At the beginning of the year, I made a new friend. A woman, significantly older than me but somehow we always had something to talk about. I admired the way she carried herself, the way she dressed and the laughter that could so evidently be seen in her eyes. Every time I would meet her, there was something new I would learn from her. On this particular day she said something that literally left me wide-eyed, not that it was something wrong or even right. It was just different. Something I had never heard come out of the mouth of a woman. You have to guess what she said! No, really, take a wild guess. (Did you take a guess?) This woman said this, and I quote “Imagine I never look at myself before I leave the house.” No, no, that’s not what floored me. She proceeded then to explain why…”I don’t have a mirror at home.” Wait, what?
After speaking more on this, I got to know that the reason she didn’t have a mirror was because she couldn’t bear to look at herself. She thought she was too fat. I was a bit puzzled honestly, because the confidence she oozed did not reflect what she thought of herself. We were able to speak more on the issue, and I came to the realization that all that she words she used to describe herself were words she had been told over the years and she had now come to believe them. She spoke of an instance where she had attended a friend’s birthday dinner and as they were having their cocktails, they somehow started talking about their weight struggles and it was all fun and games. Well until one of the ladies present said. “Some of you are just lazy and that is why you are fat. Get off your lazy bums and go to the gym.” As she shared this with me, she did let me know that a year had passed since then, but she still always felt embarrassed to talk about her weight.
Ever since then, I became really sensitive when it came to matters concerning weight with women. I always try to find out what they think of their bodies, and themselves in relation to their weight. The sad thing, is that from my interactions with a good number of them it is evident that so many of us have either conformed to what we see on our screens and have ended up losing our identity, while the other half of us fight so hard to stay authentic at all times.
Enter SITI. Our sole aim is to get women from all shapes, sizes and colour to get to appreciate and fall in love with their bodies all over again. We aim to create a community of women who empower each other through honesty and love. Sharing your story forces you to come to terms with what you really think and believe about yourself. Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators, used to say, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” So go on, talk to yourself and write down your story. The good, the bad, the painful, the ups and the downs. Who knows, you might help someone who’s stuck in a rut. Every week we’ll feature a new SITI Woman and we would love to feature you. To join in the fun and become a SITI Woman, send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will definitely let you know how you can plug in!