I had spent my whole childhood being told I’m too skinny. Being given unsolicited advice about how to “put more meat on my bones.” Receiving extra helpings of food on my plate by an adult and being told to finish it. Getting concerned looks by anyone I said “I’m not hungry” to.
I had a quick metabolism growing up and could eat whatever I wanted in bulk, but it never seemed to be enough for others. For me and my minor amount of baby fat, I felt I was the size I needed to be.
As I started to gain weight during my university years, I attributed it to the “Freshman 15” I had been unsuccessful at avoiding.
In the adult years to follow, I managed to gain another 20 pounds. My confidence suffered greatly with each 5 pound fluctuation. I had this insane goal about what my ideal weight was and always would be. That critical thought weighed on my self image more than the love handles, muffin top, double chin, and thighs that now touched combined. I needed to admit that I was not the same size 0 that I had once been, but I couldn’t yet.
I had an unhealthy fixation on continuing to be “skinny Minnie” through all the phases of my life regardless of what I ingested. I had not prepared to love myself if my metabolism dropped and my body adapted. I had grown to anticipate attention (even the negative) for being “too skinny,” and I craved it.
I worked out off and on, usually in spurts of three days a week. I meal prepped for a couple months at a time. However, almost like clockwork, at about 10 weeks I would get so frustrated with the lack of weight lost. I didn’t know how to feel good in my own skin. I felt like my own body had deceived me.
One day, someone complimented my new size. She stopped me in my tracks when she said, “You have such good proportions. You’re skinny and thick!” She struck a curiosity in me. I had been looking at my physical stature in the wrong light. I had been wanting to be “too skinny” when really I was desirable exactly as I was. No longer was I receiving judgement from others that was harmful to my autonomy.
I recalled photos and statues of traditionally gorgeous women from the renaissance era having excess skin, soft figures, and untoned physiques. So why couldn’t I?
I began to suddenly feel confident about my body’s changes. I started looking in the mirror and seeing the positive aspects of my new look. I had an ass high school me could only dream of. I finally developed the “college” boobs my mom once consoled me I would grow. My hips were thriving, and I let go of resentment towards my once flat figure. My thighs touched and I had never felt more grounded.
I was looking at a woman in the mirror each morning, not a child. I was free to develop as the universe intended me to without insecurity filtering what I would see.