The piece of me that hates the whole of me 

I write this from a place of semi-sobriety and complete honesty. It may contain triggers for those of you who have been affected by sexual violence. My hope is that through my sharing I gain some peace and that maybe am able to connect to others, helping them move closer to their own serenity. 

There is a piece of me that hates the whole of me for that night. I just laid there. After saying “no” repeatedly he told me to stop telling him no. That I was not to ever tell him “no”. So I was compliant. I didn’t know then that my complicit silence would be the grey area making it difficult to charge him with rape. Why didn’t I fight? It was a question the detective asked me. It was a question I’ve repeatedly asked myself. And perhaps it’s a question that those who know me who have never experienced rape have wondered. The truth is, I always figured myself for a fighter. To be assertive and aggressive and clear about consent and my own discomfort. But in that moment being held down so forcefully I would have bruises on my back for days after, silence was my only weapon. 

When the detective for sex crimes asked me to describe the event I did, in explicit detail. There were, it seems, many times where I could have gotten away or fought back or stressed “No” beyond the initial iteration. Why didn’t I seize those opportunities? They asked me waiting for an answer I didn’t have to give them. I wish I knew. Beholden to a man who’s grip would leave scars while tears streamed down my face and a mantra echoing through my head, “just don’t make him mad.” Jennie says it was self-preservation. But I have not yet come to the place where I can forgive myself for my weakness, my silence, my presumed compliance in that moment. I am not sure I ever will. 

And then in the aftermath. The grasps for control. The breakdowns. Five of which I’ve had today alone. The ocean of tears I’ve cried. The deep desire I have to quit my job because it physically wears me out to have to perform the act of normalcy. But knowing if I do I lose access to my mental health care. It is a pressure that feels like the weight of him on top of me. One that I can’t seem to get out from under. 

My biggest plight right now is not knowing how to find relief. I hate the question are you okay? No. I’m not. And I’m afraid I don’t know when I will be. It scares me more than anything else in this world right now. I want my mom but I don’t want her to see me this way. Broken and unable to be fixed, even by her love. It’s an impossible feeling to not know what you need. To be told that time is your serum for healing but time is the noose around your neck and the sand in your lungs. 

I hurt and all I can do is cry out through my fingertips. Because for anyone who asks, I don’t have any words. Just like that night I guess. Which makes me cry even more. Where was my voice when I needed it? Where is it now? Can I be brave enough to speak even if it’s through tears and short sharp breaths? I hate the part of me who thinks I can’t. She was born that night. 


I’ve struggled for three days to find the words. It was like holding my breath for seventy-two hours under water. I was confused and couldn’t make sense of things. No way to tell up from down and no way to understand what was happening to me or why. In my three silent days I’ve been plunged light years from who I was before. This post is the story of that journey. 

Sunday night I was raped. After first expressing consent I said no to other acts and my wishes were dismissed. That and several other acts ensued until it was done. And I was left in a pool of grey confusion around what had just happened. Sore enough to look for bruises from being held down or held in place I wondered if it was just a matter of misunderstanding. I continually asked myself, “It wasn’t rape…was it?” I could not bring myself to say the word. 
I reached out to friends. I shared the experience and sadly almost every woman I told had a similar one to share. Sexual assault, I thought, should not be our admission ticket into womanhood! As I calmed from the shock of the event it became more evident that what I’d experienced was in fact sexual assault. I had said no. Multiple times. It wasn’t a “weird experience” as I had previously described it, it was a crime. 
Telling my mother was difficult. Talking to my younger sister, a college freshman, was worse. I tried to be as transparent with her as I could. Her big sister who felt anything but capable or competent, her big sister was disappointing her because I had, up until that point, decided not to report the assault. I later had a change of heart and did report it. To the police and to my campus police and sexual assault advocates. Having to detail the horrific story over and over again. “How many times approximately, Ms. Williams?” “Why did you continue?” I felt stupid for having to explain my fear. Worse knowing that as a counselor, a professor who trains couselors, a professional who trained sexual assault advocates, that in that moment I failed myself. I am working on forgiving myself for simply surviving in the best way I knew how in that moment. In those moments. 
I also told my direct supervisor and my dissertation committee. Why? Because beyond academic support they are the three people who have supported me personally spiritually emotionally and mentally throughout my time here. I wanted them to know what was going on with me. I wanted to ask them to be patient with me. I wanted to ask them to support me now more than ever. But not to lower their expectations. 
In the three days I’ve just wanted to feel like myself. A friend and colleague told me “he stole your ‘used to’ you’re going to have to find a new one.” In a way her reflection gave me permission. Permission to reframe this experience as an opportunity. I am choosing to find purpose in my suffering. I am choosing to share this journey as I do all my others because that is a part of why I’m here; Why I was allowed to remain all those years ago. I am choosing to be candid and open and honest because that is who I am. 
Something so incredibly private….in it houses so much shame. And so much secrecy. I thought about how I’ve felt in the mornings. Not wanting to wear make up. Or do my hair. Or put on perfume. Or wear fitted clothing. Somebody out there needs to know that they aren’t the only ones feeling like that. I need to know I’m not the only one feeling like that. And why should I house the shame? It was an act of such intimate violation and yet you ask Me to bear the scarlet letter? I respectfully decline. I have nothing to be ashamed of; this was not my fault. ((Sidebar: I’d be lying if I said I fully believed that. I am trying very hard to fully believe it. I know at my core it’s true but I still indulge in the self-blame game)) 
Lastly I shared with my roommate the story of the nun I met who when being raped continually told herself and her perpetrator “I will NOT turn on you.” The man who disregarded my voice and my expressed desires, my boundaries and my comfort…he doesn’t get anymore from me. No more. I have been split in two but I will not turn on you. I will not become some broken thing filled with hate and malice. I will heal and I will thrive. 
Much of what I tout is aspirational. But maybe just saying it out loud is one step towards becoming the woman empowered from this situation versus the woman victimized in this situation. Being a victim was never a role I cared to play. I was not sent here to play small my life and my purpose are much bigger than that. And I choose to believe that I was given my talents and my trials to become. He may have taken parts of me, but I am mine. I will remain mine. The most important parts of me cannot be taken. 
If it is one thing I want him or any woman who has experienced sexual violence to understand its that. Your most precious parts are unable to be stolen or even extracted. Your essence is yours and belongs to you alone. Your light. The world did not give it, the world cannot take it away. Do not electively dim because when you do, you’ve turned. And they continue to steal from you. 
I feel afraid. I feel as though I’m never warm enough. Cozy enough. I don’t want to eat. I can’t stand the idea of being “beautiful” which is what he kept calling me. I am healing. But I am going to do it without shame. Without abusing drugs or alcohol. Without feeling like I have to do it alone. With love. I asked myself how I could love myself through this process? And all I got was that I had to give myself what I needed and what I needed more than ever was kindness. Was loving care and kindness. I decided I would remain open and share my pain as I always do. Finding courage along the way and bravery in the rearview of fear-filled over share. 
So this is me trying.  Not to heal the whole world, just to heal myself. This is me trying to find my new normal after experiencing violation of the worst kind. This is me being honest in my pain and open in my struggle. This is me not having answers but struggling through options. This is just me. Bent though I may be but not broken. 

Can I get a witness?

There is a fear that I need to acknowledge. It is that as a decidedly single woman, I house within me the fear that I will always be single. There will be no witness to my life. There will be no audience to my triumphs nor safety in my trials. My oneness though elective it may have once been will become a choice I didn’t choose. Yet cannot undo.

After a while you can’t help but wonder, “is it me?” And after a while longer you have all but convinced yourself that it must be. There is no other reasonably logical explanation. I ask myself, “where is my lesson in this?” I dug for lessons for six months in silence while holding pieces of a broken heart in my other hand. I could just…I could breath through this hurt God if you just show me where’s the purpose in my pain? Give me a hint.

I would sit still and listen for my gut. Nothing. And another night I would fall asleep and wake up confused in my bed but somehow smelling him. Back there. And I would cry. I cried so much in that loneliness, that quiet, that yearning for the lesson that I cried myself numb. Scabbed over and thickened it took that much more effort to feel anything.

I just want to feel wanted. I remember thinking. Desirable. Dancing around the one word I was afraid to crave: loved. Love-ing had gotten me nowhere. Trusting in love had gotten my heart broken. And here we were the day before Valentine’s Day and me in red, out of breath in a shopping mall because he robbed me yet again. And again. And again.

Leaving, I told myself, was the best idea for both of you. Only on every lonely night I have to wonder if it’s true. Was there one, a someone I overlooked? Did I miss them? Did I miss love? Can I call it back? I need someone to care how my day went. I need someone to rub my back when I feel like crying. I need someone to turn off the lights with at night. I need someone who’s laugh is the third to my fifth. I need to be held. To be cherished. To be listened to. To be made love to. Don’t I deserve that?

Silence always makes me question it. What I deserve. Because when someone doesn’t even care enough to say goodbye or fuck off or anything? You feel insignificant. Maybe silence always hurt but it certainly does now, after. His silence was deafening and in it I filled the space with every negative thought one could think. I became the woman who could be walked away from. I lived up to unworthy.

So the silence from today triggered me. Caused me to have to acknowledge my fear. My fear that even though on most days I don’t believe it, that somewhere inside me lives the belief that I will never feel…

I can’t even write the words. Through my own tears. I know that happiness is my own work, I know. But I can’t love in a vacuum right? Will friendship be enough? Will my work? I need something that loves me back.

It is at precisely this point that I find myself dangerously close to negotiating. Deciding the things I wanted and needed in a partner were ready for mediation with the universe. Only that’s not right either. But how long? How long does one sustain and persist through the lonely before you set up permanent residence in solitude?

I don’t want to hear about timing. Or trusting. Or plans and purpose. I would just really like to feel loved again.

Losing at Losing or Forever Fat

My weight was the only thing I was never good at. Even at my most fit, I did track I did cheerleading, I wasn’t a star athlete but I worked out enough and ate like any teenager, infrequently and horribly, yet all I had was super muscular legs, defined lats, arms I always wanted to cover up, and a stomach that would never grace the cover of a magazine.

My cheerleading skirts had to be ordered special because I couldn’t wear the ones passed down from other years. In high school I was a size 14/16 and for a girl who found herself in a group where the average was a 2 (and they still dieted) I almost always felt like a failure in that regard.

I distinctly remembering wishing I could develop some type of eating disorder. Where I over exercised and loathed food. That was not going to ever be true for me (And thank God!) but the thought did exist. I remember wondering how it was that I excelled in so many things and yet losing weight was my biggest hurdle. It was like I couldn’t figure it out.

Once my mother asked me if I loved myself. I quizzically answered yes, because why wouldn’t i? And she told me if I loved myself I wouldn’t hold on to all the weight. My mom is always on a weight loss kick so I figured maybe she was on to something. So then it became about self-work. I read articles and mastered the art of Oprah so that I could lose weight through my soul rather than the scale only the weight never came off. Again I was stuck, do I hate myself unknowingly? Am I missing it?

As I grew up and into myself I finally stopped playing the guessing game, “What’s wrong with me?” Opting for the belief that nothing was. My fatness remained an anomaly and for the time being I allowed it to remain unsolvable and unquestioned. It wasn’t until a conversation I had with myself just yesterday that changed things.

I’ve been receiving very clear and exciting (scary) messages from the universe about my next steps. In the process of trying to figure out logistics and prioritize my own professional becoming along with everything else I’m juggling right now I sat down to ask myself how I was going to manage and more importantly why? The conclusion I came to was that the things I’m meant to do are in their fundamental stages and every life experience I’ve had up until now has uniquely prepared me for this moment. Every conversation, every chance encounter, every opportunity, every blog post, every outfit, everything. Including my body. I asked myself if I could speak with any authority on fatness or fat women if I were not, in fact, a fat woman? Likely not.
I asked myself could I hold the space of the group I want to create if I did not look like my participants? Likely not.

IMG_0320Does this mean I can never lose weight for fear of abandoning my audience, no. But it does mean that even this body has a purpose and that I am not separate from it dragging it along as I carry out my calling. It is very much an IMPORTANT part of my call. This is not a cage or a prison, this is me and this is the vessel through which I will touch and change lives. It was a powerful reframe for me.

I shared with Mari and Nicki my fear of expanse. Not physically but of becoming too big. I told Nicki how when I was a kid I used to bump into things constantly. My parents thought I was clumsy or careless but it was truly as if I could not see the wall or I had no idea how much of me needed to fit through the door frame. My sense of self has always been so much bigger than my body and I don’t want to get so big that I lose my boundary. I also fear becoming too ego driven and losing my center, my spiritual side. Mariko reminded me that fear was not a good enough excuse to play small (ha!) and that it is not that all these things I’ll get into redefine or redistribute “Me” Nicki helped remind me that the output of this work isn’t me at all. This is God and I am just the conduit.

When I remembered that I am just the vessel so much of my fear subsided. Zachary told me this before last summer. Not to hold on to the power as if it were mine but to allow myself to be used in service of its distribution. Letting it pass through me and not mistaking it for pieces of me. It helps to ebb the feeling of abandonment or boundarylessness when it leaves.

In all, I’ve never been happier. I found that the place where I have continually stumbled has been the rock I build from. Daring to believe that there is reason and purpose to all things allowed me the space to grow compassion for myself and eventually to forgive and accept myself entirely.

I have already considered the counterclaim that my fatness being of use in this way is an excuse to stay fat. And rather than dismiss it as society influenced fatphobia or propaganda I’ve entertained it. I think it is likely at some point I may lose weight. In fact I am currently tracking my calories in an attempt to eat better more often. However, I do not currently feel like I am “staying fat” for anyone or anything. I simply am. I may not always be. And I imagine as with any part or piece of self, as my body changes my perspectives may. But that doesn’t mean I cannot learn from the vantage point I currently have. It does not mean that I am only valid when I am in pursuit of thinness. It means my purpose is in my right now, and I’m going to answer as my whole fat self.


I don’t consider myself particularly exceptional. I am good at the things I am good at, but there are several others which I am not. I believe this is true of everyone. I have gathered through various interactions with humans of all kinds that I know exactly how important I am to this world. If I am exceptional in any way it is because I have an understanding of my purpose, and worth and I am openly committed to them without apology.

I was talking to Mari last night and she made a remark about her being envious of my ability to be so unapologetic. I guess it’s kind of like Lorde said,

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

The idea was and is particularly interesting especially after watching the documentary Light Girls. There was a section about the beauty industry in which the moving target metaphor was used. Perfection is unattainable and it is the idea that we are always imperfect yet on the cusp or within an arms reach of perfection which sustains this 300billion dollar industry. It is in the best interest of capitalism and our economic structure that there are less of me. Quite honestly, I could care less. Let the economy topple if it in any way depends on my belief that I am defective, insufficient, and in need of external repair.

I am not completely immune to beauty as a whole. I love make up and dressing well, I believe in fashion as art and liken designers to great artists. However, my worth neither begins nor ends with anything that is added after I leave the shower. My beauty is not circumstantial.

I find it doubly interesting that most women I know would adamantly argue otherwise. They would tell you but look closer, see my flaws? My giant pores, my full hips, my crooked smile, my frizzy hair. And I always assure them that I am seeing them. And all the things they’ve pointed out, and they are still beautiful. It’s a hard sell.

It blew my mind the first time I learned about internalized homophobia. People within the lgbtqia community berating themselves due to internalized ideals of heteronormativity heterosuperiority and an in general lack of tolerance for their own being. What I would later find out is that it didn’t stop there. There was internalized racism. Internalized classism. Internalized misogyny. And in my most recent discovery, internalized fat bias. In fact, external critique paled in comparison to the toxic dialogue happening within the folds of a woman’s own skin. We are down right nasty to ourselves.

Sometimes my friends say things out loud about themselves that makes me cringe. One because I know they likely believe it, despite the “just kidding” disclaimer. And two because I imagine the words are repeated silently and more frequently than is good for the soul.

I wish I could impart to them and to all women who struggle to see or believe their own pricelessness that it is as easy as a decision. My entire life changed when I decided to believe that I was worthy. That I was important. That I was unique and of value to the whole of the universe. That I was beautiful. That I was talented. That I was here for a reason bigger than my critics could ever comprehend. That I neither drew breath nor sustained life from the opinions of others. And that all I would ever dare to blossom into had seeds in my spirit already. Perfection is a myth. But the best version of myself is who I decide to be right now. And that target moves. It develops grows and expands moment by moment day by day. Yet I know that with each exhale I am enough.

It seems like overnight my passion for women grew. It didn’t. I just think I didn’t have words for it. But it was a woman who first revealed to me my own power. Well I suppose it was a few women. My mother. My grandmothers. And my former co-worker who I convinced to treat herself to a fancy Victoria’s Secret bra. After which she would tell me I inspired her to be kinder to herself and to own that she deserved tone treated well BY HERSELF. I’ve been hooked on that feeling of liberating women from their own muck since I was 18 years old.

And she called herself a feminist, not because she hated men–she did not–but because she loved herself and sisters too fiercely to be called anything else.

Why I wasn’t a feminist and why I am now

My reasons for never choosing to identify as a feminist before were simple and honestly boiled down to one thing: Feminism felt like the advocacy of [white] women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to [white] men. It is important that I share that because I do not think I am alone in that feeling. A few summer’s ago I was asked to take part in a women’s leadership event on campus and I wrote to the conference organizer,  I finally decided that I have to work from where I am; right now I am a woman who is a leader who does not quite understand what it means (to myself or others) to be a “woman in leadership”. I believe this lack of connection to that particular identity has to do with my racial identity. Because I rarely, if ever, refer to myself as a woman without qualifying it as being a black woman and I think the two things carry very different meanings, and often those meanings are dichotomous.

It is not that I currently disagree with myself or that my opinion has changed in that regard. I do still believe that what it means to be a Black woman and what it means to be a [White] woman are often at opposite ends of the spectrum, however what I can appreciate now is that both neither side is more liberated than the other. I had no interest in fighting alongside, speaking on behalf of, or advocating for white women. It felt like the whole world cared about white women, and I wasn’t interested in joining that club. What I can now see is the shadow side of that archetype. The [White] woman is docile, attractive*, nurturing, agreeable, emotional, nervous, weak. And what happens when they step outside of that ideal? They are annihilated. Instantly unattractive. Instantly stripped of femininity. Instantly a bitch, a lesbian, a spinster. I thought it was a blessing of sorts that Black women got to be strong, independent, assertive, and still sexual beings. However, it is simply a different cage. Because we, too, are not allowed to step out of our prescribed idea. Black women cannot cry. We cannot be vulnerable. We cannot ask for help. It is the reason why (in my experience) so many Black women secretly or not-so-secretly loathe white women. Because they are allowed to be everything we could never be. We are not even allowed to dream of becoming that, it is filtered out of us since childhood. As I’ve lived and breathed and connected with more women my understanding of feminism has changed.

For me being a feminist means I get the choice. I choose whether I am yielding or rooted, I choose whether I am emotional or stoic, I choose. And my choices are not invalidated by the society I am a part of, instead they are supported. It’s two sided. I decided who I am and in return that person is affirmed as acceptable. As it currently stands, choosing to be anything other than my given archetype of Angry|Sexual|Aggressive|Assertive|Sassy|Independent Black Woman means I’m selling out. I’m weak. How dare I declare that I need a man, no you don’t, black woman you are STRONG and can do bad all by yourself! But Jesus…Atlas bent under the weight of the world, must my back break to prove a point to society?

I watched as my very best friend who is shaped like a cello get hit on by black man after black man before I finally asked her. Do you only date black guys? She explained to me that white men never asked her out. Then she lost weight dropping from a size 14 to a size 6 and all of a sudden here were the white guys. She did not do it for them, but as a natural consequence of movement closer to the white woman ideal (read: thin) she was closer to her archetypal prescription.

beyIt is why one of my favorite feminists is Beyonce. Because she makes even feminist question the limits they place on the word. She’s too sexual–but that is her choice. She’s a mother–are the two mutually exclusive? She uses the word bitch and other lyrics which have been used to objectify women for years–Not in a gender specific way and she also refers to herself as a “Bitch” shall I site articles on the reclaiming of oppressive language? I don’t want to live in a cage. Within boundary lines that I did not draw and did not agree to. I do not want a man telling me what I can or cannot do with my body. I do not want to be bound by other people’s opinions of me. I do not want to feel invalid when I choose an unpopular choice. I do not want to feel obligated to assuage egos of the normative. I do not want to be seen as less than. I do not want to be anything other than me. And I want to be valued for that, 100%, not just 78. That is why I’m a feminist.

*another story for another day

The Curious Case of Salt and Elle

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 12.42.24 PMI tried to imagine what it would be like to be popular on a massive scale like Alex Elle or Nayyirah Waheed.  Are they even massive? I mean I suppose its relative. They have considerable social media followers but would Jay-Z know who they are? Probably not. I was in the process of asking for something, last week the intention was opportunity. It woke me up at 5 am and beat down my door until I found resolution, and eventual resolve with it. Then came the talks of writing a book again. Again. How many times do I have to hear it? It is starting to be clear to me that the book may precede the work (and the next book).  

Okay, so maybe I knew that. In my office there is a sign which sits right in front of me. It reads “Follow your heart”. I hate it.  It mocks me daily. Mostly every time I stop working and pause, my mind almost immediately wanders to the place where I’m happiest. It is not within four white walls or a beautiful marble-floored building, or even an ivory sanctuary atop a mesa with an ocean view.  Metaphorically speaking. 

Kanye West said he remembers walking through a mall and feeling as though it was the last time he would walk through the mall and do so anonymously. He said he could feel himself about to be thrown into the spotlight.  I actively work against that. Or, I should say I have actively worked against that.  For a while now I have been apathetic to it, indifferent and not caring either way whether people read, shared, commented, engaged, etc. And now, I feel as though I’m about to leap into recognition and I’m asking myself, “Are you ready?”   

Do you ever really get ready? Or does there just come a point where the tables turn and staying put, sustaining becomes less comfortable than the unknown? Anything could happen, how absolutely true.  This song, Ellie Goulding just came on my radio. Coincidence? Never much believed in those.

So here is the truth. And I’m wincing as I write this… I will take the next few days and write the prologue. What has gotten me to here. Blog posts. Coupling them. Using them to tell the story. I’m researching, piecing together the patchwork quilt which will begin the foundation for my work. As I write this our research librarian emails me and says the following:   

Dear Jessica,
I did NOT find anything under Women AND Leadership AND (Obese OR Obesity OR Physical Characteristics OR health).
What I heard her say was that the lane, my lane, is open.  And that everything I have done up until this point has uniquely prepared me to tell this story in a way that only I can tell it.  Wait, no…not tell the story but begin the conversation. The post-conventional conversation about body, weight, authenticity, connection and capacity.  tumblr_lo06h95mlo1qiaf2xo1_500I don’t know if I’m ready but I’m leaping and I am no longer apathetic or indifferent. I openly solicit the recognition, too.  A lump in my throat appeared as I typed that. I openly solicit the recognition.  AND I lean heavily on my support system because this is not about me personally, I am just the vessle, but I understand that being themedium, the conductor is what makes the energy constructive.  I own my importance in the process. That’s the piece I’ve been uncomfortable with and that’s the piece I’ve been running from. Well, no more running. No more hiding. I will not die wondering. 

A Letter to Fat Girls

Dear Fat Girls,

You are not, nor will you ever be Beyoncè. Stop torturing yourself with the unfair comparisons to her, or any other celebrity who’s body you covet. She is beautiful, but so are you.

Stop reading magazine after magazine, book after book, and blog after blog on How to Lose Weight. You know how, we all know how. But don’t beat yourself up because you haven’t made it work. Don’t think there must be something wrong with you since others can seem to lose, yet you continue to struggle. There is nothing wrong with you. Their journey is theirs and yours is yours.

There is much to be said about the industry dedicated to telling you how your wrongs can be righted. The pills that suppress hunger, the exercise machine that builds muscle, the pre-packed low fat vegan non-dairy dinners that promise a daily allotment of nutrients.  But nothing for the heart.

Fat girls, I know you. I am you. We’re not stupid. We know it takes burning more calories than we consume to lose weight. We know that truly sustainable weight-loss happens from a lifestyle dedicated to health not just bikini daydreams and special K.  We know. But we don’t know how to address the distorted relationship with food.

We don’t know how to say, food was my mother, father, best friend when I had no one else. Food never judged me. Food never scolded me. Food was never cruel, hurtful, or absent. Food never lied, broke promises, or disappointed. How do we begin to separate feelings of safety, comfort, and love–usually reserved for people–from food?


I don’t have an answer. Not a sure fire one. But I can say this, I know I am not, nor will I ever be Beyonce. I recognize that when I read book after book and blog after blog about weight loss that my story is just beginning, and there is nothing wrong with me that I look more before than after. I know that prepackaged promises are not for me, and that my journey begins with following my heart and not expecting a miracle or a quick fix. I recognize that food is food, and am working to reconcile the feelings I have about it at every single meal.

I read a lot of people’s stories. I hear people talk about a moment they had, an epiphany that woke them up and begged for change. I wanted, so desperately, for me (in those moments) to be reading the story that would illicit my own awakening. And each time that it didn’t happen I sunk deeper into a despair that maybe I would always be on the outside looking in at thin. I’ve chased it with such fervor and it has escaped me, true to form, like a thief being chased. Yet now I find myself exhausted by the entire race, I hung my “size 14 goal pants” in the back of my closet and thought gingerly of throwing them out all together.

And here in my exhaustion, I’ve found myself eating cleaner working out more regularly and being content with my reflection in the mirror. I have not looked at my thighs with disgust or disdain, and I’ve found them getting firmer. So, I say it has to be in the surrender. Fat girls, sometimes its about the fight. But othertimes its about the surrender. Giving in to the feelings we eat to escape. Giving in to being tired after running up 1 flight of stairs. Its important to know exactly where you are, I think. Because only when you sit and truly look at where you dwell can you make the decision to stay or to go.

Lastly, I have to say that it wasn’t the number on the scale. It wasn’t the rising jeans size or the new body discomforts. It wasn’t the 3rd strapless and unflattering bridesmaid dress, or the inability to fasten a seatbelt on a rollercoaster. It wasn’t the threat of diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. It wasn’t even the growing chance of being sterile. It was the little voice inside of me that reminded me of who I am and what I could do.

No, fat girls, I am not Beyonce. I am Jessica. I am overweight, and haven’t even lost enough to be considered an authority on doing it right or well. My relationship with food is fucked up. I am trying to make peace with eating well and working out. I struggle, I fail, I hate admitting how hard this is. Fat girl, you might think I’m just talking…But I know you. I am you. And I love you.


Stiff and unbending is the principle of death.
Gentle and yielding is the principle of life.

Thus an Army without flexibility never wins a battle.
A tree that is unbending is easily broken.

The hard and strong will fall.
The soft and weak will overcome.

Tao Te Ching (76)

So I’ve been marinating on this theory for a while now…the unwillingness of women to submit to their men.  Yesterday BFFT asked why did submission have such a negative connotation, I guessed its due to our culture.  In America the person who works hard and who is unrelenting will receive their just dues. We cannot yield, we cannot compromise, we must overcome and conquer.  That is two-fold for women.  We have been made to surrender our feminine qualities in order to excel in the workforce.  Not be soft, not be emotional, not be nurturing, not be who biologically are.  If we speak in terms of social evolution, the traits of masculinity have been selected for in American culture so those wanting to survive are having to adopt them.

However…we have to look at the flip side, while women are dominating higher education and breaking barriers in terms of professional achievement, the American family is suffering, and has been for the last fifty years.  I don’t think its coincidental.  If a man wants a woman, and a woman has been forced into masculinity, why does he need her?  Why does she need him? In short, we are not submitting because we just don’t know how anymore…how to turn it off and how to still remain a sense of strength in that submission.  Re-read the above quote.

Its is from Taoism, obviously a facet of Eastern culture and not our own.  Yet poignant, soft overcomes hard.  Strength in yielding.  There is nothing wrong with allowing a man to be a man.  To be the head of the household.  To have the final say.  If you don’t trust him to do that much then why are you with him?  Submission is not weakness, it is-if anything- conviction.  It is saying that I trust, not only in your man, but in his respect for you, in your relationship bond, in God.  It takes a stronger back to bend and bow then stand again.

Balance. Right now the family is on the far end of the pendulum arc and the feminist movement and working women pushed it there, things will slowly move back towards the center.  I’m sure some women will fight me tooth and nail on this topic, and maybe you think I’m calling for total submission, no not at all.  I’m calling for a return (if there ever was) of trust, of true love, of honesty, of Men who are male and Women who are female.  An alpha male just is not going to be in a household with an alpha female, its a constant power struggle and as we discussed a while back, men need to be needed. If you constantly tell a man I don’t need you I can do “bad by myself” he’ll give you the opportunity.

P.S. for the believers…See: Sarah

Don’t text me no mo’

This little thing is a THORN in every single girls’ side.  For some reason…men have taken to wanting to text/bbm (thats Black.Berry Message) rather than pick up the phone and CALL.  I’m trying to figure out why this is.  Now granted, I’m not single…but I still have single girlfriends who complain about this issue.  One friend LT refuses to continue conversing with a guy if he texts her before calling her.  Another friend, NK doesn’t mind the BBM banter.  Friend AN’s boyfriend hates that she BBMs because he can’t BBM with her…and lastly and perhaps most infuriating, friend JH is “talking” to a guy who only BBMs and seemingly refuses to call her.

Now guys…girls are NOT going to want to call you.  I don’ care how new age independent she is, her friends all aren’t…and they’re going to speak up and ask WHY is she calling you so much when her phone lies dormant.  I also realize that texting/bbming/tweeting/skyping/gchatting/face.bookchatting is all common place now-a-days but honestly, we just want to hear your voice.  ON the phone, not the computer.  For some girls, its not an every night thing…just occasionally..and we don’t want to have to ask.  I can tell you right now if you’re not calling your girl she’s wondering why you don’t want to talk to her. Its just how we operate.

Deeds and I don’t phone much.  He hates it, I maxed out on it back in 7th grade, BUT if I want to talk to him no doubt about it he’ll call lol…I even called him once (red letter day because I’m not the caller…) Now as for friend JH, this guy is new…they haven’t been on a date yet, and everytime she drops a hint to “CALL ME” the guy…we’ll call him BBMarcus..well he won’t call!  JH has called BBMarcus and he’s said he was busy and would call back but would inevitably BBM.  JH is about at her wit’s end.  I suggested talking to him and asking whats the deal (in my years of study and dating I’ve learned that men don’t take hints very well…AT ALL).  My guess is BBMarcus doesn’t realize how close he is to being barred.

But really…WHAT is the deal?

Are you guys afraid you won’t have anything to say?

Do you not have a home and fear that we’ll hear the cars along the highway?

Do you have Sprint?

Can a sista get a phone call!!!???