May 10, 2017
There was a time in my life when I felt completely defeated. I didn’t feel like I was good enough, and I felt useless. I thought to myself ‘I’m gaining so much weight, but I don’t have the motivation to do anything about it. Nobody is going to love me and I’m going to be alone forever’.
Fast forward to right in this moment. Let me tell you what I see.
I see my boyfriend passed out like a baby sprawled out behind me on the couch while I sit criss cross on the couch directly in front of him. If I reach out I can move the hair out of his face, or just stare at his beautiful face. I see our home that we have built together and made countless memories in. I see my rack of lingerie and portraits of my beautiful clients everywhere, they have invaded my home, which just reminds me of how lucky I am that I get to do what I do for a living. It also reminds me of how supportive my boyfriend is, my sweet boyfriend, he encouraged me to take over the entire house to make into my studio. Girly from ceiling to floor. He doesn’t mind, because he wants me to succeed, he wants my goals and dreams to be in arms reach.
When I was a shy young pup in Jr. High, I always had this horrible lingering thought that I was bothering people, that I was a burden. I figured that nobody wanted me to walk up to their group and chat before class, or play some handball at the courts with them because I wasn’t the #1 handball player in the world.
That is when I made one bad friend. I’ll never forget her, because I regret her in every aspect except one. She taught me a lot about what I will never again look for in a friend, lover, or person in general.
Being friends with her made my self-esteem plummet. I was in a dark place, think of the movie Thirteen. Although maybe not quite to the extreme. I felt fat, unattractive, awkward, but most of all, unwanted.
Going into High School was the best thing for my self-esteem, believe it or not. I had a boyfriend, but not very many friends.
One day, I was looking in the mirror before school, in tears, because in the blink of an eye, I went from a size 4 to a size 10. I stood there, naked, analyzing my stretch marks, my saggy breasts, my awkward toothpick legs, and big belly, and I just bawled my eyes out.
I decided then and there that I knew I would never be a size 4 again, but I also refused to let me tear myself down.
I started looking in that mirror every single day before school and out loud, telling myself that I am beautiful, loved, appreciated and kind. With the love from my family, who all knew that I was beautiful, and told me everyday, I started gaining my confidence back, little by little. I also stopped caring what people thought of me.
I remember the one day in Senior year when I looked in the mirror to give myself my morning pep talk, for the first time, I stared at those stretch marks and realized that I would be devastated if they weren’t there.
I love my body. It’s mine. I wouldn’t know how to react or what to do if I had someone else body. I know what mine is capable of, I know what it can handle, I know what food it likes. My stretch marks were a trophy of where I came from. Gaining weight from a size 4 to a size 10 so rapidly, and receiving a physical reminder used to scar my thoughts, but when I started to realize their meaning, I was beyond excited that they were there. They represent my journey of self-acceptance and love.
Moral of the story is, no matter what you have been through in life, your body is your map. Your body tells your story, and represents your journey. Learning to love your body is not an easy path, it took me many years to accept it. But you need to take the first step, and do something for you that will change your thought process, your mind, and your life.
I love my body, it is my own.