me
photo collages – another exercise in learning to love myself

Sometimes the Universe speaks to us through blog posts.

The other day I read a post titled “Women At War With Their Bodies and How It’s Impacting Their Businesses” on the Boss Babe blog and I felt like the author, Wendy Porter of Crowned for Success, had read my mind and was spilling all my secrets.In the post Porter confesses that there was a time when she put off starting her business because she was unhappy with her weight. She writes:

For a long time it kept me from even wanting to start my business. I was always coming up with excuses of why it wasn’t the right time, “maybe when I lose 20 lbs or do waist training or when I lose my stomach or when I find a good cellulite cream or when I get rid of my double chin or my flabby arms THEN I will start my business” or how about “when I get back in the gym, I will start doing Periscopes or FB Live…

And Porter knows that too many other women are falling into this trap.

I’m one of them.

I currently weigh more than I ever have in my life and this weight gain has definitely affected my self esteem and my business.  I’m letting a number on a scale hold me back. I need new headshots, a brand photo shoot and a sizzle reel for See Jane Write and I’ve put off all of those things because of my weight. Because of my weight I won’t use Snapchat or Instagram Stories as often as I should or post many photos of myself to social media, even though my analytics show that these posts get the most engagement.

Every time someone posts a picture of me from an event or even when I’m featured in a newspaper or magazine, I sit staring at the photo pointing out flaws, loathing the way I look, instead of celebrating the publicity or remembering the fun of the occasion.

The irony of this is when I was a skinny pre-teen I longed to have the curves that my aunts and older cousins flaunted. And even today plus-size fashion bloggers are my favorite style mavens to follow on Instagram. I think Gabi of GabiFresh.com is one of the most gorgeous women on the planet. And I would never, ever pick apart a photograph of another woman the way I scrutinize pictures of myself. I look at other women and only see their beauty, both inside and out. But yet nowadays I find it so hard to see the same beauty in myself.

Can you relate to any of this? Chances are you can. So here’s what I think we can do about it.

Let’s make health and fitness part of our blogging business plans. I said to an acquaintance recently that the more See Jane Write grows so does my waistline. And it’s funny because it’s true. I’ve gained so much weight this year because I’ve been too busy to eat right or exercise regularly and most nights I don’t get enough sleep. But I believe your business can only be as healthy as you are. And this isn’t just about the scale. I also just feel really crappy. I believe we all need to start seeing taking care of our bodies as a business growth strategy.

We need to love, not punish, our bodies. I have always loved to exercise. In college I was even a certified fitness instructor. So I’ve never understood why some people see working out as punishment for eating a burger or a piece of cake. But recently, I’ve realized that I have the same mindset about food. Instead of seeing eating fruits, vegetables and lean proteins as a way of loving and taking care of my body, I see it as punishment for Taco Tuesday or trips to Yogurt Mountain. A shift in mindset will help us slowly make the dietary changes we need.

Start today. I know that whenever I am exercising regularly I feel good about myself, regardless of what the scale says, because I feel strong. So starting today I am going to make my workouts one of my top priorities. There’s no need to wait until January 1! And as getting active gets us feeling more confident we’ll be able to move forward and do all the things we’ve been putting off for our blog businesses, too.

Keep up the good work. Entrepreneur Oliver Emberton once said, The best way to develop confidence is to become good at something and get yourself in front of people who appreciate it.” And I know this to be true. I feel most confident when I am in front of my students teaching or in front of the women of See Jane Write coaching. I feel confident during public speaking engagements and when I read something I’ve published and think, “Damn, girl! That’s good!” If you’re struggling with confidence I urge you to keep doing what you’re good at and find people who will appreciate your talents and skills.

Think of the children! Because I am a teacher, I am a role model, whether I I want to be one of not. The young women at my school — especially the black girls and the girls who consider themselves feminists — look up to me and I can’t let them hear me saying disparaging things about my body or see me walking around defeated and depressed because of my dress size. Do you have a daughter, niece, or mentee who looks up to you? Think of the good example you need to set for her.

What tips do you have for a better body image? 

 

11 Comments on My Body Image Issues Are Hurting My Blogging Career

  1. Runwright
    November 19, 2016 at 9:17 pm (11 months ago)

    Great post. I have put off posting Instastories too because I don’t like how my appearance. This past week, I’ve been amping up my activity so I think I lost maybe a pound or so. I’m excited about it and want to keep going. I have several more pounds to lose.

    Reply
  2. Les
    November 19, 2016 at 10:59 pm (11 months ago)

    I wish you could see the lovely woman I see whenever I run into you. But, evidently, you have a mean Inner Critic, just like mine, that attacks your self-esteem and ties advancing your business to some arbitrary weight. You know that’s nonsense but you’re still listening to the Critic. You might want to get IC to shut up.

    There are a lot of good tips on how to silence the Inner Critic . One of my favorites is giving her (mine’s a her) a very silly name. The silly name undermine’s the IC’s authority and the sillier you picture her, the less authority she has.

    I hope you find a method to disarm that IC; because you’re perfect, just as you are.

    Reply
    • javacia
      November 20, 2016 at 7:09 am (11 months ago)

      Oh, Leslie! Thank you so much for your sweet words and for always being so supportive. And I love the idea of giving my Inner Critic a silly name. I’ll let you know how that goes.

      Reply
  3. Amanda
    November 21, 2016 at 12:33 am (11 months ago)

    Yes!! Self image is something that I have always struggled with! This was a perfect read! It’s always so enjoyable, encouraging and fulfilling to read your pieces. ☺️☺️☺️❤️

    Reply
    • javacia
      November 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you so much for reading! I hope this was helpful in someway.

      Reply
  4. Melinda
    November 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm (11 months ago)

    As one of your secret admirers, I now admire you even more for speaking up on this issue. It undermines the life of every woman I know. Maybe if we keep calling it out, like Lena Dunham has done and you just did so eloquently, we can start to beat back the beast. How did we get the idea that we aren’t good enough just the way we are? We need to ponder that.

    Reply
    • javacia
      November 23, 2016 at 9:04 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you so much for your comment — and for sharing that you’re my secret admirer. 🙂 I do think that the more we call ourselves out on this the more things will start to change for the better.

      Reply
  5. Jacqui Jones
    November 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm (11 months ago)

    I started to restart my own blog off on a similar topic. But it’s really difficult to say aloud. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    • javacia
      November 23, 2016 at 9:02 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you for reading. I hope this encourages you to share your own story.

      Reply
  6. Jaronda Little
    November 30, 2016 at 11:33 am (11 months ago)

    Javacia, you amaze me everyday. You are so articulate, confident and gorgeous. Thank you for openly sharing that you don’t always feel that way. As Leslie said above, that Inner Critic that so many women (including myself) listen to can really make us forget how truly beautiful God has made each of us. All the best to you and every woman on this journey! It’s so good to know that we are not alone.

    Reply
    • javacia
      November 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm (11 months ago)

      Thank you, Jaronda for such kind words and for stopping by the blog. I really appreciate your support.

      Reply

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