Growing up I was skiiiiiinny. Like super skinny, I didn’t even realize how skinny I was until I look at pictures now and my jaw drops. I didn’t eat like it though, I always grabbed heaps of mac and cheese and as much pizza as possible. My diet consisted of chocolate chip Pop-Tarts for breakfast and a bowl of ice cream before bed, every day. So you can only imagine what it was like in the middle of all that junk food.
I remember everyone always saying to me “one day that’ll catch up to you.” I remember thinking back “well, that’s not today.”
Little did I know that it caught up to me sooner than I wanted to believe. I just kept going up a size because I liked things “big” (or because the other sizes were just becoming too small). I didn’t acknowledge that though because it’s hard to recognize change in yourself sometimes because you’re constantly looking at yourself in the mirror. You never get the “woah, that person gained a lot of weight since last time I saw them,” because that person is you and you’re constantly with yourself, looking at yourself.
I was with my friends from high school the other night, drinking on a Tuesday. We have drinks randomly whenever we’re bored, we mostly blame it on the fact that there’s nothing to do in this small town. But Tuesday was an exception because we had a paint & sip night at a local restaurant/bar. And of course, weight gets brought up somehow (probably because we know we shouldn’t drink as much, as that’s a logical reason to why we’ve all gained so much weight). We talk about how three out of the four of us have gained 30 pounds plus since high school and the fourth one is still skinny eating lava cake and never goes to the gym. DAMN GENETICS. Ugh.
In high school I was worried about my weight, I found a note I wrote that said I needed to lose 20 pounds and I was still skinny then! I definitely didn’t lose those 20 pounds, but surely I gained them.
Weight has become a center point of our culture, at least in my eyes. It’s always on our mind. There are times I refuse to post a picture I really, really like because I’m afraid the angle of my body was makes me look huge. I never know what to do with my arms because I don’t want them to look bigger than they actually are. I put coconut oil on my stretch marks every day because more than anything I want them to disappear.
Is being fat really that bad, though? We treat it like it’s the worst thing that you can be. We act like Instagram models are ~FLAWLESS~ when they could be totally shitty people with a nice body. We judge so hard on looks, especially with dating apps like Tinder and Bumble now. Those are completely judgmental, and yet we still participate in a one second decision if we find someone attractive at first glance or not.
There are days when I’m feeling totally confident, but most of the time that’s not how I feel. I live in sweatshirts because it makes me feel the most comfortable. I hardly ever, if ever, take pictures in a bikini because it makes me SUPER self-conscious. I cry when I get a new stretch mark because it makes me feel awful about myself.
Self-love is hard, man. It’s really hard. I don’t know if there’s even an end point to self-love or if it will always be a constant battle for the rest of our lives. But I’m not going to stop trying, that’s for sure.
I’m going to keep going to the gym a few times a week, I’m going to keep trying to make healthier decisions when it comes to food, I’m going to keep trying to drink more water and do nice things for my body.
My body loves me – it takes me miles, it allows me touch and feel, it gives me the chance to see and taste, and the ability to hold my loved ones in my arms – the least I can do is love it back for that.
Our bodies aren’t perfect, they’re flawed, just like us. But we are still loved despite our flaws and mistakes, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t try to love our bodies the same way.
Gaining weight, getting a new stretch mark, not having a thigh gap or a bikini bridge doesn’t mean the world is ending. They make you who you are. Those few pounds you can never seem to lose? Yeah, those pounds are your dinner dates with friends, your drinks on a Friday afterwork, that extra piece of pizza you’re craving – those extra pounds are you. They make you who you are and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Stretch marks, weight gain and other shit no one likes to talk about is all just part of growing and in order to grow you need to change. It’s all just part of life and there’s nothing wrong with that.