I’d be lying if I said that my single motivation for my banting/weight loss journey was improved health. In fact I’d go so far as to say, I’m old enough, mature enough & self aware enough, to admit that initially my single motivation was to look good. Or at the very least, feel like I look good.
I look around me and see so many beautiful, plus sized woman, and I wonder why I couldn’t exude confidence the way they do in a larger frame? Why so much of my confidence is linked to how I look? I’ve always had a big personality and I’ve always been very social but so much of that felt like it was a cover up to hide how very insecure I always felt.
It was never more clear than that time I was invited to participate in a feature done by Fair Lady magazine. I was invited to a studio photo shoot for the magazine and it was the most painfully awkward experience of my life. I was so incredibly self conscious, so aware of every lump and bump on my body, conscious of trying to stand in a way that would hide my double chin and not show off my large belly. It was awkward, the poor photographer, he really had to work hard to get any shots worth using, I was incredibly stressed and very stiff and tense throughout the photo shoot.
So much of who I was previously was linked to hiding myself, hiding my big body behind a big personality. Always feeling self conscious and uncomfortable. I never, not once, felt beautiful as a big girl. I preached it. For sure. I would tell anyone who would listen, that I was beautiful inside and out and that my size didn’t determine my value, but that was a bald faced lie.
I wanted to be body positive. I was the perfect societal contradiction. Preaching body positive and feeling fat shamed all the time… fat shamed by myself, ashamed of my fat. My rolls. My cellulite. My wobbly bum and dimply thigh’s and while on the outside I tried to exude confidence, on the inside, I was a mess of insecurities and self loathing.
And I can’t help wondering, do all curvy girls feel this way? Or was I alone in it? That feeling of being a walking contradiction. Snubbing societies norms of what makes a woman beautiful, all the while feeling like the DUFF on the inside?
And how do I change that now? How do I grow my confidence based on who I am and what I look like? And more importantly, how do I teach my daughters this.
I don’t hate my body anymore but I know I still don’t fit into societies standards of what is beautiful and attractive, I’m a big girl, I always will be but then I see conversations like this and I start to realize that by societies standards, I just may never measure up and here comes the contradiction… because I am so often a giant walking contradiction. I want to care, I think a part of me does care, because me and my size 38 skinny jeans certainly were offended, but I also don’t care? Is that even making any sense?
All I know is I should be proud of what I’ve achieved and I am, but it shouldn’t matter as much as it does, but it does.