Having insecurities about our bodies hits us all at some point in our life. It’s natural and human. However, we tend to let these insecurities take over our whole lives – some people going to the absolute extreme. It’s an epidemic and it’s unhealthy.
My insecurity can be hard to talk about with people. I have always had a small, thin body – something a lot of people wish they had. While I am thankful to have a healthy body, being thin comes with many struggles as well.
As a child I was always the smallest in the group – family, school, church group…you name it. Clothes were a challenge because I wasn’t growing at the average rate a child at my age should be growing. Do y’all remember the jeans and shorts that had the elastic waistbands inside? That’s what I had for every kind of pants I owned. Not only was I very skinny but growing up and starting high school was extremely hard. My first day of freshman year I was walking to one of my classes with a friend. As we were walking we went by an upperclassmen. In passing he yelled out, “Are you anorexic?!”. I was shocked that he even said that but it made me really insecure. I hadn’t hit puberty yet and I just felt so out of place.
One summer in between school, I noticed on an ordinary day that I had stretch marks on my butt. I was so confused, concerned, and had no idea why they were there. My mom made an appointment with my doctor just to make sure everything was fine. Low and behold we found out that I had gained 10 pounds! It was so sudden and quick that my skin wasn’t prepared for the change and so it stretched quickly; leading to the stretch marks and I still have them to this day.
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I truly hit puberty. I was filling out more and finally getting a shape to my body. The ages of 20 and 21 were my most confident. I was at a comfortable 135 pounds, I had curves in all the right places, and a little bit of chub to my stomach. For once in my life I was starting to feel comfortable in my skin. I finally was able to go shopping confidently knowing my size and which clothes fit me best.
My body has changed drastically since then. Two years ago my depression came back hard and in full force. When I get too depressed I stop eating. My butt was losing its shape, I had a thigh gap for the first time in years, and my stomach was extremely flat that I could count my ribs. It took a few months but I was able to get some of my weight back. I was able to get my curves back and was starting to feel a bit better.
Now within the last 6 months or so my body has lost a lot of what I loved about it. My weight is back in the 110s, I have a thigh gap, my arms are at the skinniest they’ve been in years. I even noticed that I lost weight in my face. When I realized my body was changing so much I got depressed about it. I used to be so confident. I liked having my weight. Going shopping was now my least favorite thing to do, especially shopping for pants. In two years, I’ve gone from a size 6 to a size 2. I hated the way I looked so much. Instead of it motivating me to eat a lot more and go to the gym, it just seemed like a chore to gain weight again. I wasn’t ready for the commitment it would take to try and gain back 20+ pounds.
It’s easy to stay upset about your body. It’s easy to look at models and wish for their looks. It’s easy to compare yourself to your own friends with the pictures they put up on social media.
What’s hard is loving your body.
It hit me recently that bodies are always changing, no matter what stage of life you’re in. My body was different two years ago. I was different two years ago. Life constantly changes and we as people constantly change. Why should we expect our bodies to stay the same no matter what?
And numbers? That’s it, they’re only numbers. The size of your clothing does not define if you’re beautiful or not. Your weight does not define your character or your personality.
I want to tell you guys something that truly helped me accept and start to love the body I have now.
Get rid of all the clothes that don’t fit you anymore.
This was so hard for me. Getting rid of my favorite pairs of jeans and shorts tore my heart apart. But they all were negative reminders of what once was. Trying to wear them was impossible because they were too big and it made myself feel even smaller. Trust me though. You won’t miss them when they’re gone. I can guarantee that you’ll find the same style in a size that will fit you and look AMAZING!
Buy yourself a new wardrobe.
This wasn’t exciting for me either. I had to get my bra size checked again and try on many different sizes of pants and shirts to find what actually fit on me. But once I was finding clothes that fit me I noticed I was becoming more confident with how I looked. Because the clothes actually fit and complimented my body. I already know the next thing you’re thinking. A whole new wardrobe!? That’s so expensive! I get it. I was not psyched about having to drop money on new clothes. So here’s what you can do to help avoid spending a ton of money!
- Thrift shop – I have found so many good finds when I go thrift shopping! My greatest come up? Gorgeous leather Steve Madden boots for $20! You want to know when I bought those? 6 years ago! They still fit and are in perfect condition; my absolute favorite pair of boots.
- Sell your old clothes – There are a ton of places that will take your clothes. I have both Crossroads and Plato’s Closet in my city so I have a couple options. Before when I would sell my clothes I literally just wanted the cash but now that I actually need new clothes, I’ve trade my old ones for new! It’s basically getting new clothes for free and getting rid of your old clothes in one trip – amazing!
- DIY – I have a few shirts and tank tops that started to look really baggy on me but I still loved them! I just couldn’t part. Those tops have now become crop tops and are perfect for lounging or going out in the summer. A perfect compromise don’t you think?
I’m not saying this journey is easy and I’m not saying that I have 100% body confidence. I definitely still have my down days where I wish I could look just a little bit different. But I don’t! This is my body. What matters most is that I keep it healthy, inside and out. That should be the goal anyway, right? To have a healthy body? We don’t get new bodies – this is the only one we get. We need to remember to think twice about what we’re putting into them and how we’re taking care of them. A healthy body is extremely rewarding! Your organs will be happy, your skin glowing, and your mind at its sharpest! We are all beautiful human beings – no matter what ANYONE says. Love yourself because your body is for you and nobody else. Love it, cherish it, take care of it ~