I’ve always struggled with my body image. I used to keep it a secret so other people would think I was doing better than I actually was. Now, I’m starting to see how important it is to open up to others and share your stories.
I was a chubby kid and throughout middle school and high school I stayed heavy. I felt bigger than all of my friends to the point where it made me depressed. I always used to say to myself, “Once you lose this weight, you’ll be happy.” When I came to college, I started exercising every day and eating better. I managed to lose that weight, but I still wasn’t happy. I never felt like it was enough.
It wasn’t until I saw a counselor that I realized, no matter how much weight I lost, I would never be happy until I loved my body. I used to think that my weight made me undeserving of loving my body, but that couldn’t be more wrong. Even after I lost 20 pounds, I still felt my weight made me undeserving of loving my body. Changing my physical appearance wouldn’t make me happy unless I changed my mental attitude first.
Now, I am making it a priority to consciously work towards loving my body. I’m not keeping my struggle a secret anymore; no one should suffer in silence. My body positivity is still a work in progress, but I know it’s getting better every day. I was even inspired by an Instagram account called “effyourbeautystandards” to post a picture of myself in a swimsuit on social media (something I would’ve never done a month ago)!
Insecurities can make you feel very lonely and isolated, but you are not alone. There is an infinite amount of body types and shapes out there, which is why it’s so empowering to see more and more people and bodies being represented. People need to understand that they are all beautiful, strong, and worthy of love.
“Falling in love with yourself doesn’t make you vain or selfish, it makes you indestructible.” -Unknown
“People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing you are the beholder.” -Salma Hayek
“Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.” -Ellen DeGeneres
“There’s only, like, five perfectly symmetrical people in the world, and they’re all movie stars, and they should be, because their faces are very pleasing to look at, but the rest of us are just a jangle of stuff, and the earlier you learn that you should focus on what you have and not obsess about what you don’t have, the happier you will be.” -Amy Poehler
“Instead of looking in the mirror and focusing on your flaws, look in the mirror and appreciate your best features…everyone has them.” -Demi Lovato
“You are so used to your features, you don’t know how beautiful you look to a stranger.” -Unknown
“To all the girls that think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.” -Marilyn Monroe
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” -Maya Angelou
“No, I’m not going to apologize for who I am and I’m going to actually love the skin that I’m in. I’m not gonna be striving for some other version of myself.” -Amy Schumer
“Don’t let your mind bully your body.” -June Tomaso Wood
“My priorities are not such that I’m mortally offended by someone thinking that. Insults about the way I look can’t be the thing that harms me and my heart the most. It has to harm me the least. If I have a daughter, I’m going to tell her that. Far too many women are much more hurt by being called fat or ugly than they are by being called not smart, or not a leader. If someone told me that I was stupid or that I wasn’t a leader, or that I wasn’t witty or quick or perceptive, I’d be devastated. If someone told me that I had a gross body, I’d say, ‘Well, it’s bringing me a lot of happiness.’ Like, I’m having a fine time of it. Having my priorities aligned like that has helped me have a happier life, I think.” -Mindy Kaling
“Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.” -Beyoncé
“When you do talk about yourself or talk to yourself…try to picture you talking to your own daughter or your younger sister. Because you would tell your younger sister or your daughter that she was beautiful and you wouldn’t be lying. Because she is. And so are you.” -Amy Poehler
Featured Image via Kayla Bacon