There I was. Fourteen years old and I could no longer fit into the “juniors” section. Mortified, I decided food was the enemy. That mindset developed into a downhill spiral that would last for years. Even into my early twenties, I hated my body, no matter how thin I was. Sound familiar?
As a society, we are made to believe that some clothes simply aren’t for thicker girls. So, when I got back to a “healthy” weight, I was far too embarrassed to wear the cute clothes I used to wear. But over time, I actually got jealous. What was I jealous of? Thicker girls wearing cute clothes. They didn’t care, so why should I?
That type of thinking brought me to ditch the discomfort and go on a journey of self-love, acceptance, and confidence. I hope you will engage in this journey with me. Here’s how:
Ditch the “Norm”
The best thing you can do for yourself is to stop thinking that you have to be skinny. Skinny is “normal”. That’s because it’s essentially shoved down our throats. Some people are naturally skinny, and there is no shame in that. For those of us who are naturally thicker, no matter how much we “diet”, there should be no shame in that, either.
So how can you do this? Open your mind. Don’t think that everything social media tells you is true. Speaking of social media, change your feed. Fill your feed - whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat - with body-positive individuals. Adding thicker models to your feed will allow you to see it more, which will become your new “norm”.
Find Your Purpose
As a woman, your purpose is not to look perfect. Although society may have given us this “role” in the world, times are changing. There is so much more to a woman than her looks and her weight. With that being said, it’s time to stop thinking that your sole purpose in life is to diet and look perfect. Who are you trying to look perfect for, anyway? Hopefully not people around you.
Instead of focusing all of your self-worth on your looks, find a purpose. For some, it might be getting to the top of their company. For others, it might be developing their own business. Others may want to sing, dance, or create art. Whatever your purpose is, make sure it’s something you love that will take over as your purpose in life.
Take More Pictures
I know what you are thinking - you hate how you look in pictures. Trust me, I have been there. I used to have my picture taken and think “Wow, I look huge. Delete!” But the fact of the matter is, I ended up not deleting them. I would return the picture a day later and think, “Wow, it’s not so bad, this is actually pretty cute”. Now, I am confident enough to say I’m cute without a second thought.
So, take more pictures. Even if you might not like what you see, try to. Find something in every picture to boost your confidence. It could be that you simply picked out an adorable outfit, or maybe you have never seen your makeup look so good. The more you compliment yourself, the better you will see yourself.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
When I was trying to get through recovery and find my self-love and acceptance, I needed people around me. I don’t know if I could have done it without loved ones.
It is so important to have positive people around you. That meant breaking off a few friendships with people who were obsessed with image and would call me out if I gained a pound. And no, I do not miss these friendships.
I looked at friends and family members who backed me one-hundred-percent.
Get Rid of Clothes That Don’t Fit
This was absolutely my biggest challenge. I wanted to hold onto those clothes because I truly believed I could fit into them again. But it was never even a possibility. I wasn’t the anorexic girl I used to be, and healthy me was never going to be able to fit into a pair of tiny jeans that still bagged around my thighs and butt.
It was hard. I won’t lie to you and say it wasn’t. But I also can’t tell you how amazing it felt to get rid of the “old me”. I was finally ready to accept the new me. While it hurt to buy jeans and shirts a bit bigger-sized, it also made me feel beautiful. No longer were my clothes too small. They fit just right and I looked fabulous.
Eat the Food
Another thing to remember is that you don’t need to riddle yourself with dieting. Being healthy is one thing, but constricting is another. If you want the piece of cake after a nice, healthy meal then eat the cake. Live your life.
Fake It Till You Make It
This tip might have some people confused. Fake it till you make it? Yeah, it doesn’t sound like great advice. But let me tell you when I first started my journey, I literally had to. I put my clothes on, without my trusty sweatshirt, and I faked like I was happy. I would leave my house without looking in the mirror because I knew I wouldn’t like what I saw.
I kept doing this. Religiously. For weeks. Eventually, I started becoming more comfortable and confident. I realized that nobody was staring at me, laughing at me, or pointing at me -- all of those things were simply in my head.
So yes, I faked it till I made it. And it worked.
Don’t Get Down On Yourself - Keep Trying
There are going to be hard days. That’s not a question. The best thing to do is to never give up. Even if you slip up one day, wake up and make the next day even better. Believe in yourself. The rest of us thicker gals believe in you, too. Accept your beautiful body and own it, baby girl.