Controlling my weight has never been an easy thing to do.
While I was a teenager, I used to diet and was quite active, so my weight stayed fairly stable between the ages of 14 and 17.
I weighed between 155-165, I'm fairly big-boned, and felt fit and healthy - but of course at 16 years old, and a uk size 14, when most of my classmates were a size 8 or 6, I always felt too big. I didn't like my body, I hated my big thighs for not fitting into skinny jeans, and though at my all-girls school I was never once teased, a few nasty things were said behind my back.
My first serious relationship was an interesting revelation for me, in that someone actually found me attractive. Knowing that someone saw my body in a positive light made me stop worrying about it quite so much. Through the trials and tribulations of young love, and the stress of studying for A-Levels, I ate like a bird and lost about a stone over about a year.
When that relationship ended in a firey blaze of angsty teenage heartbreak, I lost another 8lbs in a fortnight. Having been dragged to the swimming pool by my mum for some wholesome activity, I caught sight of my body in the mirror and was shocked. I was shocked for two reasons.
Firstly, I looked thin. Thinner than I'd ever been. My stomach, usually soft with a little padding, was now concave. My ribs and hip bones were visible in my swimsuit, and my face looked drawn. I was, of course, by no means bony or underweight, I was probably a "conventionally" healthy 10st or so.
But the second thing that shocked me was that I didn't like what I saw. It wasn't MY body. That flat stomach represented all the heartbreak and stress and rejection that I'd been feeling.
At that moment, I looked the way I felt, and suddenly being thin didn't seem so appealing any more. So I stopped caring. Weight loss didn't matter and it wouldn't make me happy.
When I started university just over three years ago, I also began a casual relationship with a friend of a friend. Little did I know that this would last as a wonderfully fulfilling partnership, seeing me through a difficult period of mental health problems.
These past three years were full of positive emotional growth - but, what with cooking man-size portions and being on anti-depressants, there's been a lot of physical growth as well. I'm currently at my highest ever weight of 190lbs, and I am not happy about it. A recent clear out of my wardrobe has prompted me to take control of my weight, and treat my body with some objectivity and respect.
My 17 year-old self was healthy and beautiful, and she had a great taste in clothes. I'd kind of forgotten that. So, this year I want to prove to myself that I can make my body into what I want it to be. I want it to be fit, active, healthy, womanly, and, whatever the size or weight, I want it ready for what life has to throw at me in the years to come.
I'm starting a new chapter in my Body Story, and right now I feel like it's going to be a good one.