The pursuit of S* and the Label of F*


Words are powerful things.  The right words can lift a spirit, fill a heart or cause laughter to overflow.  The wrong words can cripple a soul, defeat a character or shatter a dream.

The words that we say leave an impact that is lasting, bruises heal, kisses fade and time will pass but words, once spoken can’t ever be erased.  Our “word” is our promise, it’s our guarantee – it’s the most powerful extension of ourselves we can offer another.

I say often to our girls is they need to remember you can’t take back the words that come out of your mouth.  There is no magic rewind button, you can’t go back in time or slurp them back up through a straw.  Once you’ve said it, there’s no turning back, it can’t be undone, or washed away – it’s out there, forever.   So be careful what you say, think before you speak (something I need to remember when I’m upset) and take a deep breath.

Will you be sorry you said it 10 years from now?  10 minutes from now?

Sure, you can say your sorry and it goes light years towards helping to mend broken fences and heal broken hearts but it will never completely erase the damage that was once done.

It’s why I’m so careful about how we talk about ourselves in this house.  Especially, how I talk about my body, my weight and the like in front of our children.  Our daughters.

I struggle with my self esteem.  Hard.  I’ve spent years in a pit of self loathing, about the way I look, the body I have, the boobs I do not have, the acne that’s still around as grey hairs emerge and the list goes on.

I have spent the last 3 years making leaps and bounds in my pursuit of health, fitness, weight loss and confidence.   I’ve achieved so many of those things and while on one hand I’m proud of them, on the other I feel no better, no different than I did 3 years and 65+lbs ago.  It’s my battle, it’s deep and it’s hard.

The voices in my head tell me I’m “Fat” on a daily basis, and I choose to ignore them (most days).  They tell me I’ll never achieve “Skinny” and I use a strong upper cut to shut them up.  We don’t say those words in this house**.

Those, in our home are the F* and the S* word, they fall under swear words, because they’re purpose is and meaning is just as bad.  They are hurtful, destructive and painful words.  Ones that the world says to beat people down, to break their hearts and to damage their self esteem.

I don’t exercise every morning to get “Skinny”, I do it to be healthy and I tell our girls that.  We don’t eat healthy and limit/avoid junk to not get “Fat”, we do it to give our bodies the fuel they need and the energy they understand.

My goal for myself and for our family is to teach them about health, fitness and good choices.  I desperately want them to know that eating healthy and being active feels good, it’s not just a means to an end for weight-loss but rather the simple basis for truly living.

We only get one body, we only get one chance and I want, I NEED to know that I’ve done my best to each them that those things are gifts we need to embrace.

A healthy body is fit, takes in good foods and knows what to do with them.  It’s powerful, and strong and it’s waiting for it’s chance to show us what it can do!

As I listen to people around me talk, the way they talk about themselves, their spouses, their children and others, my heart breaks.

Please don’t use those words, don’t say those things, don’t cause that hurt.   Your children are listening, and so is your heart and I know that you all are worth more than the pursuit of S* and the label of F*.


** Battling these words, in my mind is a daily, hourly battle for me, one I’ll one day win.  Please know there’s no judgement here**

11 thoughts on “The pursuit of S* and the Label of F*

  1. Hey girl. I am so proud of you, yes you have worked so hard to become the fit good lookin lady that you are. I want you to know that the loss of the weight and those amazing muscles I see developed in you don't define you for sure. You are beautiful in the person you are. I hope and pray one day the words fat and skinny and all the words that are painful in that way disappear from your thoughts and that you will be able to see the beautiful woman you are. I am proud of you, always have been and always will be. Love and prayers always, your Mom

  2. Thank you for posting this. I've struggled and currently still do struggle with my weight daily. I also have two kids in the house, one boy and one girl. So when I talk about "dieting or loosing weight," to my husband I make sure I say we need to eat healthier. Let's try new veggies and fruits or let's all take a daily walk after dinner. This is to teach not just my daughter, but my son too that eating healthy and exercising is a good thing, something we all should be doing. I never want to hear my son call anyone that "F" word or someone say that about my daughter.

    We are constantly telling our kids that they have to remember to be respectful to everyone and watch what they say. The words we use are very powerful.
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  3. I need to work on this too because I do say those words about myself…not usually others though I am sure going to be more careful to make sure of that from now on.

    Great post Ashley, it made me rethink my actions, and that, my friend, is always welcome!

  4. I’m no Spring chicken – in fact, I’m probably a Winter chicken, but I’m still bothered by some events from a very long time ago. We had a teacher at school who used to stand me out in front of the class and ridicule my clothes and laugh – money was scarce at the time. Those words did hurt, and they still do – after all this time – and it’s a virtual certainty that they altered the course of my life.
    At that time there was a sort of mantra used by kids that went: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me!” I didn’t buy that at the time, and your words in this post are my vindication – if it was needed. Thanks.

  5. I think your experience is so similar to what soooo many kids have gone through – and I’m sorry it happened to you. Words do hurt and the sooner we learn and we teach our children that we need to own what comes out of our mouths the sooner the hurt can end.

  6. This was so well written and you are so right. Words do hurt and *S and *F are tips of the ice burg. I like you want to teach my children judgement of others is not for their doing. Sticks and stones break the bones and names DO hurt.

    I’ve been living opposite of you. Instead of fat…I was called skinny. Twig, stick girl, anorexic, you name it I was it growing up. I’m a naturally thin person who has a very hard time gaining weight as much as I wish I had lovely curves I don’t. I don’t have the model boobs and I don’t have a j-lo butt but you know I’m ME and proud to be! Its hard on either side no matter what. It took me a long time to say it but look at yourself in the mirror – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! xo
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  7. Wow that was a really worth while read…thanks Ashley what a good reminder and so very very true to my own personal battle…you and your mom are such blessings and great motivators…thanks and God bless

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