You could say that I haven't always had body issues, but I have to look back a long way to find them. As a child I was "normal" sizes up until about 12. This was when I hit the most awkward time in my life (as it is for many people) - I began to have acne, my hips got wider, my belly got softer, and my thighs grew.
It started there, and got worse. In middle school I kept wondering when I would get "acceptable" boobs, or when I would lose my "baby fat". I didn't get either. I wore my mother's grubby old one-piece bathing suits when I went swimming with shorts over my thighs. I wore strictly boy's t-shirts and jeans that covered my entire waist. (I don't have any photos online from this time, which is okay with me because honestly it's painful to look at for me.)
I thought then that I had it bad, but it would only become worse.
In high school, not only was I awkward and very quiet, but I realized then that if my body wasn't going to fix itself, I would have to fix it. I ate one meal a day, which was after school, and it was either baked tilapia and a salad or chicken noodle soup. I grew faint every day, and I passed out several times in my choir class. I exercised every day on my mother's Gazelle in our living room for at least an hour after school. This was the only time in my life that I steadily lost weight, and I honestly thought it was healthy. I would never go so far as to classify this time in my life as "eating disordered", but I can see now that it certainly wasn't healthy.
|Age 17, size 6|
|Age 18, size 8|
It's been two years since then. I've completely moved on in my life, but I can't say that I'm a better person physically. Being with Jonathan has made me comfortable, and in doing so I've become one of those people who doesn't "try" as much. I'm now typically a size 12, though I can get into a 10 depending on what it is. I don't feel like my body is mine anymore, and I don't recognize it when I look in the mirror.
It's changed with me - my thighs are so big that they wear holes in my jeans where they rub each other. My stomach stretch marks have faded only to be replaced with bright new red ones. My calves hardly fit into standard sized boots.
|Age 20, my most recent full body shot, size 10-12|
I find that most of the style blogs I've seen are either for skinny girls or "plus sized" girls, of which I think I fall somewhere in the middle (obviously more towards plus sized). My body is suited for neither of those extremes, which makes me feel a little uncertain of how I should look, and how it is acceptable for me to dress.
While I'm dissatisfied with myself, I am still ever aware throughout all my insecurities that this body is the only one I have, and I'm forced to love it or spend the rest of my life fighting with it. As a person who already has enough mental instability and things to worry about, I don't think it's worth it.
I hope that by sharing my insecurities and finding ways to destroy them can help others too.