Like most people in the world, I have had body image issues for practically my whole life. I was a fat baby/child so I was the bad end of many jokes for as long as I can remember. When I was a teenager, my weight became a serious problem for me. Simple shopping trips always resulted in tears because I would have to get the biggest size in the juniors section, and the clothes still wouldn't fit right. It also didn't help that most of my friends were naturally skinny. So around 7th grade, I decided to do something about my embarrassing weight. I did what any young teen with zero experience in health and fitness would do... I starved myself.
I limited my food intake to practically nothing. I didn't eat breakfast because I wouldn't have time. I never ate lunch at school because I hated eating in front of people, and I ate a small snack for dinner just to keep from passing out. Before I knew it, the weight came off! I was finally able to buy cute "normal-sized" clothes and I actually had a nice shape (which got me some attention from knuckle-headed boys). I managed to keep the weight off for the rest of middle school and high school and I started making healthier food choices when I got to college.
Now that I'm older, it's a lot easier to gain weight than it is to lose it. I'm definitely not as small as I used to be a few years ago and I find myself fighting those old ways of thinking constantly. "If I stop eating and exercise like crazy, the weight will fall right off." Fortunately, with age comes wisdom so I refuse to fall back into old habits (plus, I like food too much to starve myself again). Growing up has also taught me that the scale doesn't matter. What truly matters is how I feel. Even though I was thinner back then, I was miserable, insecure, and extremely unhealthy. Now I am more confident and stronger than ever. I know that there is room for improvement, but for once in my life I'm satisfied with the way I look. One of my goals for 2018 is to love my figure. No more self-loathing, no more nit-picking... just love. Even society has started to embrace us... thick women are winning!