Having been on the larger side throughout the course of my life, I have never really known a time where my body hasn’t been a topic of conversation. From the gentle “oh, you’re looking… healthy” to the “well you obviously need to do something about that“, I have pretty much heard it all. And you know what? I’ve pretty much said it all to myself too. Nearly 22 years into living and I have not yet learnt how to be kind to my body because it is a different size to those considered a normal and ideal figure. More often than not, I dreamt of stripping away all the differences and reducing myself to what is acceptable and appealing – if this sounds like a bit of an alien concept to you and you can’t really picture what a dream like that could look like, watch this:
So yeah, I guess you can definitely say that I’ve had some trouble accepting my body for what it is or even moving forward. But, I am growing and changing daily and I am trying to be a better person for myself. In deciding so, I am learning of ways to honour my body instead of neglecting it.
About two years ago, I started watching a series called My Mad Fat Diary (the clip above is from it!), and it really unsettled me in a large enough way to make me realise that the things I was doing and the things I was feeling absolutely needed to change if I wanted to grow as a person. There was one scene in particular (2×07) that completely threw me off guard, and to this day, forces me to readjust my mentality – I have added a gif set of that particular scene for you down below:
Though it’s often easier to say I am learning to accept my body for what it is while continuing to strive towards a healthy medium, I know that it is only through baby steps that I will truly be on the right path. Over the past few months, I have taken small but sure steps that are only solidifying my growth, and I would like to share them with you so you can do the same if you need.
- Wearing those jeans I love even if I feel like they fit too snugly against my calf.
- Buying that pretty short blouse even when I know it won’t disguise the shape of my thighs.
- Taking selfies even in unflattering angles because my face is my face with or without the fat.
- Stepping out from behind the camera and in front of it.
- Making bold outfit choices even if I know they are unflattering for my specific body type.
- Taking a daily picture in front of a full length mirror because only I should have something to say about my body, nobody else.
- Cutting a conversation short if I feel uncomfortable about the way someone is speaking about my body.
- Reminding myself that unconventional does not mean undesirable.
- Buying clothes in my true size instead of 3-4 sizes up for a faux oversized look.
- Indulging in the foods I love without the consequences of crippling guilt.
Though these are only 10 small steps I try and take in my daily life, they are definitely helping me in understanding my relationship with my body, as well as the steps I need to further take to feel at peace. I hope they help, or at the very least, guide your own steps towards a healthier perception of body image.
This was an extremely personal piece and though not necessarily relatable for everyone, there is one piece of advice I hope you’ll take away from all this: people will always have something to say about things you do and the person you are, but at the end of the day, only you are allowed to pass judgement on yourself.