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My 20 year old self body shames my 40 year old self

June 12, 2019 2 Comments

My 20 year old self body shames my 40 year old self

June 12, 2019 2 Comments

I used to be fine as hell ya’ll. FINE AS HELL.

Me at 20, I think (hope) I was headed to the pool with a friend.
Nevermind the ratchetry of this photo, let’s move on, lol.

I didn’t know I was fine at the time. I’ve never been overly confident about my body, in my opinion. I fluctuate between believing I’m attractive and feeling like I need work. I always have. I’d even go as far to say, looking back, I had an unrealistic view of what I thought was “wrong” with me. Even back then, I didn’t think my stomach was flat enough 😐

For the most part, I have been mostly content with the way I looked. By the time I got to college, I knew I had a nice body and a few features folks found attractive – full lips, high cheekbones, and nice arms.

By the time I became a full fledged adult, living in Tallahassee with my 3 year old daughter, I knew I wasn’t the 20 year old version of myself anymore but I was still turning heads where ever I went so I was cool.

Hanging out it Ochos Rios, Jamaica at age 34 in 2013

In 2013, I became very interested in health and fitness and got into really good shape. Probably the best shape of my life.

Fast forward to today, 40 year old Libryia stands in front of the mirror feeling like two different people. I often feel like that 20 year old version of me is trapped under this fat and these stretch marks and wondering how she got stuck in here. How did she get back rolls? Why is it so hard to tie her shoes? Why don’t her jeans fit?

Now, I’ve never been a person who body shames others. I see beauty in everyone.

But when it comes to me, it’s completely different.

Bassin Bleu in Haiti at age 36. Can you believe I was complaining about my body on this trip!?

When I stand in my closet trying to get dressed, I only see all the clothes I can’t fit anymore and find myself saying “you’re too fat for that” as I rake through the limited wardrobe I have.

I get online and start looking at clothes I might want to buy and I hear myself saying “that won’t look good on you” or “you don’t have the body for that anymore”.

I stand in front of the mirror, trying my damndest to button up a pair of pants and I tell myself “seriously Lib, you can’t even fit the fat pants you bought anymore”

If I’m completely honest, the version of myself who has always been in good shape without even trying is disappointed in my current self. She’s also confused by my current self.

Kicking it in Tulum for my 40th birthday

20 year old Libryia is trying to figure out how the hell did this happen? Furthermore, why is it so hard to fix?

40 year old Libryia feels so judged and unable to find answers to those questions which feel more like accusations. Like my younger self is accusing my older self of pilfering away some gift I was given. The gift of being fine for no damn reason. I wasted it. I used it up. I buried it under taco bell and bourbon, I guess.

20 year Libryia clearly doesn’t know how the anatomy works and how age plays into that. I’m frustrated with myself for letting her get to me. I am a logical person. I know that logically and scientifically, my body is not the same body I had at 20. Furthermore, 20 year old me didn’t know shit. Who the hell is she to judge me? She was right there with me at Taco Bell, in my ear telling me to “eat the taco, we’ve always eaten tacos, we’ll be fine”. Now she has the nerve to judge me!?! She better respect her damn elders.

I wish 40 year old Libryia felt confident and content. I wish the me I am today knew that it was not a “gift” to have a nice body without even trying for the majority of my youth. It was just my circumstances that for a very long time that I had a body that looked athletic and I enjoyed it.

I was loving my time in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (age 40)

Now I have a body that, at 40, sustains me. It does not look the way it did, but it’s still doing alright. This body does not have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or any disease aside from the asthma it’s had since the age of 3. This body has raised a teenager, run Spartan races, won a fitness competition, laid on the beach in Thailand, done the wobble at clubs in South Africa, climbed Machu Picchu, partied on a yacht in Mexico and it’s still going.

I had a conversation with my therapist about this, she reminded me that my 20 year old self, my 30 year old self, and my current self just need to get aligned on being happy with my accomplishments to this point, honest about where I am now, decide where I want to be, and use the best parts of each version of myself to get to there.

These versions of me could team up and help me to the goal rather than shame me about where I am. I could use the tenacity and optimism of my 20 year old self and leverage the badassery and determination of my 30 year old self. Those are way more useful than the judgment and comparison.

Truth is this won’t be easy. I’ll still have days when I look in the mirror and see my 20 year old self staring back at me with her judgy face. I’ll just have to remember to tell her to kiss my ass and drag her to the gym with me.

libryia

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2 Comments

  • Ashley Renne June 12, 2019 at 11:58 am

    I like what your therapist said about having all these versions of yourself work together instead of work against you. Real talk this was a great post and I know it wasn’t easy.

    • libryia June 12, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      She was also the one who pointed out that my 20 year old self was riding along with me to Taco Bell, she wasn’t judging me then!!! LOL. She really is great, I love how she puts things into perspective with so much simplicity. Thanks for your comment!

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#mommiehood #motherhood #mommingateen #wanderingmom
    • It's another Work From Anywhere Wednesday! **body rolls**
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I'm chatting with you from my home office today about positions that are not 100% remote.

They do exist and A LOT of people don't even bother looking at them because they are so focused on finding a fully remote job.

I want to encourage you to apply for these jobs even if they aren't fully remote.

Why?

Well, for one you need to get into the habit of applying for jobs and going through the hiring process. I believe in achievement motivation. Once you start applying for the jobs you "kinda" want, it will be that much easier to apply for the ones you really want.

Secondly, if you get the job, you will now have remote experience and that will make you more appealing to the companies that are hiring a 100% remote workforce.

But the biggest reason I want you to go for it is because partial remote is more remote than you are now!

So get out there and apply.

If you need help finding viable remote jobs, I created a guide with my FAVORITE places to find remote work. Just click the link in my bio and grab your free copy.

Ok, I got work to do! Have a great day!
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    • Where there are two or more women gathered together, there is bound to be drama, right?

WRONG!

During my girls trip to Turks and Caicos, several men made mention of the fact that we seemed to be so cool with each other and had no drama during our trip. They seemed shocked and impressed.

Admittedly, we took this as a compliment. We proudly touted that "WE don't do drama!" as if we're special.

I thought about this on my way home and felt I had to say out loud that I think this stereotype should DIE!

We are in the Era of The Sistafriend. Women are supporting one another, cheering one another on, taking trips together, starting businesses together, and just having a damn good time together.

I wrote a blog post about why I just don't believe this myth is accurate and why it should be killed.

Click the link in my bio to check it out!

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📸: @specislegend in Turks and Caicos .
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    • Yooo! It's Work From Anywhere Wednesday!

Today, I want to challenge you all to expand your remote work opportunities to freelancing.

Freelancing is a great way to work remotely!

You would be surprised to know that there are MANY companies, both big and small that are willing to pay you for the expertise and skills you have.

During my first monthly "Lib Search For My Remote Job" session last night, I spoke to two women about freelancing.

One wanted to be a recruiter. This is a REALLY great field for freelancing but you have to build your network.

The other wanted to help non-profits with fundraising. There are not usually a ton of remote opportunities with non-profits so I suggested that she build out a suite of services from building strategic plans to executing those plans and approach some non-profits who are currently hiring for similar roles and offer to consult with them.

Freelancing is definitely a great way to broaden the range of opportunities for you to go remote

There are a few more spaces in the session tonight and Saturday. Sign up before they run out. Just click the link in my bio and go to "Lib, Search For My Remote Job"

See ya in there!
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    • Ever give a woman a compliment and the first thing she does is explain why you shouldn't have?

How many times have you done this yourself?

It's such an interesting and automated response and it seems to be something women do almost exclusively.

I imagine if it were men, one man might say **turns on deep voice** "hey man, I like that beard look bro, its dope" and the man would never respond with "for real man? It's so dry and I need a line up!". No, he would say "thanks man, 'preciate that"

Why do we have so much trouble graciously receiving compliments?

Are we trying to portray modesty?

Do we think it makes us seem conceited?

Or do we think we don't deserve the compliment

This happened on two occasions over the weekend.

I told one woman that her lashes looked great and she immediately launched a smear campaign about how they were old and needed to be redone. I placed my hand on her shoulder to stop her and said "oooh girl, just say thank you" 🤣
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Another woman I was chatting with had such beautiful skin and I told her so. She looked at me concerned like she thought I might be losing my eyesight and said "oh no, I'm so mad at my skin, I'm breaking out and..." I cut her off and said "I think your skin is beautiful, just say thank you" 🤣
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I absolutely do this too. Most of us do. I don't know why we do it, but I would love for us to stop.

We do not owe modesty to the world. We do owe it to ourselves to be bold in our acceptance of our beauty, our strength, our power.

There is a big difference between being conceited and being confident and accepting compliments does not tip the scales towards conceit. It does, however, exhibit graciousness.

We don't get to decide whether or not we deserve the compliment. The person giving it to us already declared it. Its ours. They weren't asking our permission or asking us to sign off on it. They chose to compliment us because we were deserving. We should accept that. We deserve it.

Take the compliment, sis. Just say "thank you".
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    • Crazy enough, our weekend trip to Memphis was the first "real"  trip Zian and I have taken together since Christmas when we went to Colombia 😯😯
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She and I have made road trips back to my hometown, we went to Chicago to drop her at summer camp, and we went to Detroit to say goodbye to our Jadyn, but this is the first trip of the year where we got to kick it together.

Yesterday, I moderated a panel for @audacityfest discussing traveling with children alongside @tanaibenardturner, @themomtrotter, @thetravelingchild, and @@gabbok17. One of the things we talked about was how much quality bonding time we get when we travel with our kids.

I love stepping outside of our regular routine of being mom and daughter and just being people exploring a town, getting to know who my daughter is as a person, and letting her learn who I am as Libryia, not as "mom".
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Although our time in Memphis was brief, I truly enjoyed sharing history with my kiddo at the National Civil Rights Museum, chatting and strolling down Main St., grooving to music at the #BringYourSoul block party,  two-stepping to the jams played by @bigsueshouse at brunch, and mural hunting for dope shots for da gram (thanks @ilovememphisblog for the murals list!)
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It's true, she and I can bond at home. But there is something so special about discovering a new place and ourselves.

Memphis, thank you for having us! We can't wait to come back and explore more of what you have to offer!
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