Today, July 10th, marks the one year anniversary of New Figure Forward.
A year ago I was toying with an idea to share my story to help fill a void I felt was lacking in the weight loss world. I had only seen the 'after ' pictures; I had never heard an 'after 'story. I thought perfection would be found in a pant size. Imagine my surprise when I felt confused and lost with my new figure. My entire body changed. My face changed. The way the world looked at me changed. The way I felt on the inside and the way I looked on the outside did not match. When you have only known yourself one way, it is terrifying to suddenly see yourself as a stranger. This made for a frustrating couple of 'after' years.
I missed my bigger body on occasion. I did not like being a size 28, but I knew how to be a size 28. Even though I wanted to lose weight, I had still accepted my role in life to be the wall flowered fat girl. I knew how to be her. I knew how people would react to her. I was her my entire life. Now, a size 12, I had to learn the new me and the world that came along with my new figure.
Six years after my 125 pound weight loss I have a voice. I have confidence. I know who I am in my new figure. I found myself. I have had people tell me the transformation they have witnessed in me is amazing. Those that know me best have watched me go from a shoulders hunched unhealthy girl to a proud woman with her head held high. The confidence did not hit me when I put on my dream pant size; it happened years later.
This blog started out as a way to show the other side to weight loss. The 'after' to the 'happily ever'. The mental healing process, the self acceptance, and the willingness to relearn myself. These were not topics I had heard anyone else talk about. No one complains about life after weight loss! Life after weight loss is perfect and everything just falls into place. Lies. All lies! I knew I was not the only person struggling in their 'ever after'.
I was right. I was not the only person struggling. Through my blog, I realized the struggle to love ourselves is not reserved for specific weights or sizes. Women, some with figures I used to long for, all struggle with this need to achieve perfection so that they can love themselves. Self-love is not the prize at the end of the journey. Self-love can be had right now. Self-love will blossom when given the green light.
Moving into my second year as a blogger, I am not the same woman that started writing a year ago. This journey has been immensely healing and liberating. New Figure Forward paved my purpose to inspire others to love themselves. I will continue to advocate for less Photoshop, a variety of shapes and sizes represented in media and advertising, and the belief that our bodies are perfect - stretch marks and all! This next year will be a big one for New Figure Forward. I may have a few surprises up my sleeve.
My words mean nothing without someone to read them. I thank all of my friends, those I know personally and those I have met online, and my family. Without the encouragement and support this project would not have gone far. Every email I receive, every like on a post, every comment made helps me to continue pushing forward and fight for change. Thank you to my readers! This day would not have happened without you!
(An extra special shout out to my husband. To a man who has encouraged me grow into my own. A man who has pushed me to be my best. A man who has never seen anything but a beautiful woman in front of him. He edited every blog, took pictures, and inspired ideas. Thank you husband for everything you have done for me, my self esteem, and my view on the world! I love you more than words can express!)