Every day of high school I weighed 246 lbs. & today I weigh exactly the same. When I look at these pictures I can’t help but notice that there is a remarkable difference between these two versions of me. It is as noticeable, to me anyway, as the difference in the colors of my hair. Want to know what the difference is? C-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-c-e. Confidence in knowing who I am. Confidence in my abilities as a woman. Confidence in knowing that I am beautiful by MY standards not someone else’s.
I, like everybody else, question my weight sometimes, and I'm working on not being too hard on myself. For the women out there questioning their looks, remember that there is no "normal." Be the weight you feel most comfortable in. I am just a tad under 5' 2" and built with curves. I would probably say I have an "hourglass" figure. I tend to store fat on my lower face and arms/upper body. At my comfortable weight of 115, I feel heavy and think I look chunky in photos.
I have anorexia. Everyday is a struggle to live in my skin. I'm not happy with my body, but I am trying to be. I don't know where that happiness comes from. Numbers? Sizes? Or something deeper than that, like self acceptance despite rolls, flaws, etc.? I'm not in recovery, but I'm not in an active relapse either.
I was born with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I was a fat baby, however I question where all of the weight went as I quickly grew into a knobby, stringy child with more defined muscle than fat. I didn't really start observing (and silently judging) my body until I started high school, which happened to be located on the wealthier side of my city. My arthritic pain over the years resulted in little exercise, so I was behind the curve when it came to the appealing muscle tone that every other girl seemed to have. I gained a fast metabolism from my father, however, so I maintained a pretty steady 106-112lb weight throughout high school and up to my 23rd birthday. I also piqued at a whopping 5'4" tall by freshmen year - seeing so many girls around me over 5'7" also added to the feeling of falling short (hah!).
I'm currently 33 years old--I'm 5'8 and 143 lbs. I have struggled it seems with weight since I was about 8 years old. At 12 I started dieting, and everyone telling me how beautiful I looked boosted my confidence. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone guiding me the right way with this diet, and by 14 years old I dropped down to 86lbs. After that I wasn't allowed to see the # on the scale. I know I was at 80lbs when I over heard my mom taking to my Aunt on the phone. My weight went up and down my teenage years.
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.
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.
I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I have been anorexic and bulimic. Even at my age of 54, I still suffer bulimia. I do not even know why I do it since I am not losing weight from it anymore. When I did lose weight from vomiting, my skin became very loose. I seldom do this anymore, and I am trying something a bit different. I have purchased the portion control containers, and I do believe they are helping me realize that I do not need to eat so much food to survive. Food is fuel. We eat to live, not live to eat! We should anyway!
The My Body Gallery project needs real Women! We need your help to develop the project and build a collection of photos that will help more women see themselves more clearly. Upload a picture of your full body. Our photo submission process also allows you to block out part of the image to protect your identity, if you wish. Please note that you must be 18 to upload a photo.