Not so long ago when I looked in the mirror, I hated what I saw. I was embarrassed by what was staring back at me. I hated my double chin, my fat arms, my thick thighs, my non-existent knees because you couldn't see them for all the surrounding fat. Really, there was nothing that I loved, except for my brown eyes. I thought that they were dark and mysterious. But then the comment came, "Why do you like your eyes so much? They are just brown" nonetheless from someone who I loved, so that was that for me! Mark my eyes off the list! So...there was absolutely nothing that I loved. NOTHING on that list - just hatred spilling over and me disgusted by what I saw in the mirror. Comments were said on a pretty regular basis about my weight, even from my family and friends. The best one - "She would be so pretty if she lost a little weight." Well, F*** you too!
And if I didn't love me or think that I was pretty- how could anyone else!? I mean all that I saw was a giant blob of a person.
I have spent my entire life, as far back as twelve, on yoyo diets trying to be my "best" version of myself! I would lose the weight, then fall off the wagon and gain it all back + more! I'm sure some of you know what I'm referencing. I took phen phen, did the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and so many more. In 2009, I hated my body so much I resorted to lap band. Yeah, I lost 105 lbs which I was incredibly proud of; however, it put me down a spiraling trap of purging because my body wasn't accepting the band. I stayed pretty sick because I couldn't get the nutrients that I needed, and my hair started falling out in huge clumps.
But still, I wasn't happy. I had lost all this weight, and now I looked like a big sack of skin. I would cry when I looked in the mirror as I pull the skin away from my body, wondering how anyone could ever find this attractive. Later, I would have to get the lap band let out because it just didn't work with my body, and my weight would come trickling back on.
It has been a long road, and yet I still can't say that I love everything I see when I look in the mirror daily, but that's life. However, I have a different outlook on my body. It is strong. My legs keep me upright and moving forward, especially when I have wanted to give up. They have helped me walk from a not-so-happy past to where I stand here in my present moment, writing this vulnerable post. My arms might still flap, but that means there's more love there for when I hug the people I care for deeply. My body is a warrior. It has conquered many things and won! How could I look at it in disgust with everything I have been through. My body has always been there for me.
Most recently, in May, I graduated from Massage Therapy School. I remember the anxiety I had knowing that I would have to wear a two-piece in front of 13 other girls who were a lot smaller than me. To say I could feel the discomfort radiating out of some of their bodies because they didn’t know how to touch a plus-size body was disheartening. I almost wanted to quit right then! Then I realized, I was not going through this for them! I had many reasons that I wanted to do massage, and one of them was to be more accepting of my own body, while also teaching others how to massage someone a little curvier. I succeeded!
Now, this isn't to say that I love the way my body looks every day because sometimes, my own judgment still gets the better of me. Especially when I have clients come for weight-loss, and I instantly start worrying about what they are going to think when they see someone plus size once they enter my studio. I'm learning that they will be relieved to talk to someone that understands their struggles, and won't look at them bewildered by some of their comments.
I have learned to stop being so damn hard on myself. Stop listening to all the people that fat shame, because yes I am a FAT KID and I'm finally ok with that! I have started working with a fantastic trainer, and eating more intuitively - staying away from the processed foods, of course! With all this said, I have realized that my body is STRONG! Again, I am a WARRIOR! I AM HEALTHY just as I am. Sure - I could stand to lose a few pounds, but that's my work to do, and guess what? I'm doing it! I don't need to hear other's opinions on how FAT = Unhealthy! I stand here today, saying when I look in the mirror, I feel myself most days. And guess what, I LOVE MY BIG BROWN EYES!
I understand the struggle of not loving the body that you are in currently. It's ok to struggle from time to time, but for your sake, I hope you don't stay in that struggle. If you haven't heard it today, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, FAT ROLLS AND ALL!
So whether you are skinny, athletic, curvy, plus, or anything in between - love the skin you are in! Believe me. I understand this is hard. It just takes tiny steps at a time!
Here's to being Body Positive!
Health @ Every Size!
All bodies deserve love and respect!