I always struggle to write about myself.
I have a very negative view of the way I look and don’t enjoy sharing that with others.
Over the past few years I’ve struggled with my weight and, as an added effect, my anxiety and depression have worsened.
I’ve thought of myself as fat since the seventh grade. Barely over 100 pounds and so self conscious I would cry myself to sleep. All I knew at this point was that I wasn’t happy with myself. I had no idea that anxiety and depression had already stuck their roots deep into my brain.
The last few years of my life barely have any photographic evidence because I am so ashamed of the way I look, and how far I’ve let myself go. I’ve watched the number on the scale increase and felt my anxiety turn into full blown panic disorder. Whether they’re actually connected I’m not really sure. But the weight gain definitely hasn’t made my anxiety any easier to manage.
My poor mental state was constantly telling me that people were judging my size. Everyone thought I was fat. I would never be good enough. Why didn’t I look like her? And on and on and on.
I’ve recently learned that my weight gain is not 100% through my own bad habits, but from PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). I am learning to manage this condition and find a way back to loving my body.
I began working hard to end the war on my body and create a loving, healthy relationship with myself. It has been a hella bumpy road, but I am finally able to say that I don’t absolutely hate my now plus-size body. I stopped caring about the number on the scale or the size of the clothes, and focused on treating my body with love and care.
I choose to focus on how I’m feeling rather than the number on the scale. As a result, I don’t find myself constantly worrying about how many pounds I weigh, but how I’m feeling and how my body accomplishes amazing things every day. Because I’m not obsessing over the number, I’ve actually found that my clothes are getting looser. That’s the only confirmation I need.
I’ve shifted my goals from weight based to more health based. I want to treat my body well enough that I can still be active when I’m older; and avoid joint replacement surgeries, heart problems, etc. So I’m focusing on how to properly fuel my body (while indulging occasionally), drinking plenty of water and staying regularly active.
I’ve also edited my social media accounts and unfollowed anything that made me feel bad about myself. I searched for accounts that promote self love and body acceptance. Since this social media purge, I’ve found my mental health in a much better state.
One of the major breakthroughs I have had so far on this journey to love my body was when I went to try on wedding dresses.
Normally, this day is full of excitement and joy, but I was terrified. I was so nervous that I felt sick to my stomach. I had to take a Xanax to even bring myself to try on a dress. I was so ashamed of my size, my stretch marks, my squishy body.
I was very lucky that day. The consultants in the bridal shop were amazing! They made the effort to find gowns that flatter my body shape, didn’t fuss about my size, and helped me feel beautiful. My little sisters actually encouraged me to try on a mermaid style dress. I was hesitant because of how fitted that style of dress typically is.
When I pulled on the first dress in the mermaid style I almost started crying. For the first time in a long time I thought “I look amazing.” The dress hugged my curves in all the right places and made my ass look incredible. I wasn’t thinking about the size on the tag, or parts of my body that I hate. I got to enjoy the definition of my curves with a radiant smile on my face.
Since that day in the bridal boutique, I’ve focused more on loving my shape and finding clothes that accentuate those features.
I haven’t weighed myself in months and I don’t plan to in the near future. I have a long way to go, but I’m so glad I’ve started down the path to finally loving my “plus-size” body.