I’ve been struggling to put into words how to really share my own story with this. I’ve had so many incredible and inspirational blogger friends share their story ( Katie & Ashley ) and journey of finding themselves through weight loss, accepting their weight gain and/or just how happy they are right now. I’ve shared a few posts about my anxiety, struggle with balancing daily life work, blogging and parenting but I’ve never really gone into detail about how my own body shaming got me to where I am today, here, at 31 years old.
As some of you know, I was a preemie when I was born. I weighed 2 pounds 2oz and left the hospital in Albany, New York at a hefty 4lbs after being there for 3 months. When I was 1 years old I was 15 pounds ( my 10 month old son currently weighs 23 pounds )! As a child, weight was something that I struggled with not to take off, but put on.
I remember seeing pictures of myself at 3 years old in ballet class. I was so small that my own tights could barely stay on and they slouched at the bottom of where my pink slippers were. In elementary school I was always active, playing with my friends outside, running in soccer practice twice a week but remembering that I felt the most comfortable in large t-shirts and shorts to hide the fact that I was basically sticks and bone.
In middle school kids would tease me about being too skinny. “Don’t you eat?” In fact, I did! I ate all the time but it was always a struggle to keep it on. I had a few guy friends who always told me I was pretty but I remember getting into a huge fight with one of my girlfriends at the time because I told her what size jeans I wore ( either a double zero or 0 ) and she called me a liar because no one was really that small and I must be in the bathroom a lot throwing up to make me look so little. I went home and cried for hours because I felt ashamed.
In high school I remember shopping with a friend and she told me she hated shopping with me because I made HER feel self conscious! Supposedly we were ‘best friends’ and ‘best friends’ are honest with one another. I was stunned at how brutal that made me feel that I was being body shammed for being so small.
Truth? I never worked out in high school and I had 4 pack abs. I’m not saying that to get everyone upset but just stating facts that despite having what others would consider ‘the perfect body’ I felt alone, upset, terrified and extremely embarrassed of it.
The bottom line..words hurt. At 31, a Mom of two, a blogger, a writer, a wife, friend, coworker..etc, words still hurt. Just recently I was on my Instagram Stories sharing an outfit I had fallen in love with and someone DMed me saying I was “too skinny and needed to eat”.
Huh?! I have 2 kids? I have that pooch you guys! I have stretch marks! I have cellulite. I have it all friends! But ya know what- at 31 body shaming has taught me this. I LOVE MYSELF. That’s right. It taught me the opposite of being ashamed. I’m still wearing baggy t-shirts because I’m comfortable in clothes like that but I’m also loving to wear outfits that make me feel good inside and out. Outfits that hug my small frame, that make me feel confident and that make me say “WOW, I look great!”
My tribe of friends love me for my size- ( I’m a size 4 and have been for about 15 years..minus being pregnant and putting 65 lbs on ). I’m not ashamed of it anymore. I’m not consistently working out to get to a size 0 again. I embrace my stretch marks and my cellulite because of what my body went through by having two children. I embrace it all!
Let’s start by teaching our children, our friends, our family and our coworkers that body shaming needs to end! My daughter is currently four and has my build except she’s extremely tall ( I’m only 5’2 and I bet my little lady will be somewhere like 5’6 or 5’7 when she gets older). Regardless, people still comment about her weight and when I say this girl can put down about 3 LARGE pancakes in one sitting, she’ll set out to prove to you she can. It’s almost ridiculous that I feel the need to defend her eating habits when I know she burns them off within minutes.
Let’s teach everyone to embrace our flaws because they make us who we are! It takes time to love yourself and at 31, I’m slowly getting there too. It’s ok. Make sure to keep surrounding yourself with those that accept, love and share the same positive thoughts that you do. Body Shaming is real and its a hard pill to swallow, but we can rise above it. We can be more. We can.