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Monday, February 2, 2015

mirror mirror on the wall: on feeling insecure about my body

mirror mirror on the wall: on feeling insecure about my body

Insecurity. It’s the little bastard that sneaks up on us unexpectedly, snatches our confidence, and runs like a thief in the night and leaves us bare. Naked. Unexposed. Every one experiences it, no matter how confident you may present yourself to be. I know I have. I struggled with insecurity all through middle school, high school, and the majority of college. It’s funny how when people meet me they automatically assume I’m this mega bitch with skyscraper confidence and I’m unbothered. Nah. I struggle with insecurities just as much as the next girl.

It took me a long time to love me and I’m not talking about the typical “you can do it” type of self-love. I’m talking about the deep-rooted, thoroughly embedded in your soul type of self-love. The type of love that keeps you from shedding a tear when you have to go a size up from the dress you thought would fit. The type of love that keeps you from feeling embarrassed when all your skinny friends have on something tight and bright to wear to the club while you have to stick to what looks the most flattering on you- neutral colors that are more forgiving.

It took me a while to get used to that. I contemplated eating disorders many times, trying fad diets, and even surgery! Crazy, right? Actually, it’s not crazy at all. In an era where every song on the radio talks about women with skinny waists and fat asses and every magazine on the newsstand displays women in extremely unforgiving lingerie and stringy swimwear. The want to be the “ideal” woman with perfect skin, hair, nails, and teeth was so real. Of course, they say beauty is subjective. How does the saying go? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? The beholder was me and I didn’t think I was beautiful.

I didn’t think I was beautiful because my waist measurements weren’t the same as the ones I had in my preteens, my thighs rubbed together, and every time I went into a store the clerks would refer me to their biggest sizes, escort me to the plus size section, and show me their selections for the more “well-endowed” woman. Size fourteen, plus size? That sounded like a dirty word to me – derogatory and disgusting. That shit hurt me. Many times I cried on my bathroom floor looking at myself in the mirror. I hated myself. I wished God would make me skinnier, and I constantly compared myself to my skinnier, more fit friends.

mirror mirror on the wall: on feeling insecure about my body

I don’t say this for a pity party. I say this for every person who has struggled, who has compared his or herself to someone else, and who has contemplated doing something harmful to his or herself because they don’t see the results they want. I was that girl. And you know how I keep my confidence in tact now? I remind myself of where I’ve been and how I never ever want to be that girl again.

I’m still not at my goal weight and size but I make healthier decisions and I hang around people who aid in that growth. Being healthy isn’t a destination it’s a never ending journey. I lapse and eat things that I’m not supposed to. I binge eat Talenti gelato or I’ll make that stop to Zaxby’s, but you know what? I get my ass up and go hard in the gym. I’ll find a spin class or something that I enjoy doing and get moving. The beauty of relapsing is that there’s always tomorrow. There’s always another day to get it right. YOU are in control.

There are days that I still cringe when I pull up a dress that is ill fitting or a friend takes a picture and everyone looks great but it’s the absolute wrong angle for me. But I remind myself that it’s okay and that is motivation for me to go harder. I won’t let numbers on a scale or the label of a shirt define my worth. I love myself so much now because I fought for this girl right here. I fought my own demons and told the devil that he can’t win because I’ve already won.

Dominique is a twenty-three years old, college graduate with a BA in English and Pre-Medicine. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Healthcare Management in hopes of one day becoming a physician. During her free time she loves to write and has since started her own personal blog to further pursue that passion.
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