Throwing Shade

I called myself fat in the mirror — and it was just what I needed to hear

Sun Herald digital producer and Throwing Shade blogger Justin Mitchell
Sun Herald digital producer and Throwing Shade blogger Justin Mitchell amccoy@sunherald.com

The word has become taboo.

If someone uses it to describe another person, then it’s bullying. If someone uses it to describe themselves, then there’s an issue with self-esteem.

But for some, it can be used as inspiration. It can be used to persuade or to encourage. Hell, it can even be used to spark a movement.

Last Saturday, I worked a double shift and rushed home to change clothes before I went to my second job. In a pinch, I grabbed something quick from a fast food joint to hold me over. When I got off at 11 p.m., I sat down and had a meal before going home to get some sleep.

When I got out of the shower, I toweled off and got a glimpse of myself from the side in the mirror.

“Oh my gosh, you’ve gotten fat,” I said out loud.

I’m not writing this to get pity or to hear from the people who say that you’re fat because it’s your own fault. Spoiler alert: I know I’m fat because of my decisions. I know it’s because I choose Taco Bell over broccoli nine times out of 10. I don’t need a refresher.

But sometimes, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and be honest to your reflection for the inspiration to get off your butt and do something about it. Last year, with the help of CrossFit, the Biloxi natatorium and food from Prep by KUG, I lost 30 pounds in a month. I was kicking butt to get weight off that was dragging me down. After that, I lost about 25 more pounds just from working out and making healthier decisions.

I felt on top of the world.

Now, I’ve gained about 20 pounds back, and I had lost the inspiration to get myself in gear and maintain that healthy lifestyle.

Until I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I started ordering healthy food from Kristin Grizzard again. I’ve replaced my Diet Cokes with sparkling water and old fashioned H20. I’ve said no to bread and yes to almond butter and fruit. It’s a slow process, but I’m coming around.

Since I’ve experienced a large weight loss, I’ve found it challenging to stick to a super clean diet. I would be so hard on myself for a week or two and then burn out and go back to eating fast food for two out of three meals. It’s embarrassing, but it’s true.

This time, though, the control is there. Yes, I had nachos from the Fillin’ Station last night. I told myself I would enjoy a free meal on Saturday and Sunday. Today, I had grilled chicken and ham and a gallon of water. It’s all about finding the balance.

The point I’m trying to make is this: Who knows if I’ll lose that 20 pounds again? That’s not what’s important. The most important thing is to love yourself and be honest with yourself, even if it seems harsh. Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean I don’t work out or that I’m not a confident person. I love everything about my body, from the stretch marks on my stomach to my super stacked legs. I love my plump face. I could do without a little of the man boob, but hey, it’s mine.

People talk. You talk. There’s always a little shade when it comes the truth, so don’t be afraid to get a little shady with yourself. Most importantly, love yourself at any size, because in the end, you’re the only person you need to please.

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