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Circa 2018

love yourself while you go through the process…you should be your first love…love yourself including those things you deem as flaws. – Brianna Harris

In past posts, I’ve written about my weight loss “journey” and my self-esteem issues when it comes to my body. My body has always been a canvas that someone else gets to critique without my consent. My perception of myself has never been my own. I don’t think there’s been one time in my life that I’ve viewed my body positively because of the years of verbal abuse and criticism from others growing up and into most of my early adult life.  Hell, even recently.

I’ve always been “bigger”. The people on my father’s side of the family have mostly been plus sized so it was inevitable that these genes were passed on to me. I matured faster than most girls. My mom bought me my first bra at age 6 or 7 and I started my period shortly after I turned 10. I found comfort in the Zebra Cakes my mom would pack in my lunches after she would hide them from me so I wouldn’t eat the whole box. The kids at school didn’t know anything about the genes I got from my father’s side. The only knew me and only saw me.

Most of the ridicule I faced as a child has caused permanent emotional trauma for me that even my therapist is having a difficult time trying to help me remedy 29 years of disdain for myself. When I first decided to try to lose weight in 2013, I joined weight watchers and worked out twice a day. I was obsessive. I would punish myself if I slipped up on my weight watchers routine or my workouts. When I noticed the numbers on the scale start to go down, I wasn’t necessarily happy about it. All I could think about was, “how can I lose weight quicker?”

It’s now 2019. I’ve watched my weight go up and down for the last 6 years and have only lost about 50 pounds. This is an accomplishment to some but for me, it’s not. I watched my friends go on keto diets and other diets and lost 50 pounds in a span of some months. And they’re still losing weight. Me on the other hand, restrictive diets like that don’t work for me. I like vegetables but eating those, meat, and nothing else would literally piss me off. I tried it. Being able to do diets like that takes a lot of mental discipline that I don’t have. My depression sometimes sends me into a binge eating rage. (Side note: I recently learned that binge eating is an actual eating disorder).

Last week, I went to Dominican Republic with a group of friends for one of my dear friend’s bachelorette party. I was with a group of women who were all variations of shapes and sizes. They would gas me up and tell me how great I looked but I didn’t feel like I looked great. All I could think about was how I haven’t been able to work out for almost two months because of my knee injury or how all the women I was with had round butts and I did not. It didn’t help that one of the guys on the trip pointed that out to me and that really made me feel some type of way. Even hearing compliments from the guy I’m crushing on didn’t boost my confidence on that trip. I went through my friend’s phone to try to delete any photo of me that didn’t look good. I was not having it.

There’s a perception of me that because I post pictures of myself in my swim suits that I am confident. That’s not the case. I do it because the positive affirmations from others on my pictures do sometimes help me feel better. This goes back to my post I wrote last week about how we all seek validation from others. It’s inevitable.

Yesterday, one of my friends who went to DR with us, Brianna, posted a picture of herself in her bikini and she wrote about how she used to hide her curves and used to not appreciate being a fuller woman. Her post was just what I needed to read. She was open and vulnerable and really spoke life into me. I decided yesterday, that after my surgery on my knee, I will take the time I need to recover but get back to working on myself in all areas. Not just my physical but my mental and emotional stability. No longer can I live for others’ approval. The work begins from within and with time. My emotional scars from my younger years won’t be erased in a day. I have to put in the work to accept my past for what is and use it as motivation to heal.

❤ Queen T

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