I feel like I want to give up.
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.