Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to over 185 young ladies that were junior high and high school age at a conference. We spoke about wellness – body image, healthy lifestyles, a healthy weight and not letting your weight or pant size number define you. The ladies in the crowd were predominately Latinas, some mixed ladies, and some Caucasian. The entire conference was about loving and believing in yourself essentially. In my presentation I spoke about lobsters. I know this sounds a bit odd but this is what I explained to these ladies and those of you who are readers and are women [or have been around women] will understand the concept very shortly. We also put this into the perspective of dogs – we asked around the room about what kind of dogs these ladies had, with many shouts we gathered a chihuahua and a Rottweiler. Now, we never ask our dogs all to be the same. We don’t ask for the same coloring, we don’t ask the Rottweiler to be the size of the Chihuahua – a. obviously that would be very unhealthy and b. obviously not practical or even possible. When our dog is different than the rest, we love them even more. They have their own personalities, they own birth makes, their own coloring – that’s what makes them unique. That is what make us unique. We explained that the Chihuahua gaining an extra 5 lbs, well it could start to be unhealthy and frankly you are going to probably notice it – but is that the same for the Rottweiler? No probably not. So, why put so much stress onto the weight factor or being different than our friends, when we wouldn’t expect any other creature to be that way? All of us and our bodies naturally gravitate to our own personal healthy weight if you are eating right, exercising for fun – that is what your body really needs. It doesn’t need intense diets, or hardcore workouts but that is what many of us have learned. We learned to feel fat – fat isn’t really a feeling in the grand scheme of things – how can you feel fat? You can’t. The favorite of many of the ladies was the lobster story, so without further ado this is the beloved lobster story (or example concept):
This conference was really moving, as a speaker you had the opportunity to stay through the entire conference talking about education, believing in yourself and it was so moving. I had a 7th grade Latina girl come up to me and ask me if I thought she was fat during a break. She weighed 170 pounds, was very pretty, very personable – she was a person you could really feel had some phenomenal potential in this world and with these sense of total innocence, a beautiful kind. I talked to her about her activity levels, her eating, and it really sounded in check – she felt good, had great energy and felt healthy. I explained to this lovely young lady that she is still growing she shouldn’t worry about being fat because she isn’t fat and it sounds like she is healthy – our bodies change. She then explained to me that it isn’t necessarily her – but others have told her that she is fat. My heart broke for her. She then continued to say, “Well I just tell them , whatever, I’m just fluffy.” She smiled which then made me smile. But I explained to her when we love ourselves, it begins to radiate and people then see that they can’t get to us and we indeed are beautiful because we feel beautiful.
Toward the end of the conference we had breakfast together and all of the speakers went to a table of young ladies and joined them, answered any questions they had for us and talked about the conference. It was remarkable how much feed back I got and how much it meant to so many of them that I pushed that a number doesn’t define you, that every single body is different – because so many of them had struggled with weight loss or self image. Then of course, the lobster story is something that I’m pretty sure won’t be leaving anyone’s minds any time soon – as many of them seemed to love that and actually pay attention to that portion of the conference. haha.
It was unbelievable to amount of hands that went up during the part of the conference came to a point where we asked how many of them had been told they would never amount to anything , or how many of them were beginning to believe it – and how much having us there to remind them they are something wonderful, they are beautiful lovely women, and they can and will make something of themselves, was so powerful, and so moving.