Pretty much my entire life I dreaded summer. Not because I didn’t love the sunny weather, time off from school, picnics, and ice cream. I didn’t dread summer because I loved winter and snow–I didn’t dread summer for anything summer did. I dreaded summer because of me.
I dreaded summer because of the way my arms looked in a tank top. I dreaded summer because of how my legs rubbed together in shorts. I dreaded summer because I couldn’t put on an oversized hoodie and hide my body like I could in fall and winter. I hated summer because of bathing suits.
I loved swimming in the pool, but I refused to go when my mother would ask me if I wanted to go to the public pool. I felt queasy when I was invited to pool parties, and couldn’t stand the beach. The thought of people seeing me in bathing suit truly gave me anxiety. All I could think about is how people would see how fat I was (as if they didn’t see it already). I felt like I had a spotlight on me like I was doing something illegal by trying to do things only skinny people should do. I would envy my thin class-mates in their bikinis while I tried to cover as much up in my one-piece. I’d hear them pick apart their bodies and call themselves fat–when I would have done anything to look like them. I was confused–if these people who were so thin in my world were calling themselves fat–what was I? Something even worse I feared. A monster even.
I was fortunate enough unlike some, that I was never particularly bullied for my weight. In fact the moments were so few I can remember them word by word. Like when we had to bring in baby pictures in 7th grade and a boy in my class made a comment to me, “No wonder why you are so fat, you had a baby already”. No I wasn’t cyber bullied like kids today unfortunately are and I wasn’t often publicly humiliated. The biggest bully was my own self. My thoughts were my own worst enemy. I was my harshest critic. It was me who constantly put myself down. It is crazy to me how easy it is for someone to appear so happy on the outside–but on the inside be crying. If you have ever felt like I have–then you know how lonely and agonizing life can be.
When I started this weight loss journey 4 years ago, I quickly realized the weight loss was purely physical. The rest of the changes were all mental. As I lost weight I gained confidence. As I hit goals in the gym, I started to believe in my self. As I stripped away the layers of clothes I covered myself up in–I found myself. And most importantly I started loving myself. These mental changes have made more of a difference than numbers on a scale ever could.
Yes, I do stress about numbers sometimes. Yes, I still have moments where I don’t feel comfortable in my skin. But the word fat doesn’t control me anymore like it used to. And guess what–I LOVE summer now. Even though I am no where near where society says I should be in order to wear a bikini– I’ll wear one! Even if you can still see my back fat and belly rolls in a bathing suit. I stopped waiting until I was thin for me to start loving and enjoying life. If I did that–my whole life would pass me by.
I may never have a “beach bod” but I’ll never stop working for one. And I will never let anyone especially myself stop me from enjoying the beach, the pool, or summer again.
As always thanks for reading =) and you can follow my journey on Instagram @foreverlastingymclass