Monday, August 3, 2015

Bikini of Liberation

     I cannot remember a time when I did not think that my body was wrong. In 4th grade, I was the "fat" kid and began my life of bullies, eating disorders, and self hate. I pushed hard on the door that held my skeletons throughout high school and college: diet pills, binge eating, and bulimia. No one knew the mental beating I gave myself everyday for being "fat". Eventually I found myself at 300 pounds in my mid-twenties. I fought to save myself from feeling trapped in my body. I was living a life that was leading me to an early grave. I successfully lost 125 pounds with Weight Watchers and exercise. I have kept the weight off for seven years and in that time I have been anxiously waiting to finally love my body.  

     I have been waiting for the moment when I would no longer be embarrassed by my wiggles, jiggles, stretch marks, and wings. I have been waiting for seven years. When does that magical moment happen when I will no longer hate the skin I am in? It started to happen two years ago when I began my blog and opened up about my post weight loss frustrations. I could not have predicted the impact on my mental health this would have for me. It was life changing. 

     For the first time in my life I was learning about body positivity. I found other like minded people with the same desire to feel beautiful in their skin. Tess Holliday forever changed how I felt about my body. Her unwavering confidence inspired me to find my own empowerment in my body. I wanted to love myself; stand tall and be the woman the broken girl always hoped she would grow into. It has been a personal healing journey over the past two years. 

     I have set myself free from many beauty standards over the course of healing. I no longer workout only in black pants, I now have some of the loudest pants at the gym. Workout in color! I no longer subject myself to sweaters in summer to cover my arms. I wear shorts without fear or shame. Not only did I buy a bathing suit after having not owned one for over a decade, I wore it in public too! I am not the same woman. Self-love and confidence gave me the power to discover the amazing person the beauty industry beat down and kept down. I am a diet industry drop out! I run on self-love and self-care. 

     I had my biggest liberating moment over vacation this year. I wore a bikini. Yes!! I actually did it!! In public!! I was nervous; in truth I almost freaked out. My husband helped keep me in a positive mind frame and reminded me why I had this goal. I took a deep breath and dropped my cover to the ground. There I my bikini...waiting for something to happen. And then, I felt it. Those butterflies in my stomach grew strong and I used them to fuel my inner badass. I turned those tiny wings in my stomach into wings of freedom out of my back.  Empowered! That is what I felt, the greatest feeling of empowerment and confidence I had ever experienced in my life! 

     Life is too short to constantly wait for self-love. Go out and grab it! Tell that ugly voice in your head to sit down and shut up, we only get one shot at this life and I am going to do it my way! Thank you to every person who encouraged me to kick down the walls of beauty standards. This moment was not just for me but also for every person who holds themselves back from giving themselves the happiness they seek. We are all beautiful right now!! 

I present my unphotoshopped liberating love myself moment in the sun! 

He's my favorite human.