Throughout my years, I’ve always struggled with my weight. I’ve fluctuated in my sizing so much since my teens. My confidence would fluctuate along with my weight. Some days I’d feel super confident in an outfit I was wearing, and the next year I could be wearing the same outfit or a similar one and want to add a cardigan, or a sweater, something to hide the body parts I was suddenly so self conscious about. My arms. My stomach. My thighs. It changed depending on the day. Depending on the outfit.
As I’ve grown older, and my body has continued to change, I hoped that I would just become accustomed to the change and my confidence would stay the same. I hoped that I would just come to terms with it and accept it, and while I’ve certainly gotten better about it, there are some days that just don’t feel right. I call those my fat days.
Side note: It’s funny when you call what you’re feeling having a “fat day”, because immediately whichever friend you’re around when you say it exclaims, “You’re not fat!” I appreciate your positivity, friend, but I am.
As I grew older, I looked at things a bit differently. While when I was younger I was so afraid what other women would think, as I got older I found myself thinking about what men will think. We are in a day of girl power, and women standing strong among each other, that I couldn’t help but let my thoughts trail to what a guy would think about what I’m wearing, and how I’m looking. And I think that is worse than when I was thinking about what other women thought about my outfits. As a single woman, I would want to impress men with hopes that they will see me and go “Wow, that’s the woman I need to be with.”
How wrong that thought is.
In the last few months, as I’ve been off work, I’ve definitely gained a little bit more weight. I’m not blind. I can see it in the mirror, when I take a selfie, when I try and put on my favourite t-shirt. But I have to say, along with this weight, it’s brought a different train of thought. It has brought more body positivity. I’m not saying every day is perfect, but I have found myself with some really great thoughts. And it’s all come down to the clothing I’ve been wearing.
When I was in New York City in the fall, I picked up a shirt from Forever 21 in Times Square. It’s a red crop top (and by crop I mean the bottom of the shirt touches the top of my jeans, and if I lift my arms, it’s all stomach), and it says GIRL GANG on it. I recently paired this shirt with a pair of jean capris, and man – I felt incredible. I’ve never been the type to wear a crop top, but suddenly I was like – I don’t care. This is my body. This is the skin I’m in. And I’m going to embrace it.
Additionally, I recently tore through a pair of my favourite jeans, and went out to buy a new pair. See, I’m in love with the Bombshell jeans from Torrid. I bought two pairs on my most recent trip to Torrid, and one of them is sort of in~ with the current style of having holes in your pants. And when I wear them? I feel like a superhero.
It’s such an odd feeling that items of clothing can make you feel such a way, but they have, and they do. It’s great that an item of clothing can make me disregard any thought I have about what other people think (men or women) because what I think is all that matters. I feel great. I feel powerful. I’m embracing my curves and the skin that I’m in.
Don’t get me wrong – embracing my body is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to lose weight. But I’ve hit the point where I don’t want to lose weight to look good, but rather feel good. I want to be able to run a 5k instead of walk it, to walk a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing. I want to get in shape, but I’m happy that it’s no longer for other people.
It’s for myself.