Rolls of Confidence with PCOS and Wanting To Be The Best Version of Me

Gabourey Sidibe Confident with her curves

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There is no way to sugar coat it, I like food; all kinds of food. One the best things in the world is the aroma of something good being prepared in the kitchen. I’m the fat kid rapper 50 Cent talked about when he made the analogy, “Love you like a fat kid loves cake!” Now before you nitpickers start your anti-Renee campaign about why I am applauding stereotypes that plague the Plus community, let me be clear: I am HONEST not for your sake, but for my OWN. If you read on by the time you get to the end, it will all make sense and if it doesn’t, sue me.

For thirty years since I was born in 1980, I have been fat; not thick, curvy, voluptuous or any of those adjectives we try to tell ourselves to make it alright. I am and always have been FAT! In order for me to be able to seriously consider weight loss, I had to accept the word and apply it to myself.

This is similar to an addict admitting they have an addiction in rehab. And no, I am not implying that being fat is similar to being a drug addict but it does have some “addictive” habits for some; me being one of those people. And let’s face it, as I stated in my intro, good food is almost heavenly, but do I want to book my first class flight to the pearly gates? Not at the moment.

Finding Out I Have PCOS

On January 22, 2010, I left my gynecologist office feeling as if the world was on the verge on collapsing around me. I stood on the digital scale and watched the numbers shoot up like it was going to stop at infinity. 371 pounds, the nurse uttered as she wrote notes on her chart and lead me to the gynecologist’s private office. I sat there waiting for her as I admired her plaques on the wall from NYU and other universities.

This Black woman has it together. I felt like I was in good hands like those All State commercials. As she walked in and greeted me for the first time, because this was my first time visiting this office since I changed gynecologists. She reviewed my blood work I took the liberty of bringing her, from my primary care doctor. Upon reviewing it and discussing my circumstances, she informed me that I may have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Disease).

This would explain why I have never been pregnant. “Ms. Jennings your weight is a significant factor in why you have this disease but we are going to do an ultrasound today and also send you for a sonogram to review the cysts on your ovaries.”

The tears began to roll down my face and bounce off my denim. A series of questions started coming out my mouth like I was Anderson Cooper on CNN. “Will I ever be able to have kids? How can I fix this? Will I need surgery? Is this curable?”

On What I Had to DO…

The bottom line that day was I had to lose weight.

There were no shortcuts on this one. As we went to the exam room to do the ultrasound, I stood on the digital scale again to confirm that I did weigh 371 pounds, as if seeing it the first time was some kind of joke and Ashton Kutcher was going to jump out and say, “You’ve been Punked!”

I knew the scale was not lying. The image I saw naked was not one that I actually enjoyed, but my attitude said, “Fuck it! I am cute and fly by my own merit so who cares?” But secretly I felt every bit of 371 pounds, as my lower back felt like someone was pinching me internally.

The primary care doctor had told me I needed to lose weight a few days prior and one even suggested I have gastric bypass surgery. So I asked her did she consider it too. However, the new doctor told me that I needed to work on the weight as well. There was no escaping the weight police! It’s like they were everywhere. I called my grandmother and after the initial greeting, she would chime in, “Have you lost any weight yet?” GOT DAMN!

Weight is a sensitive subject for many people.

I’ve always believed that regardless of your body weight, you can be one stylish and popular individual. I’ve stood on the front line regarding my weight and broken barriers and stereotypes across the board. I am good looking, educated, hardworking, successful, eclectic, and date a gorgeous guy who is probably the greatest man I have ever dated. The list of my personal attributes could go on for days.

However, though I have fought with people for years who have suggested I make an attempt to lose weight, I decided that maybe it would be a good idea before I tip the scale at 5 foot 8 inches tall and 400 pounds. Yet, I would do it on my terms. Not by people emailing me about new diet supplements, starvation diets that tell you to just drink tea, etc. I made a vow to do this the old fashion way: portion control, reading labels and three days of exercise a week.

Does this mean I am starving myself? Nope.

So what am I saying?

There is nothing wrong with being plus size. So my challenge for the next year is to do a better job being a plus-size HEALTHY, absolutely gorgeous, sista! I am channeling my “rolls of confidence” because I have to love ALL of me unconditionally no matter what size I am FIRST.

People have this misconception that if they lose weight, they will date this kind of person and feel better about themselves. I’ve learned that you don’t lose insecurity when you lose weight, you just shift the insecurity to something else other than your weight.

Start loving who you are today: the woman that stands in the mirror without all the makeup and body shapers. Can you honestly say you love who you are in your purest form? If so, you are ahead of the game and no matter what you decide to do, regarding your size, that kind of love will always be there.

Just like it is for me 357 pounds later! I am on a mission: small steps, big results. Stay tuned…


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  1. Aaawww thanks for sharing this journey Renee, weightloss is a challenge but not one that can’t be defeated. I know you can do it, you’re a strong woman! Here’s to a healthier you (and me) in 2010 and many more years to follow 🙂

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