Some of you might laugh but yes, I am 16 and I struggle with my body image. No, I'm not overweight, underweight, or chubby but normal. Just an average athletic teenage girl who struggles with how she views herself. You might think of this as a joke but it's true. Yes have your fun and laugh at how a 16-year-old teenager knows nothing about the world but just sit tight and read my story. You might just enjoy it.
To be honest, my negative perspective about myself did not result from the images that the media portrays but from the unwanted observations which my father threw at me. He told me I needed to lose weight, even though I was average weight for my age. He said that I needed to exercise more, even though I played soccer and ran 4 to 6 days a week. He told me that I was eating too much, but only because I used food as a comfort and retreat from his accusatory opinions. I began to despise my body: my thick, muscular thighs and heavy-set chest were now unwanted growths that made me too big and bulky, or so I thought.
Today, people will tell me that I'm "thicc" and they wish they were like me, but little do they know how long it took me to finally come to fruition with how I look.
I used to be jealous of all the thin, pretty girls who ruled the school and who would have all the boys throwing themselves at their feet. I wanted to look, act and be them. I wanted to feel accepted and admired because I had always felt that boys looked at me in disgust, whispering and laughing about how I looked. These insecurities eventually got worse with my injury.
The spring before high school, I fractured my ankle and could not do anything. Since I was accustomed to playing soccer multiple days a week, I was not used to the sudden drop in activity, leaving my uncontrolled eating habits to continue. Over 3 months with no running, I gained more fat and lost most of my muscle. When I began running again, I felt the eyes and judgment of everyone around me as I faced the road to recovery. It did not help when people who I had not seen in at least 4 months would comment on how much I've grown and how big I've gotten— and not in a good way. This caused me to feel more self-consciousness about the way I looked. It made me feel lost and ashamed in my skin that never should have belonged to me.
To combat my fears, I continued to exercise daily and looked at each challenge with the notion that it will help me slim down once and for all. Even though it has never felt instantaneous, I have reached a point where I can compare how I was 2 years ago and now and feel so much better. I feel more light, more free, and even more confident in every step I take. I used to be jealous of others but now I feel honored to be the way I am.
Recently, a question was asked, "How do I deal with my physical insecurities?" It has taken me a long time and a lot of realization for me to cope with how I was made and how I look. Above I mentioned that I relied on exercise; however, I also accomplished this with the work of limiting my food intake. I followed the Keto diet for a few months to stop my cravings of carbs and sugar(which did help) but now I make sure that I am eating less and more balanced. Another way I conquered my insecurities mentally and emotionally was through changing my mindset. What has helped me in the past was focusing on what I can do to achieve what I want to look like. Once I established the steps to success, I would ask myself how I can change my perspective and habits so I can continue on this path.
Every question that comes on G@G mentioning "thicc girls" makes me feel so much better in my skin because it makes me realize that people are in awe of how I look, not disgusted, so why should I judge myself? I need to stand tall and not feel afraid to show off a little bit.
Today, I put on a tighter dress thinking it was going to be way too small but instead I was amazed at how well it hugged my curves and made me stand out like never before. It has taken me a great deal of time and appreciation but I am finally thankful for my body; this hourglass shape was specially made to suit me.
Even though I may still struggle with how I view myself, I continue to progress and feel so much more confident in how I look and treat myself. Thank you for reading and thank you G@G community for inspiring me to embrace every curve.