Loving Me. Establishing a truce as Ms. Good and Plenty

By: Rochelle Valsaint

Rochelle (third from left) and her sisters

There are five things that keep my attention  – my marriage, motherhood, my ambition (as it relates to financial security now and in leaving a legacy), my family and  my weight/my body image and how it makes me feel about my presentation to the world. Well, that last one, my weight, has been heavy on my mind over the last week. Starting with a mention I made of myself as Ms. Good and Plenty on our weekly  blog talk radio show, The Greenlight Project Vogue, I playfully referred to my plus-sized figure. Publicly I chuckled because I really liked the name and though myself clever just for coming up with it. Privately, I knew it was a small declaration of acceptance that while body image has been and is a life issue for me, it is ok to publicly acknowledge the beauty of all of me at whatever size.

You see, I had an aha! moment several years and Oprah sessions ago that my weight and body issues started at a young age. My body issues come from a combination of Momma issues, Daddy issues, generational issues, etc. And, although I have accepted that I will have to deal with these issues, whenever they arise throughout my life, I commit today to a few things that will help me keep a truce with myself regarding my body image. First, I am giving up on a few self-sabotaging things. Namely, (1) I will stop referring to myself as the ‘smart’ sibling in reference to my place amongst my Mama’s three girls. This is important to do because I know this a sly critique of myself – having always wanted to be ‘the fine one’ as I refer to my oldest sister, Staci; or referring to my youngest sister, Akia as ‘the pretty one.’ As of today, we are all each one of the descriptions and so much more if I’m the person telling the story. (2) I will stop avoiding full body mirrors and only seeing what I consider my flaws when I look at myself – my arms, my ample thighs and my stomach. And (3), I will stop encouraging people to take pictures of me from the face up!

The plan is to replace those bad habits with a few, self-affirming ones that will allow me to walk in the light to which I have been gifted. (1) I will continually invest in the wardrobe, shoes, accessories and beauty enhancing solutions that celebrate all of my beauty. For pointers, I will look to Afrobella, and Vogue Italia’s, Vogue Curvy to help me keep this commitment (See fellow Domer, Julie Henderson, a perfect role model). (2) I will work toward a photo shoot for me that captures the model I am when I am feelin’ my stylo. If any stylists and photographers or connections that want to help me achieve this goal, reach out to me. And (3), I will boldly put myself in the spotlight through the media channels we are creating with the TWS Media division. I will also celebrate those companies and media that get that it’s a thin line between working toward the healthy lifestyle while celebrating yourself and self-sabotaging with negative motivation, which never works as well.

Today I accept that I am ‘Perfect in My Imperfection!’

I am sure that I am not the only one who needs to make that truce with themselves today. If anyone else knows about this ; or wants to support my effort, let a sister know.

5 responses to “Loving Me. Establishing a truce as Ms. Good and Plenty

  1. Wow Rochelle…
    This piece has struck a nerve with me. I to suffer from the negative self talk disguised as playful banter. I do the same things you do. I don’t have sisters but I have cousins that I see as the stylish, fine and pretty ones. I have always felt like the outcast because of the extra “love” around my middle. But now I realize that through the sly remarks that I made, I talked myself into being the outcast. I see now that the definition of beauty that I grew up with through the media is warped. My family, my husband and my friends always told me different but I didn’t believe them, people who loved me, but I chose to believe a faceless media machine that didn’t even know or care about me. We’ll now I choose me. I will be taking more pictures, I will smile more just because I can, I will not deprive myself of the joy of shopping and being cute, and I will set up an appointment to have a photo shoot. Thanks girl for the courage to share your struggle. But thanks even more for realizing your worth so that you can help others realize theirs.

  2. chelledv – I am glad that my story was able to help you. That is why I am thankful for every experience, good, bad, or ugly. It gives me something to draw from so that I somehow I can help others from what I’ve been through. Thanks for allowing my story to help you.

  3. Reading this made me so happy and proud of you! I will continue to do my part to help you step outside of your comfort zone (ahem, pink bracelet), by trying new accessories, makeup and clothing that makes you feel special and comfortable. And, I will be sure to take plenty of full-body photos of you the next time we’re together. Keep up the positivity!

  4. Pingback: For Once Bigger is Better « The UnAgency Approach

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