Hello All!! I want to thank you for spending this moment with me. My name is Gabrielle Marcell. After many years of not understanding where happiness comes from my main goal in life right now is finding happiness within.
Here is My Story...
For most of my life, I have struggled with understanding my worth. I remember the moment it began, I heard a conversation when I was younger that made me feel inadequate. In the conversation, something was said about my size. A comment was made to my mother about me being big and how my mother needed to be careful about me getting fat.
From the conversation, I gathered that being big or fat was not something that was good. Because I then began to associate myself as big which wasn’t something that was good, in my young mind, I was then not good.
As years went on, I got larger and larger. As I got older, the conversations about my size continued. Comments about my “black” skin complexion were added as well. I also felt that I was treated differently and that certain things were done to me that no child should have to experience.
I felt worthless because I have always been what I thought was fat and according to my loved ones because I was fat and “black”, I wasn’t good enough.I remember the feelings of intense pain growing from things that were said and done to me. Unfortunately, I always felt like in my family it wasn’t about what type of person you were but how you looked.
Growing up, I always felt so alone. Those feelings of loneliness have followed me throughout my life. I always thought of myself as “not good”. I was often told by people who were supposed to build me up that I would be so pretty, if I wasn’t fat. Church was a big part of my life and something that I enjoyed but I was always so self conscious. I would go to Church activities and would keep my coat on because I didn’t want anyone to look at my body.
Constantly, I was told that I was fat, black, and ugly. Or, called a cry baby (I cried a lot growing up because I was filled with so much pain). I wish that someone had understood how serious verbal abuse can be. It becomes part of your psyche and you carry it around with you wherever you go. I remember anytime I tried to express how much pain I was in due to people’s words I was constantly told, “Sticks and Stones will break your bones but words will never hurt you.” But, the words that people said to me did, HURT. The things that were done to me hurt, too.
When I was eleven, we moved to a different city leaving behind our Church and all my friends from school. Starting over in a new city was hard and it was difficult for me to make friends. I was able to make a few but I felt like the fat, black, and ugly girl that no one really wanted to be bothered with. I never felt like I belonged throughout all my years in school and always felt ignored. In high school, going to school and being ignored became too much for me. So, I spent a lot of time at home missing school. It was only by the grace of GOD, that I graduated on time.
It was in my teen years when I was introduced to my first love, reading. Reading allowed me to leave my reality and escape into the stories that I read. I spent many hours with the characters on the pages of whatever book I could get my hands on. I started in the basement of my local library reading in the teen section and quickly read through many of the titles there. It wasn’t long before I was on the first floor reading books in the adult section. Reading made me feel good inside.
During the time I spent reading, I was able to convince myself that everything was right in my world. I had a cardboard box that I would fill up with books. I decorated the outside of the box and wrote Gabrielle’s Books on the outside of it. There was no better feeling in the world to me than taking that box of books to the library and refilling it with new books to read every two weeks. As time went on, books continued to be my refuge.
Although reading added some relief to my life, I never felt better about myself. I got heavier and heavier. At age 17, I was 300 pounds and by that time I fully hated myself, my fat body, and my “black” skin.
A small awakening of self love happened right before I left for college. I purchased a small personalized mirror with my name on it from a classmate that was selling personalized items for a fundraiser. I taped the mirror to my wall. I went on about life and never paid attention to the mirror.
One of my best male friends at the time, his brother, and I spent a day out shopping and we went out to eat. I worked as a teenager but never really purchased much for myself but for some reason this day, I did. I went to Lane Bryant and actually bought things that weren’t on clearance.
While I was there, like I always did, I joked with the staff about letting me work there before I turned 18. As usual, they told me no and told me to be sure to come back when I turned 18. My day out with my friend and his brother was the sweetest thing ever. All we did was shop and eat dinner but they had this dynamic energy that being with them that day made me feel like a well loved sister, instead of a friend.
The next day, I got dressed for school in one of my new outfits and for some reason I looked at myself in the mirror that had been taped to my wall for weeks. It was like I looked at my face for the first time that day. It was the first time I remember looking at my face and actually feeling pretty.
When I was a young girl only one person in my life had ever told me that I was pretty and I remember dismissing them because no one else had ever said it to me. It was my mother’s cousin. She called to speak to my mom and spoke to me a few minutes before my mother got to the phone. She said,”Gabrielle, how are you doing with your pretty self?” I remember telling her I wasn’t pretty.
She said, “Gabrielle, you are so gorgeous and don’t even know it. I don’t know how you don’t know that you are gorgeous. But, maybe it is a good thing you don’t realize it.”
She was the only person to tell me that and of course I didn’t believe or see it until I looked in the mirror that day years, later.
I remember after looking in the mirror that day I asked my male friend if he knew I was pretty. He awkwardly answered “Yes,” and I said to him, “You know, you should tell me I am pretty more often.” Lol.
Even though, I made the connection that my face was pretty I never thought my body was.
When I moved away for college there were so many beautiful black people on campus. They were so proud to be black regardless of their skin complexion. It was on that college campus that I began to fall in love with my dark skin. I started to slim down a bit. I cut my hair to the dismay of my mother and rocked an afro. I began to come into myself. I began to finally start feeling good about myself.
While away at school, I experienced a lot things. Some good, some not so good.
One thing that I experienced that helped change me was working at Lane Bryant. After waiting years to work there, I finally got a job there. Oddly enough, the Store Manager and Assistant Manager that worked at the Lane Bryant back at home had transferred to the Lane Bryant near my school. I met an amazing group of women working at Lane Bryant. Some are still close friends and one actually became one of my best friends. These women pushed me to take care of myself and to do things for me. They taught me how to be more comfortable in my skin. I still had body image issues but they helped me to overcome a lot and appreciate myself more.
My sophomore year on campus was going to be the best year of my life. I had gotten a full-time job at Borders which of course was one of my dream jobs as a reader. I was also working part-time at Lane Bryant while balancing a full load of classes. I was doing alright, until…
I had a #MeToo, moment in my dorm room. It shook me to my core. Thankfully, my roommate was able to save me from a full assault. The actual attempted act didn’t shake me up as much as the things that were said to me in the moment. He said,”You are fat, black, and ugly, and you think you are all that. You walk around campus with your nose in the air with your nappy afro. You are nothing, you are just fat, black, and ugly.”
Instantly, I was taken back to the young girl again who heard those insults constantly. I couldn’t get those words out of my head. It became a chant that I carried around in my spirit.
I tried so hard to fight against those words that had been said to me over and over again but I couldn’t win.
I remember talking to my therapist that I saw at the counseling center on campus at the time and her trying to convince me that I was none of those things. But, that moment with those words broke something inside of me I couldn’t repair. I lost both of my jobs and eventually dropped out of school. Years later, in a conversation with a friend I went to college with I learned that she had a #MeToo moment, with the same guy.
Fast forward to one year after the attack, I met a guy and we began dating. Before I know it , I was 19 and pregnant with twins. During my pregnancy, I went from 278 to 360. After the birth of my twins and breastfeeding for eight weeks, I was able to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I then got on birth control and gained weight again, going up to 380.
Another point in my life where I began to fall in love with myself, was when I started working at the Daycare Center that was inside of my local community college. I worked with a group of women who made me feel like regardless of what size I was, I mattered. Just because, I was Gabrielle. We even started doing Weight Watchers together and I was able to get down to 307, which is the lowest I have been in years. I also found a new place to shop for clothes, I had long ago stopped being able to fit into the clothes at Lane Bryant. That year working at the Daycare Center with those women really made me feel good about myself. The Director and Teachers were always so kind to me.
I thought once again I was on my way to really falling in love with Gabrielle but later that year, my Mother died. I quickly gained back the weight I lost after she passed away.
The death of my Mother 9 years ago and many events after sent me spiraling into a pit of darkness that I never saw myself getting out of. I have been fighting my way out of the darkness for years.
I have tried throughout the years to lose weight but my problem has always been consistency. I was always filled with so much pain that I allowed it to take over my life.
The hate that I had for myself prevented me from loving myself. I wanted so much to be loved by others that I did things for others in hopes that they would love me. People pleasing opened the door wide open to me being used.
I wanted so much to be loved that I put myself in several situations that I never should have placed myself in, all because I didn’t value myself.
People pleasing caused me to allow people to mistreat me. I have been used more times than I can count, especially when it comes to money.
Over the years, I have been able to work through my feelings and accomplish many goals. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree with a GPA of 3.6, after going to school off and on for many years. I moved away from home to start over in a different state to create a new life for myself and my children. I secured a position working in a field that I always wanted to work in.
There were still goals that I wanted to accomplish but didn’t but for the part I was doing alright. But that changed for me, last year.
Last year, was one of the toughest years that I have ever experienced. I was working a job that I loved with a team of people that I loved just as much. But, there were things that bothered me greatly about the job. I tried my best to ignore them.
Morally, I struggled with what I was doing. As a single mother, I convinced myself to continue because I was terrified of the thought of not being able to provide for my children. The problem with this is that when I am doing something against my morals my spirit becomes traumatized.
I began having nightmares and stopped being able to sleep. In my spirit, I knew it was time to look for another job but I was consumed with fear, doubt, and anxiety. I began to eat to work through my emotions. I was constantly at the work vending machine eating junk. I would come home from work and order food for us to eat instead of cooking.
I would go grocery shopping and buy healthy food for us to eat but I was always too exhausted to cook. This cycle went on for over a year but things got worse when I started having full blown anxiety attacks at my desk and would sometimes have to leave my job in tears.
The constant trips to the vending machine and ordering dinner out every night took me from 350 pounds to 404. When I got on the scale and the number was 404, of course, I equated the number on the scale to my worth. I wanted to vanish into thin air.
Eventually, I left that job because I had no other choice but by the time I left I was a complete and total panic ridden mess. I was fortunate enough to find another position but was not able to be successful in that position. I had to leave it before finding another one.
The most devastating thing about being this size is that it has interfered with me being able to take care of my children the way that I would like. This extra weight prevents me from standing for long periods of time and from being able to walk long distances. Being able to provide for my children means everything to me. Now more than ever, I have to get myself to a place of peace, happiness and love for me. So, that I can take the steps to get my body in order. I have to do this not only for my children but for myself so that I can live the life that I have always wanted to live.
Thankfully last year a friend approached me about an eating plan that worked for her. Initially, I was turned off by the things that it would require me to give up. But, the thought of the scale going up scared me.
I did the plan for one month and lost 23 pounds but due to my lack of consistency, I stopped. I actually stopped and started this plan multiple times, last year.
The plan is not hard to follow and once I understood the basics it was something that I could do without much thought but my follow through was not there.
The problem was and had always been my brokenness. Through my life, I have constantly replayed the recordings and events of my life in my head. The “Fat, Black, and Ugly,” chant never went away. I heard it in my spirit. I often asked myself what did I do that was so wrong as a child that would make people think it was alright to say mean things to me and treat me badly.
Every time, I looked at my fat body I felt so much hate. I hated my body and myself. I was always overwhelmed by the thought that I needed to lose first 100 hundred plus pounds. Now, because I have gotten larger, the number has gone up to 200 plus pounds.
I also dealt with extreme feelings of loneliness that began as a young child. The loneliness and the hate for myself created an emptiness that I never thought would be filled.
Not being able to do for my children the way I want to took me to rock bottom. Being able to provide for my children means everything to me.
Being at rock bottom opened my eyes to the fact that it was the constant visits to the past where people hurt me, my constant declarations of loneliness, my lack of self-love and me not listening to my spirit that put me in the pit.
I PUT MYSELF IN THE PIT.
Yes, I have experienced so much pain from my family and other people. Yes, in the eleven years that I have been separated from my children’s father I have only dated one guy seriously for one year. Yes, it has been over six years since that relationship ended. Yes, I moved away from home and miss all my friends and my close family members. Yes, I am 200 plus pounds overweight. Yes, my financial situation is not the best.
Those things do not mean that I should continue to allow myself to be unhappy. I deserve to be happy and to live the life that I have envisioned for myself. I can be happy, right now. Only I have the power to do that. I realized that it was time for a real awakening to take place. In order for that to happen I needed to focus on the areas of my life where the blessings are overflowing. I needed to focus on the positive things that are going on in my life.
My Gratitude List ( Short Version)
1. I live in a country that allows me to worship GOD in any fashion that I select.
2. Although, I am carrying 200 plus extra pounds on my frame, I am in good health.
3. I have twin teenagers that are funny, witty, thoughtful, (they also sometimes drive me to want to drink but I don’t keep liquor in the house, often) who are in good health, as well.
4. I have a place to live and all my utilities are on.
5. I have some amazing family members and friends that are always there for me.
6. I have food in my refrigerator that I can use to nourish my body and also use it to assist me in losing the weight that I want to lose.
7.I am college educated.
These are blessing in my life that I have begin to not take for granted, at all.
Being at rock bottom forced me to release the question of,
I spent so many years crying asking, “Why me?”
My why me turned to, “Why not me?”
My why not me, has now turned into a, “THANK GOD, FOR SELECTING ME!”
The most POWERFUL thing I learned is that I ALWAYS had the key to unlock myself but I had to be taken so low that I had to desperately search for the key and if I didn’t find the key I would be have been taken out. I learned the key was always in my hand.
You know what the key was?
Releasing all the past pain that had been haunting my life for so many years and freeing myself.
Through my healing process I realized that the people in my family never intended to make me feel unloved, unworthy, and ugly with their actions. Many of the things that were said and done came from the pains of colorism and the lack of size acceptance that someone witnessed in my family or experienced. Sadly, they passed it down.
I know my family loves me and I love them greatly and I am so blessed to have them. Especially, the ones that have never abandoned me.
Forgiving my family and the other people that hurt me has been the best gift that I ever gave myself. I am NOW, free.
Being free is the best thing that has ever happened to me because it allowed other things to happen.
I was able to better understand the Law of Attraction and realize that my thoughts are more powerful than I ever realized. I spent so many years chanting negative things to my spirit that many times I activated negative experiences in my life. My goal is to be as positive as I can be and to understand that each thought I have is a prayer to GOD. I am learning to focus on being more careful about the things that I am thinking and saying to myself.
When I was in a place of darkness I focused so much on the things that people did to me that made me feel bad. I hardly ever focused on the people that were good to me. While climbing my way out of the pit, I began to zero in on all the people that have always been in my corner.One of my best friends started off as a mentor through the Summer job program ran by my city and she became my Mother/Sister/Aunt /Friend. From day 1, she has fought hard for me and has even fought me for me. I have other amazing friends that have always been by my side and that I am fortunate to have in my corner. My sister, is GOD sent and I am convinced that GOD knew I would need her by my side, in life. I also have some very loving and dedicated family members that are there for me, as well. Throughout the years, I have had amazing people pour into me and show me acts of kindness. Taking the time to focus on the good really enabled me to see how blessed I truly am.
Another monumental experience I had during this period is the fact that I was able to disconnect, my spirit from my body.
I am now able to FINALLY realize that my spirit is me and who I am, not my body.
My worth is not tied to this body.
I am worthwhile because I am me, Gabrielle. I am funny, fierce, loyal, smart, loving, kind, sometimes crazy, and most times dependable.
Recognizing that my body is not me has enabled me to fall in love with my body.
I can finally say, I love my body. She has been so good to me. She has gone through surgery to have her appendix removed. She has carried a high risk twin pregnancy. She gave birth to my beautiful children during an emergency c-section. She nursed my children for eight weeks. She has carried between 100 to 200 plus extra pounds on her frame for many years and although she doesn’t move like she used to, I am blessed to have her.
She is so beautiful, huge stomach, droopy boobs, big arms, thick thighs and all.
Now that I can appreciate how good she has been to me, I can take the steps to take care of her by losing weight.
Not because I have to in order to feel worthy but because I want to so that I can finally live the life that the extra weight prevents me from living.
Goals to Accomplish
Learning How To Drive
I want to be small enough to fit behind the wheel of a car so that I can learn to drive comfortably. Yes, I am 36 years old and never learned to drive due to fear for years and now due to my size. Not knowing how to drive is one of the key things that keeps me from getting a job that I am qualified for because most of those jobs require me to at least have a driver’s license.
Traveling The World
I want to travel the country and the world and not have to worry about buying two seats. Shout out to Southwest, for having a wonderful passenger of size policy that allows you to get a refund for your extra seat, after your trip.
But having the funds to cover a round trip ticket for four seats can be pricey. I want to be able to take advantage of Southwest’s cheap flights to California and Nevada or any other place and not have to worry about paying double, upfront.
I want to get my passport and fill it up with destinations and I want to be small enough in size so that I can really enjoy my trips and not have to worry about how much walking I have to do.
Going to Africa, has always been something I envisioned as a young girl. Of course, first I have to make a trip to Ethiopia and connect with my family there. Then off to Nigeria, Ghana and any other country where I hear the whisper of my name. I want to truly enjoy my trips and not be worried about extra weight holding me back.
My Family and Friends
Recently, my sister came to visit and my weight caused me to sit on the sidelines and not actively participate in her visit. I am so thankful that my daughter got a chance to do things she normally would not have been able to do. Making the choice to focus on my weight will help me be ready for her next visit or my next visit home.
Since moving away from home I have traveled back 3 times. I dread trips back home because of my limitations. In the visits home, I hardly saw any of my family or friends due to not being able to drive or walk long distances. Slimming down and learning how to drive will make trips home fun.
Most importantly, I want to be here for my Ls (my twins). They are my Loves and although these teenage years have been interesting I wouldn’t trade my babies for anything. They deserve to have a healthy, fit Mom. I am so thankful that they love me so much, at any size!
I want to love, cuddle, kiss, spoil and love on my grandchildren many, many, many years from now when I am blessed enough to have them. I want to be around a long-time for them and even their children.
I know some of you all are waiting for it…
💜My Future Husband💜
I know when he arrives, I won’t have to be a certain size. I know he is going to see my spirit and that is all that is going to matter to him. I already love him for that. I have so many plans for us and I want to be in better shape to execute those plans. Lol, get your mind out the gutter, I mean festivals, trips around the world, carnivals, cruises. And ok, ok I want to be in better shape for that, too, lol.
1. Do things that make me happy because I am responsible for my own happiness and no one else is.
2. Live in the Present Moment as much as possible.
3. Be more positive and cancel out negative thoughts or feelings as they arise.
4. Put myself first and realize before I take care of others. I have to take care of me, first.
5. Focus on keeping my connection with my children thriving.
6. Knock out my goals, one by one.
7. Think of my eating plan as a lifestyle and not a diet.
8. Began to read my collection of 70+ Self Help and Inspirational Books that I have in physical form and on my Kindle App.
9. Evaluate and determine if I need counseling/treatment and get it, if I determine I do.
10. Make more of an effort to read my religious text.
After many years, of me giving away my joy, my happiness, my dignity, I can say that I have them in my hands and I am control of them. I know that I will have bumps along the way and that this journey is going to take work. As a matter of fact, I had most of this entry written when I had no choice but to let go of a 20 year friendship. That was a hurtful bump but I was able to process it, and move forward.
I now know and understand that when things happen, you have to process them, release them, and go on with your life.
My aim moving forward is to hold on tight to my high vibration and try my best to live my life one present moment, at a time.