One plus-size girl opens up on her struggle with self-esteem
Throughout my entire life, I’ve had a tough time liking what I saw in the mirror. Now that I’m in my early 20s, I think I’ve finally cracked the code to believing in myself and being ok with my body. Everything isn’t perfect and I’m still learning but I want to share how I got that negative voice that was in the back of my mind to hush for good (most days!).
I started to gain weight when I was really young. In elementary/middle school I was teased a lot even by my closest friends and family members. I started to feel down on myself and I didn’t know what to do...I pretty much gave up. I thought if I exercised more that I would finally be happy with myself, but when I didn’t do that, I would punish myself internally and this inner mean girl voice was created.
She told me that I was disgusting, that I wouldn’t make anyone happy with whatever I did and that I was unworthy of being loved. It got so bad that in the summer before senior year, I stopped eating. I thought that was the only way to lose weight besides exercising but luckily enough, my mom and grandmother paid attention to my actions and set me straight. However, even when I started eating again, I was still unhappy and got extremely sick. I was in a relationship at the time and my issues with myself were putting a strain on everything.
After graduating from high school, I was excited to start a new chapter in my life. But by the end of my first semester, my relationship was over and the negative voice came back even stronger. I felt like I was in a black hole that I couldn’t get out of. Until the morning I woke up and realized I should be focusing on my ultimate happiness and not anyone else’s.
I started working out and eating healthier (not to lose weight, but to build my confidence), and it felt amazing. I used to dread going to the gym but it was starting to become a new love of mine. I started to feel more confident with myself overall and have been for awhile, even when life isn't perfect or when I slip up. I noticed that the way I was talking to myself wasn’t healthy for me mentally and emotionally and I started to change my perspective to a more positive one. That negative voice would tell me things that seem to be impossible to fix but when I started to tell myself that things can change if I worked hard enough to make my goals into reality, that negative voice started to fade again.
The moral of the story: We tend to be our own worst critics. We have to change our own narrative and how we speak to ourselves internally. Of course, I still have down days but there are more days where I feel happier overall with myself and the things that I accomplish. My mean girl voice is barely a whisper now.
Sometimes, it just takes having patience with yourself to get things right. It’s not going to happen overnight so just remember to give yourself time to learn and grow from your experiences and mistakes. Those things will help build you into the person that you want to be.
Has anyone had similar experiences with self-esteem? Let us know in the comments below!
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