esteem. My journey taught me how to be a queen. I remember the first time someone told me I was beautiful without my makeup and I was elated. That same person SHOWED me my worth without me having to prove my appreciation. I lost my mind all this time thinking I had to be what I THOUGHT was pretty. I invested time into too many people forcing it to be “meant to be”. I lost myself forgetting that God made me and said “Adia is far more precious than a ruby”. I forgot to love me.
So, what motivated me? Self-love. Something I should’ve had all along. Once the pounds started dropping, I was dancin’ and singin’ my own song. I could see my big eyes and chubby cheeks. I appreciated my big hips and straight teeth. Most of all…the moment I met people who saw me for me…I was no longer caged in. I WAS FREE.
August Alsina has a song on his album "Testimony" that I took a liking to as SOON as I heard it.
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