If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen a very vulnerable moment for me:
A quick post on my Instagram story and suddenly my inbox was filled with DMs. You all shared your love, support, and encouragement. Some even shared their stories of similar struggles. First off, I just want to say I am so beyond thankful for each and every one of you that choose to follow me on this journey. I set out to create a community and platform that would encourage women and I cannot believe how much support I received in return!
After I posted this photo and so many honest conversations with you all it got me thinking. Why is it so hard for us, as women, to love the skin we are in?
Striving to love yourself can be a roller coaster sometimes. The highs are high and lows are lower. As women our bodies are constantly changing. We all have different struggles, none of our stories are exactly the same, but that doesn’t mean we are alone in our struggle.
My Body’s Journey
Ever since I can remember I was stick thin, many even argued I was too thin. I spent my high school and college years eating unhealthy, binge drinking, and randomly working out here or there. I never had to work hard to keep my figure. I envied girls that had curves. I would spend hours in the gym focusing only on my legs and waist so I could build curves and no longer have “chicken thighs” while maintaining a thin waist. I set unrealistic expectations for myself. I never felt thin enough, strong enough, or curvy enough.
Then I graduated college, got a full-time job, started eating healthier and drinking less. I got in a regular workout routine, stopped taking birth control and I watched the weight fall right off. In April 2017, I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, my weight and health rapidly declined and everything felt out of my control. I was thinner then ever, I was also more miserable then ever. I was unhealthy, unhappy, and hitting rock bottom.
I decided to take my life into my own hands, I saw a therapist, had regular visits with my doctor, changed my diet, went back on birth control, and was prescribed anti-anxiety medication. After months of struggling I moved to LA, surrounded by friends and support I finally found my happiness again. I was finally healthier, happier, and heavier then I had ever been before.
In a matter of six months I went from being the lightest I had ever been to the heaviest. For the first time in my life my clothes didn’t fit me anymore. I had gained over 20 pounds. So began my struggle with self love.
My body felt foreign.
It wasn’t until SEVEN months later that I finally had the courage to post a photo in a bathing suit sharing a glimpse of my story.
I didn’t learn to love myself overnight, I struggled through it, and I still do. But, after realizing how many women experience the same struggle I wanted to share my story.
Tips + Little Reminders
First and foremost you need to take care of yourself, mentally and physically. It is important that you are healthy.
Remember it always feels like the grass is greener on the other side, you need to love your body where it is at.
Just so you know, her beauty does not take away from your own.
I recently read this amazing article by Colleen George and I wanted to share and excerpt with you:
“This year, I truly hope that you stop comparing yourself to anyone else. I hope you learn that flowers and crystals can both be beautiful, yet in entirely different ways. I hope you embrace how breathtaking both sunsets and thunderstorms can be, despite how remarkably different they are.
This year, I hope you begin to understand that we are not against each other. We were not made to compare or to be compared. We were not created to be like anyone else but ourselves.”
Her strengths are not your weaknesses. Her accomplishments are not your defeats. Her successes are not your failures.
Your strengths are your strengths, her strengths are hers.
Her beauty does not take away from your beauty.
Her confidence does not rob you of your own self worth, or your own ability to influence this world.
The size of her body does not make the size of your body inadequate or inferior, and the color of her skin does not make the color of your skin any more or less worthy.
We were all created with intention. We were all placed in this world with our own role and our own identity. We were created to be equals, not opponents. We were created to lift each other up, not tear each other down.
As food coach and body acceptance activist Isabel Foxen Duke once wrote, “Your weight does not determine your body image; your weight does not determine whether or not you ‘feel good in your body,’ your weight does not determine how sexy you get to feel, your weight is actually irrelevant. It’s your perception of your weight that dictates how you feel about yourself. Not your weight itself.”
Remember: EVERY SINGLE BODY IS GORGEOUS, INCLUDING YOURS
It took me years to feel comfortable sitting down and sharing this story with you. It took me years to feel comfortable in my own skin and take photos for this post. Self love and body positivity is a life long roller coaster but it is important to surround yourself with a support system and take care of yourself.
One of my favorite things about my platform it is has given me the ability to connect with so many amazing and inspiring people. If you are inclined I would love to hear your story in the comments. Share your name or stay anonymous it’s up to you, either way your story is safe with me!