self-confidence

Haunted Numbers

In the dark

Under the bed

It’s there

Hiding

I know it’s there

And it knows all my fears

When I turn out the lights it taunts me

Haunts me

Teases me

Softly calling my name

What am I so afraid of?

I ignore it

But it can’t be ignored

I pretend it isn’t there

But it’s always there

I am shackled

A prisoner with no escape

During the day I think I am free

I can even forget

For a while…

But it will still be there

It’s always been there

Since I was too young

Waiting

Patiently

Because it knows I’ll come back

I always come back

I am afraid without it

Uncertain

I need it

I long for it

To be reunited and reassured

I will gaze trustingly into its unblinking eyes

Expectant

Hopeful

Trapped

Those neon blue eyes changing to numbers

Telling me how good I am

I will bask in its praise

I crave it

But it will not come

My hope is empty

Instead I am mocked

Not good enough

Would could love me?

Who could love this?

No one

But it will always be there

Reliable

Unwavering

Whenever I need it

When I am weak

It will show me the truth

And I will remain shackled

The scale never lies.

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Impossible

Day 1, Day 1 again, this is the last Day 1

How many failures

How many new beginnings

Today is the day

Today will be different

This time

Maybe tomorrow

Next week

On Monday

 

Measurements, photos, weigh-ins

Promises, plans, intentions

 

Doubts and why bothers

Anxieties and depressions

Give ins and give ups

 

It’s for my health

Lies

It’s to improve my energy

Sure it is

 

It’s for looks

It always has been

 

Too fat

Not thin enough

No muscle definition

Too short

Too weak

Not good enough

Never will be

 

Obese

Overweight

Overloaded

Overburdened

 

Society says one thing

The mirror says the same

Your clothes scream it at you

And eventually you believe

 

Impossible standards

Impossible expectations

Impossible to ignore

Impossible to succeed

Impossible not to fail

Healthy is the New Skinny

I feel like I want to give up.

ALL.

THE.

TIME.

We live in a society where we expect instant results. Where we press a button and get what we want without another thought. Without any extra effort.

I’m not lying when I say I’m trying to eat healthy and exercise more in order to be healthier. Because I am. That’s why I’m also trying to do things like spend more time outside, get more sleep, write more, keep learning how to play the guitar; these are all things I’m doing to make myself healthier, not only physically, but mentally and psychologically and spiritually as well.

Sometimes though, my desire to be healthy is the only thing that keeps me going when I’m feeling low on self-confidence. When I feel fat and ugly and wonder why I should even bother.

Because I can’t lie when I admit that I also want to be thinner. I’ve grown up in a world where thin equals beauty and fat equals ugly. Every day I wake up and have to try to ignore this. Fortunately, the world is moving in a direction of body positivity; where all shapes, sizes and colours of people are accepted. But progress is slow. And there are still many people who don’t accept you for your inner self because they can’t get past your outer self. And because of this, every day is a struggle.

I don’t think of myself as ugly. But I do think of myself as fat. And unfortunately I believe that I could be prettier if I wasn’t fat. Why does using a descriptor like “fat” hold more weight than a descriptor like “short” or “tall” or “blue-eyed” or “brown-eyed?” It does not define me, it is just another characteristic of who I am; one feature of so many good features that I have. I love so many of those other features. But this one, really tries to drag me down.

About ten years ago, I swapped out my one-piece swimsuit for a bikini. I had lost of a lot of weight, I wasn’t my ideal body image, but I had met some goals and was feeling confident. Since then I have put back on a whole bunch of weight; but I still wear a bikini. My opinion is that a one-piece doesn’t hide the fact that you’re fat any more than a two-piece does. A two-piece just means there’s more skin. As someone who prefers winter when I can hide myself under sweaters and hoodies, showing my body to people in the summer always seems like a big deal. A way bigger deal that I want it to be.

This coming up Saturday, we are going to the beach for one of my friends’ birthday. And I will be wearing a bikini. And I’m feeling discouraged. Six days is-of course!-too little time to get a magazine’s definition of a bikini body so I find myself wondering why bother again. It’s frustrating. And it’s hard when I worry that people will judge me. I can almost hear them talking behind my back, asking other people why I would even think of wearing a bikini. The initial reveal is always the hardest. After that I can settle into the situation. I can own the body I have. But the week leading up to a beach day always seems to be the worst. When time has snuck up on me and I’m all out of options.

I long for the day when I can be confident wearing a bikini, regardless of what I look like. When I can quit faking confidence and just have it instead.

Since I was having a low self-confidence day, I spent the morning listening to women talk about body positivity and wanted to share this YouTube video with you all. Ashley Graham is a model, designer, and body activist and was the first curvy woman to be in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Her attitude seems like an attitude to strive for for anyone facing body positivity issues. I hope you can take some of the things she says to heart like I’m trying to do.

The Befores

The decision to post these photos was hard. Harder than I ever would have thought.

I briefly contemplated posting these with my face cropped out, but what am I so afraid of? I post pictures of myself on the internet all the time – Facebook, Instagram, etc. – so why is this different? Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of losing my anonymity. Not that these are pornographic or anything, but they are me at my most vulnerable.

I rarely talk about diet and my weight loss struggle with people I know. I admit to very few people that I would like to be healthier and be in better shape. I work hard to try and accept myself for who I am and I kind of feel like talking about how I wish I could change all the time just doesn’t really help that. Of course, I have internal conversations which are probably louder and more persistent than any conversation I would have with someone else, but I work hard to try and be confident, even when I’m not. Fake it until you make it I guess, right? Maybe you can only find the solution once you’ve accepted there is a problem, but if you’ve already accepted it internally, does it need to be publicly  acknowledged too?

But I guess the whole point of this blog was to hold myself accountable. And it feels like I need to go all in…

So here I am. Coming out of hiding. Posting my befores without any afters…

It seems really hard to find any before pictures on the internet without the associated afters. And I totally understand this since it’s much easier (and likely more inspiring) to tell the world how far you’ve come as opposed to how far you need to go.

But this is me. This is who I am now.

And in an effort to make this seem like less of a big deal for me, I tried to make my befores fun, and not conform to the frowny sad-faced befores so many other people seem to use. Because this will take time and effort, and I don’t want to wait until the afters to have fun and enjoy my life. I want to be happy and have fun now, regardless of what I look like and who I think I want to be. Every day I have the opportunity to be a better version of the person I was that day before.