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The Depth of Beauty Sep 15, 2015

I became self critical of my body when I was 7 or 8 years old because I felt I was too fat. I dealt with these feelings all through middle and high school and for a few years after. I felt that the fat on my body was something to be ashamed of and that it made me undesirable both as a lover and as an individual. My concern for my weight and eating habits seemed to consume me at times. I eventually began binge eating and then forcing myself to vomit around the age of 15. I did this fairly consistently for about 3 years. My body image issues overlapped confusingly with my sexual attraction for women.
You find your happy weight Sep 1, 2015

I was about 12 by the time I noticed the scale rising. I'd always been under 100 pounds, then suddenly, puberty made me stack on weight steadily and my clothes weren't fitting correctly anymore. I was homeschooled, so I wasn't sure what other girls my age were supposed to look like, or what to expect. My younger sisters ate as much as they wanted and never seemed phased by it, all the while I started eating less. Before anyone knew it, I wasn't eating enough and hid the food my parents required I eat. Whenever I bathed, I would poke my stomach and pinch my thighs. How could I let myself get this way?
What This Life's All About Jan 2, 2017

I was out of shape and weak growing up after having beat Cervical Cancer. I never felt strong or sure of myself after I found out I was sick and then even after I was in remission. I lost so much confidence being that sick. But once I was recovering I met a nice man and we married, but then divorced when he cheated on me. I went back to feeling sorry for myself. But one morning, I woke up, watched the sun coming up, and understood how lucky I was to have beaten a deadly disease and to be alive.
People Cannot See the Work Aug 19, 2015

I've had issues with weight my entire life. I remember kids chanting "cow man" to the theme of Batman. My parents would ask me if I "really wanted to eat that? I know your weight bothers you." Growing up, I didnt really watch what I ate at but it appared to be fairly close to what my skinny friends ate. Regardless, my weight slowly creeped up until college when I realized I had hypothyroidism, and I was up to 220 lbs at 22. My legs were chafing so badly it hurt to walk, and I couldn't take it any more.
Navy Weight Requirements May 13, 2015

I have been overweight most of my life and have been active on and off throughout as well. I began seeing the effects of my weight in high school, and got my father to sign me up for a gym membership, which I kept for about 3 years until dropping it to change gyms. I went from 197 down to 160 in a matter of about 3 to 4 months. BUT my right knee continued to give me problems. Lo and behold, when I had my ACL strained back in 2008, no one knew I had torn my meniscus. By December 2012 I had only a few strands of my ACL intact. December 13, 2012, I received knee surgery. My weight of 160 was buried in its grave, and I quickly gained weight until I was nearly 250 pounds. January 2014 I recommitted to fitness and continued my workouts through the gym on a military base. I have lost roughly 50 pounds. My Navy friends keep me motivated, and I have also decided to eventually pursue a career in the Navy. So I had a deadline to make - to be military fit in 4 years if I am able to get my BS degree.
Going To Love Myself Mar 31, 2015

As I'm reading all of these entries, I have tears streaming down my face...at the age of 25, I've struggled with my weight since middle school. Throughout my childhood I was stick thin and could eat anything without thinking twice. Fast forward to middle school and my first experience with being called fat, and that was when I realized I hated my body. I've never been naturally athletic. I've struggled to run for more than a few minutes at a time for as long as I can remember--even at my lowest weight I wasn't in shape.
Still See the Fat Sep 26, 2014

I'm a 5' 3.5'', 29-year-old, mixed Vietnamese/German-Irish woman.  When I was a little kid, I was a stick, but then sometime around fourth grade I was labeled and called fat by my peers once puberty hit.  My parents didn't really help me much in this department as they'd chide me that if I ate too much I could be overweight or comment that I was gaining weight during these years. This caused me to compare my thicker body-type to my thin Asian cousins whereas my Caucasian cousins were always a little thicker. It just set me down this downward spiral of low self-esteem.
Accept Me As I Am Sep 20, 2014

This morning I decided to write myself a letter, then when I got started writing I thought maybe I wanted to write everyone a letter. This itch may have started when a guy I had been seeing told me he could no longer see me in a romantic manner because I was too chubby for him. Well, for those of you who love the victory karma, haha, in-yo-face moment, here it is. I am poor. I’m a full time college student without a job. I can’t afford to wear clothes that show off my figure. However, yesterday the guy who broke it off with me saw me walk out of the gym. He stopped in his tracks and did a double. He walked up to me and told me I looked amazing. He saw me two weeks ago, not wearing my gym attire, and I was too chubby for him. I just looked at him, wondered what I ever saw in him, and walked away.
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MY BODY GALLERY QUIZ
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My Body Stories Hoping for Empowerment
All my adult life I've been 5'7" and weighed between 125-130 lbs. I have a small frame but had enormous breasts. I hated them. I took being slender for granted as I never dieted, ate whatever I wanted and never really had a "formal" workout plan, though I was active and I'm not a snacker. In 1994, right after I had my second child (I had gained about 30 lbs. with him and was almost down to my pre-pregnancy weight), I found out my husband of 8 years was having an affair. We divorced soon after and due to stress, I weighed in at 115 lbs. and wore a size 4. I stayed at that weight for about 4 years when I married my dear husband and had 2 more children. My weight crept up to 130 lbs., which is still well within acceptable for my height. Due to stretch marks and my giant breasts, I didn't dare wear any revealing clothing and felt quite self conscious about my body.
Strength and Empowerment
I've struggled with weight my entire life. By the winter after high school graduation, I weighed 195lbs. This was mortifying to me. Within 5 months I lost 60 lbs. by doing cardio 6 hours a week and "eating clean." I was skinny! But I hated my body composition: flabby stomach and arms, no "toned" appearance.. and the weight loss never stuck. I regained and lost 15 lbs. for probably 3 years before I regained almost all of the weight due to my dietary and exercise lifestyle being unsustainable.
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News MBG, A Woman Owned and Operated Start–Up
In 2010, Odessa Cozzolino had a vision—what if women could band together to produce a crowd-sourced database of images of female bodies unmanipulated by media forces? She wondered: would it be possible to create a safe, online space where women could browse pictures that their peers took of themselves to gain an empowering assessment of the wide variety of bodies out there in the world?
Body Positive Inspirational Memes
At MyBodyGallery, we sometimes get fabulous images uploaded by our community members. These often lend themselves to being paired with inspirational statements. Here's a roundup of some of the ones we've created over the past year. Be inspired to search through our gallery or contribute to our amazing crowdsourced database of images of what real women look like.
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