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Health&Wellness

20 Years of Hate

The other day I found myself at the store. I had set out to buy a new bathing suit to wear when we go camping this weekend.

I tried on 3 different ones. Different colours, different styles, different everything. With every single one, I found myself standing in front of the mirror, picking apart everything that I deemed to be wrong with me.

Every scar I saw in the reflection was screaming at me. Every stretch mark was telling me how disgusting I was. I stood there staring at myself in complete dismay.

I hated every single bathing suit on me. When they were on the hanger, they were beautiful. On me, that was a completely different story.

I was crying at this point, and called my husband. I was a mess. I had decided that it was going to be another year for shirts and shorts for me at the beach.

I had failed another year of getting my body `bathing suit ready`.

My husband was calming and helped me get through my tears and then asked me, `What is it that you don`t like about the bathing suit?`

`I look chubby.` I told him.

Admitting defeat.

His response hit me right in the heart. He said `You look beautiful, but even if you think you look chubby, why is chubby a bad thing?`

I remember being quiet for a minute. I was completely thrown off guard. He was right.

Completely right.

In my mind, the word chubby was not one I wanted to be used to describe me, but why was it such a bad word? Why was I so afraid of it? What made it so scary?

I`ve never been comfortable in a bathing suit. I`ve never worn a tank without something on top, and only in the last year have I worn shorts, and still really, just a handful of times.

Even when I was at my smallest I still had such a distorted view of my body and preconceived notions of what it was supposed to look like.

I have never felt comfortable with my body. I have spent 20 years hating it actually. Every single part of it.

I have always struggled, and therefore I struggle in my relationship with food.

Every emotion I feel, has a food that it is associated with. It`s how I manage to get through things.

I`ve tried to trick myself into believing that I love my body, but really… deep down… I always knew I didn`t. I never have.

I grew up in the presence of a person who often spoke about the weight they felt they needed to lose. I found that I would often look at their body, and compare it to my own. As a little girl, I would think, if THEY needed to lose weight, then I definitely did too.

I heard things about not being thin enough to wear a bikini. A lot of what I know now, to be negative remarks relaying to body image.

I am in no way blaming, I am simply exploring where my unrealistic views of what my body should look like may come from.

I grew up in an atmosphere where fit and thin women were the ones who should wear the beautiful bathing suits, and bigger women just shouldn`t.

I think it was just the way the world was. The way that it thought and projected it`s ideas onto very impressionable children.

So, for 20 years I`ve hated my body, and the number the scale told me. This number represented my worth. I constantly have thought, I will be happy when I lose 10 pounds. But, even when/if I lost those 10 pounds, I still wasn`t happy. I wanted 10 more.

No matter what size, my body was never small enough. Small meant beauty to me. So, the smaller I could get, the more beautiful I would be.

It makes me so sad to think that these minor things might have played such a lasting part in my relationship with my body and food.

As I would get smaller, I would be praised, like as if I was doing something better than what I was doing before. I was becoming more beautiful because I was smaller.

But the dark part, the part that nobody was able to see, was that I wouldn`t allow myself to eat. If I didn`t eat, then in my head, I had a larger chance of being smaller. Health, and getting vitamins and nutrients for my body, just didn`t matter to me. All that mattered was the number on my pant tag.

I sought validation like this. The smaller I got, the more I was celebrated, so to me, the more beautiful I was.

I still get so sad when I think of this. I still struggle so much with food and my body. It is a journey I constantly embark on.

I ended up buying a bathing suit, and I am determined to wear it.

I am determined to change my relationship with my body and with food.

I hope one day I succeed.

Love Always, N

Don`t forget to stop by my post about scars and what I think they mean. I`d also love if you clicked follow on my blog!

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12 Comments

  • Latisha Porter

    Wow, such a great post my friend. The scary part is that you are not alone. I’ve never owned a bathing suit and never go lay at the beach. It becomes a point in life when we have to choose our battles. I don’t go anywhere that requires a bathing suit, then I don’t have to face these sort of issues. If there is not an option, then make up your mind to dress the way you want to and feel comfortable in your own skin. Peace and blessings to you my friend!

  • Nyxie

    This was so honest. You had me hanging on every word as if it were my own. I know all to well the feeling of hatred for your body, being unable to look in the mirror without hating what you see. So many women struggle with the same thing and yet, when you’re in the middle of those thoughts, you feel so alone. It’s amazing, and horrible, that the external expectations of society can get to us so much.

    You’re so brave for sharing this.

  • Kate Murray

    N, you are so brave to say what so many of us think, I agree with the aforementioned comments…so many women struggle with these same fears about our own body image. Your husband’s comment is as good as gold, you are clearly beautiful inside and out and that’s all that matters! Put on that bathing suit and wear it proudly #Girlboss!

  • Sarah Winton

    I enjoyed your honesty. I think this is a struggle that most women can relate to – I certainly can. We all need to work on loving ourselves and accepting ourselves. It’s tough!

  • Sarah Hudson

    This really must be tough for you and this is a powerful post. I used to binge then purge and restrict and it was so toxic. Time is a healer and you will look fabulous in your bathing suit 🙂

  • KCVentures

    Such powerful words from your husband! Wow. It will be hard, but I’m sure one day your relationship with food and your body will be better. I’m rooting for you and proud of you for your journey!

  • Michelle Blackadar

    wow, this post spoke STRAIGHT to my heart. i also struggle with my body image, always have kind of scared that i always will. that’s the scariest part thinking that no matter how hard i try i’ll never be satisfied. i’m so glad that you won that battle of buying the bathing suit and not letting the dreaded fitting room win. i genuinely hope you decide to wear the bathing suit this weekend. sending love. xx

    mich / simplymich.com

  • Dan Udale

    Enjoyed reading how frank and honest you were in this post, appreciate the authenticity and your husband sounds like an awesome guy 🙂

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