Shrinking & Growing
Today I was planning on doing a fun little outfit post, but decided against it after I read an email last night from a follower of All Things Kate. I was surprised. I was sad. I’ve heard from so many women over the years about society and how it pressures us to become something we aren’t – thin body, straight teeth, perfect hair, etc – and how frustrating it is when you don’t fit into that, how hard it is to put yourself out there when you aren’t all of those things and more.
Contrary to what you might think, I am not exempt from these feelings of uncertainty. I get exactly how it feels to be fearful of putting yourself and your image online because of the negativity that could follow. I know exactly how it feels to think you’re fat in everything you put on and that nothing looks good on you, even if you have a closet full of beautiful clothes.
For example, these photos. I’ve had these photos since February, but I’ve been too scared to share them. Why? Every time I look at them, all I see are photos full of physical flaws.
But what I should really see is a young woman full of strength – physical, mental, and emotional. I’ve had the courage to share my journey in all its brutal honesty. I’ve had the resilience to keep pushing on. I know that the girl in these photos is 70 lbs lighter and has come so far, but I also know that she has so much further to go – and I don’t mean weight loss. I mean the mental and emotional journey. I thought that losing weight would absolutely solve all of my problems and body image issues, but it hasn’t. I still struggle with it all the time. I look at myself in the mirror and see the girl I used to be and I look at pictures of myself and only see what I perceive to be imperfections.
But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. Before I lost my weight I was happy, and after I lost my weight I was happier. Not because of my appearance, but because of what I learned about myself, how I grew, and how I changed. I’m willing to try things now that I never would have considered before. I worked out before I lost weight, but I never would have posted pictures of my workout wear. I’m growing and I’m changing and I’m becoming more confident and therefore more beautiful as I continue down this path.
Your journey may be different than mine, but ultimately, it’s about what is the right step for you personally.