Can I tell you a secret?
I hate my body.
I look at myself like I am too fat to be loved and too fat to be taken seriously.
I’m healthy internally. My physical and blood results always come back normal. I also really enjoy moving my body and going on hikes and long walks and even runs. But I am fat. My body isn’t accepted in our society, and it takes a toll on my mental health.
A few years ago, I wrote about my journey with body positivity. I don’t know who that girl was. Two years later and I’m 30 pounds heavier, partly from medication side effects and partly from a serious depression. I eat healthy and I exercise daily, but I still look like this.
What would my life be like if I were 140 pounds? If I had abs and a perky butt? If I didn’t have stretch marks on my stomach that make me look like a mother who birthed three children (hey, nothing wrong with it! I just haven’t had any babies and I STILL look like this)? Would my life be put together when my gut doesn’t stop me from buying the perfect pair of jeans because it won’t fit in it?
What do people think of me? Am I ugly to them? Am I a lazy slob in their eyes? Have I “really let myself go”? The thought of the way people perceive me, whether true or untrue, makes me want to never leave my apartment.
And the thing is, I’m not even that big. I know that in my core. I can still wear “normal” sizes, depending on the brand (fuck you, H&M, that is not a large). I teeter on the edge of plus-size. I am smaller than the average size of women in America.
I’ve been slim before, and I still hated my body. The goal is not to lose weight. I still won’t love myself by being smaller. I want to love the body I have now.
But god, what I would do for some confidence. I look at my plus-size friends with their big smiles and confidence and wish I could feel like that. But all my leggings are too tight. My stomach doesn’t fit in my shorts. My boobs are getting saggy because DD boobs are not meant to be perky. Why can’t I be confident like them? What’s the secret sauce?
Self acceptance. Self love. A healthy relationship with their bodies. Generally not giving a flying fuck what other people think.
I don’t really have the answers. It’s hard. I’m going to try to change my negative thinking. I’m going to talk to myself like I would a friend. I’m going to eat intuitively. I’m going to say no to diets. I’m going to focus on my relationship with food and with my body.
Where do I go from here? How do I learn to love myself again? Self love and body acceptance is a lot harder than it sounds. I’ve gotten there before, but how do I get there now — especially in the middle of a pandemic?
Loving yourself is a marathon. It doesn’t happen overnight. But I’ll take it day by day.