I’ll be the first to admit, I am a social media user and lover. I’m not ashamed of it one bit. It has reconnected me with old friends, introduced me to new friends and helps me keep in touch with relatives near and far. So the decision to share my health and wellness journey wasn’t a difficult one to make. Quite honestly, it was an easier decision to share my story versus posting pictures and people speculating. To take it a step further, I was/am mighty proud of the work I put in!
Additionally, I followed a few influencers who were very helpful to me. Special shout out to @realtalkKim because her prayers helped me through many a rough night.
I made my first post about my journey in March 2018. Shortly thereafter people began approaching John and me about sharing our program. We were excited to share because we knew so many people in need of what we were able to research and provide for ourselves. We wanted to help anyone understand that their health and wellness was within their reach if they’re willing to put in the work.
One day about a month after I went public with my story, a writer from PopSugar Fitness contacted me regarding a story they were doing on women and intermittent fasting. I remember thinking I am about to BLOW ALL THE WAY UP!!! It was all I could do to not write my resignation letter. I obsessed over that write up as if it were in Vogue. It was a big deal to me and another opportunity to tell my story. What could be the downside?
Expectation vs. reality settled in really quickly. The write up was nice but it wasn’t what I expected. It didn’t make me feel as great as I thought it would for as long as I thought it should. That situation truly made the social media lifecycle very real to me. Things move so fast and you can quickly become old news an hour after you’re a big deal! LOL.
Today, I was reminded of that feeling again when Black Women Losing Weight (I LOOOVE THEM btw, please follow them everywhere) reposted a blog they wrote on my story. As always with BWLW, the interaction is fantastic and very motivational. There are sooooo many people that are complementary and they do a great job of ensuring a tasteful and positive experience. That said, a comment caught my eye and made me literally laugh out loud. (pictured below)
This comment was funny to me because I’m on the flattering end of that person’s comedic version of my narrative. I often tell my clients, friends, and family that I’ve tapped into the fountain of youth. The comment stayed with me all day and I went back to the post and saw many more like it…she lost 80 pounds off her body and 8 years off her face… she went from church mother to youth ministry etc.
I truly believe each comment was intended to be flattering. I wasn’t personally offended at all. But as an influencer and a celebrator of people on this health and wellness journey, I felt compelled to truly feel these words. Feeling them the way I would have 80 pounds ago.
It took me back to times when I was that overweight woman. I remember sitting across from a group of surly women who made jokes about my age/weight…she looks like she could be his mother (he being my father). THE AUDACITY!!!! I was 8 months pregnant and knew a few things A) it wasn’t true B) they were just being mean. Even still, it stung. In that situation, I controlled myself, my tongue and these hands. These women meant nothing to me and weren’t worth my time and/or aggravation. Basically, I blocked them!
To a large extent, that is how I have to deal with social media as I become (dare I admit it) an influencer. The nice remarks always exceed the negative. The mean ones don’t matter. “Hate you cause they ain’t you comes to mind…” Blockity, block, block!
One thing I know is true: you have to mentally prepare for a lifestyle change like StillFit360. It is hard as heck to break old bad habits. Chances are, you like me, spent more time being bad to yourself than good to yourself. It is a challenging experience and that is why so many are living an unhealthy lifestyle. Don’t let anyone stop or stall the journey to your best with their comments or naysaying.
Reclaiming your health is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. It is also one of the most gratifying experiences you’ll ever have. My advice is to listen to yourself and understand your triggers (good and bad) and learn early on how to deal with them. Get a therapist to help you through it if you need one.
The highs of people noticing your amazing results, lifting you up and singing your praises are euphoric. The lows of comparison, judgment, and inconsistency can be catastrophic if you let it.
LESSON: Use social media to your advantage but don’t take it too seriously. Half the people posting are trying to be funny and get likes, the other ones really want help and more importantly, your block button works for you!