Over the past 8 years, I’ve struggled with body image. I struggled with being too thin, too fit, not fit enough or all around “I’m fat”. Now, I know, I’m not overweight. However, I’ve always struggled with liking my body ever since middle school.
I woke up this morning feeling ugly, bloated and fat. I put on clothes that I figured would be loose on me, but instead they were tight. I got to school feeling like I was visibly uncomfortable in my own skin. There’s been the constant dislike for my own body for a while now, but it wasn’t until about three weeks ago when I visited family in California that it started to consume my day to day life.
The picture featured was from January 15th, 2017 so is the one below:
It’s extremely hard for me to share these photos, but there’s a reason why I needed to, for my own mental health. This photo was the first time I wore a bikini in over two years. I felt insecure, but my sister who took them reassured me that I looked beautiful. Since I got back, I’ve been working out when I can.
I was an athlete my entire childhood up until college. Being constantly active, I was able to maintain a fit figure. In high school, I constantly worked out, but I hated my body. My mental health in high school was all over the place. I would spend days not eating at all and other days eating everything. I compared myself to my little sister who has a natural thin figure. I struggled with the fact that I worked my butt off every day to get a nice “pack” to go with my “v”. But it wasn’t because I wasn’t fit. It was because I have a short torso so my body is different. Every body is different, but I didn’t want to accept that.
When I got to college, I decided to love my body and myself. I focused more on my mental health because in high school I found myself putting fitness before mental health. I worked out when I had the time because between multiple jobs, classes and a social life, I was swamped. I maintained a small figure all four years of college so I’m able to fit in the same clothes I wore when I was fifteen. (Now, I know fitness and mental health can go well together, but in my case it was terrible for my mental health in high school).
Pants I had at 15 wearing them now at 21:
Now, I am twenty-one years old, I will be twenty-two this year. So, I spent the weekend ignoring my homework and going through old photos. After I took the bikini pictures of me in January, my mind has been wrapped around losing more weight. Yes, I weighed myself after two years of ignoring a scale and feeling confident. My confidence diminished when I saw the number on the scale. Now, I’m in good health. I have a healthy weight, I don’t need to lose weight, I can gain muscle. However, my mind has been fixated on the fact that my body isn’t pretty.
I spent the weekend working and with two full page to-do list that I didn’t finish (almost though). I went through photos over the past 8 years. I posted a “glow up” on my Instagram story ignoring the fact that I had a paper to write and a book to read.
I found this picture of myself at nineteen when I lived in Atlanta for the summer:
I remember taking this photo. I remember feeling so confident and comfortable in my own skin. I was really struggling that summer with my mental health and this photo helped my confidence. I remember how happy I was from this photo.
I flashed back this weekend to how insecure I was in high school. I was so unhappy with myself and who I was, I felt out of place. When I found out I was going to college across the country in New York City it was my chance to start fresh to grow as my own person and I have.
Of course, life events can impact a persons mental health and I’ve had my fair share of life events.
I’m a strong believer in seeing a professional to help through the good and the bad. I’ve seen someone throughout college to help with the anxiety and depression. It’s helped my confidence.
Now, I wrote this for myself. I woke up today feeling insecure and I needed something to help me feel, better. Confident. Beautiful. Writing is my outlet.
Disclaimer: My blog is mainly for my personal health. I’ve had blogs since high school and this is the only blog I’ve shared publicly.
Have a good week. Ignore the Monday blues. 🙂