My journey of acceptance and self-love
I always remember myself as the chubby kid. The one teased on the dinner table on family gatherings for getting that second piece of cake for dessert. Not the best memories I have as a child. I remember someone telling me that beauty doesn’t matter as long as you are skinny. In school I wanted to be the pretty one, or the skinny one, and never felt like I was one of these.
Naturally I grew up with a negative image of my body, looking at myself in the mirror and hating what I saw. At times it was my flabby belly, my touching thighs or my double chin.
I have gone through every single diet imaginable from Weight Watchers to Atkins to the Dukan diet. Lost weight then gained it again then lost it once again and the same pattern repeats itself up to today. Thankfully in college living in London and being part of a much vaster community, which has greater acceptance of what is “different” I found greater recognition and a sense of belonging.
In 2013 when I had returned eventually back home. something pulled me to make a change. And I managed to lose 50 pounds in half a year. I was ecstatic. I never got “skinny” but I had finally managed to get closer to looking a little more of what I though was “normal”. I thought my life would change, that I would now love myself but I soon discovered that self-love, confidence and acceptance had nothing to do with my weight loss.
Fast forward to today and although I am not even close to looking in the mirror and seeing love, I have a better idea as to what this means. Self-love means being able to feel comfortable in your own skin, to stop punishing yourself and feeling shame. Looking at the mirror and embracing the odd bits of yourself. It’s all about self-acceptance and getting a sense of belonging.
Childhood experiences are hard to erase and I have often say that deep inside I will always be the chubby little girl looking for acceptance. It’s a daily practice and a takes conscious effort, but doing it brings us a step closer to loving who we truly are, wobbly bits, double chins included.