I’ve always been fat.
At a very early age, I was told that I was disgusting and a pig. The person who spoke these words over me, was supposed to be the one person that shouldn’t have said them. I can still hear her voice in my head, daily.
The kids at school, when they were feeling especially mean, would taunt me with the nickname “Miss Piggy”. As I got older, classmates stopped making verbal remarks, but I always wondered if they were silently judging me. I couldn’t fit into the LIMITED jeans that were wildly popular like the other girls. Instead, I cloaked my body with wide leg skater jeans and baggy t-shirts. I dove headlong into the “punk” look thankful that it masked the outline of my body.
In high school, I started taking diuretics given to me by a friend. She educated me on different tips to lose weight and burn calories off of different anorexic sites she frequented. This season didn’t last long– I didn’t enjoy being on the toilet all the time and I was afraid my family would find out. I opted to just skip meals when I could.
Between then and now, I’ve tried everything. Calorie counting. Fad diets. Long hours at the gym. I’ve set goals. I’ve joined accountability groups. I’ve phoned a friend.Each thing worked, momentarily. I’d lose some weight. Start feeling good about myself. People would start commenting on how good I looked. (Funny how I don’t hear the same compliments when I’m not losing weight.) But then something would happen, and I’d stall out/give up.
No matter how many pounds came off, I still hated myself. My body. My face. The way my eyebrows stick out wildly. The thinness of my lips. The mole next to my left ear. The crookedness of my bottom teeth. The critique could go on, people, but I think you see my point.
I’m 30 years old, and refuse to have a full length mirror at my house. I crop every picture that includes anything below my chest. I labor over what filter to use on selfies, in an attempt to find that one that will hide the most imperfections. (The selfie song is right– Valencia IS the best!) I’ve become the girl who can’t leave the house, even to go hiking, without my make-up on. All in an attempt to feel lovable.
Because the real issue is the thought that because I am fat I am unworthy of love. That only those that can pull off a bikini or leg baring skirt can be loved. That a man, no matter how God-fearing, won’t love this package I am in. That I will be single until I lose the inches and the pounds.
BUT my worth, your worth is not based on your lack of muffin top. You are lovable because you are YOU. That’s it.
I’m aware that most, if not all, magazines are plastered with tall, skinny models. I don’t find any comfort in knowing that all of them have been photoshopped in some way. Thigh gaps put in later. Hips slimmed. Necks raised and thinned. The picture society paints as beautiful won’t change any time soon.
So, what do I do? What do we do?
Well, we keep speaking Truth to our hearts and to others. We cut off the internal dialogue when it starts pointing out our flaws. We speak words of life and beauty to our hearts, instead of words of disgust and disdain. It’s not an easy battle, but one I believe that is worth the fight because you are worth it.
You are lovely. All of you. Every roll, every pimple, every cellulite dimple. You add beauty to our world. Your laugh a unique song. Your smile a ray of light to a dark world. Your eyes sparkling with life. Your hands vehicles of love.
You. are. beautiful.
And you are worthy of love. Just the way you are. Just the size you are.
Take it from John Legend, you are perfectly imperfect.