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?
Whenever we went out in public, I knew the girls my age were skinnier and prettier and I would never find a boyfriend with my appearance. My family pulled me through borderline anorexia. I blossomed into a beautiful teen aged girl. My beauty was assured by young men that I thought would never notice me. By the time I was 16, I was sought out by many boys and I knew the scale could never rise above 120. I was a 5 foot 4 inch 115/120 pound girl that wore a size 3/4 and was very critical of my image. By the time I was 18, I became pregnant by my boyfriend and at 1 month into my pregnancy, I was 126 and devastated. At the tail end of my pregnancy, I weighed 161 and felt awful about the size. Surprisingly, I lost all of the weight until I settled on 140. The extra fat never bothered me, because I found a great guy that worshiped me and 20 pounds was so trivial in the grand scheme of things.
Two and a half years after having my daughter, I became pregnant with my son and cherished the baby growing inside me so fervently, I ate more than enough to ensure he wouldn't want for anything. Any meal I skipped during my pregnancy would lead me to overwhelming guilt. I was a week late having him and nearly 200 pounds by delivery. After having him, I inched to a mirror and saw that I had a well rounded muffin top. I didn't know I was capable of having a muffin top! By my 6 week postpartum check up, I weighed 168. I worked really hard to get there and didn't expect I'd ever be my 140 self again. I looked up plus sized models and was hoping I looked like them in a lot of respects. Once I researched healthy weight ranges I realized I needed to be responsible for my health, especially for my young family. I wanted to run with my daughter, pick things up easily, bend over for play time, teach my children good eating habits. I spoke to my husband about it and he acted like I was being impractical, but I stuck to my guns and have adopted better eating habits. 5 months postpartum, I currently weigh 134 and have a goal weight of 120. Since the birth of my son, my husband has also lost 30 pounds! We were overweight less than half a year ago. I feel secure with my relationship and his great words to me while I was sweating from my work outs that pushed me harder were: "You could be 300 pounds and I would love you the same way I love you at 120 pounds." That sentence motivates me, because I don't have to be thin to be loved, I'm doing it for myself. I think women of all sizes are beautiful and I would love me at 200 pounds, or 120 pounds. I now jog, which I never thought possible and I eat healthier (mostly). Like my husband said, I'll be beautiful at any size, but if you're asking me if I want to give up my size 4 jeans and start huffing and puffing from catching up to my daughter, I'll tell you I worked hard for this and you'd best believe I love mirrors now. So YOU find your happy weight, YOU tell yourself why you're doing it, YOU give yourself a goal and most importantly, YOU decide that you're gorgeous and who gives a crap if your best friend is 100 pounds.