I'm overweight. Most of my life, I have been. "Morbidly obese" according to the BMI scales and any website that you'd look on. Fat, in "less kind," but true, terms.
I have a lot of friends who are into fitness. There was a time when I was. I was exercising 5 days a week and I went from being roughly 250 pounds all the way down to 118 pounds. I was about as close to anorexia as you can get without actually being anorexic. I ate about 1200 calories a day and burned off a whole bunch of those exercising.
I wanted to be skinny. I wanted the world to look at me differently - not just as the "fat girl" who eats too much and doesn't know how to be healthy.
And maybe they did when I was a size 2 and looked like I was a walking skeleton. Maybe I looked good by the world's standards. Maybe they looked at me and thought, "Wow, she's got it all together."
But the truth of the matter is, I didn't. I wasn't any happier with myself at a size 2 than I was at a size 16. In fact, pretty much all I cared about when I was thinner was staying thin. I cared about exercising and making sure I didn't eat over my calorie allotment every single day.
When I got myself out of that mindset, I put on weight. I went back up to practically the same size I was when I started. I look in the mirror, and I'm unhappy. I want to get fitter, but I'm scared to fall into the same rut I was in before where I was obsessive about it and that was all I thought about.
But...let's be honest. Is skinny really all that matters? Is exercise the only thing in life that we should worry about? Shouldn't we worry more about our families? Our friends? The people we love? They're not going to care if you're skinny, overweight, if you eat right, or if you don't.
Sure, for health reasons, we should be trying to eat better. We should be trying to get healthy and stay healthy. We should be not eating all the cake and ice cream in the world (although, that'd be fun to try!)
But in the grand scheme of things, there are a lot more important things in life than being skinny. When you're thin, there's always going to be someone thinner.
I guess the moral of the story is: be happy in who you are. Don't overthink it. Don't obsess over being beautiful by the world's standards because they're skewed.
Even those models don't look like they do in magazines.
So, I have given up on self-hate. I have given up on looking in the mirror and being mad at what I see. I'm who I am. My pants size doesn't matter. My mind does. My heart does. My life does.
Ashley Strawser is a 20-something writer, Disney fanatic, wine lover, and foodie. You can find her at Ashley Aspires, where she occasionally finds the time to post about Disney, teen girl self-help, and sometimes even a good recipe. But don't expect too many posts - Ashley is busy working a full-time job, and hanging out with her family!