So I have a bit of what I thought was a different take on the " thinspiration" and "fat acceptance issue," but after reading a few articles on SexIs I realize that I'm not all alone. I used to be what was called "scrawny" - not a compliment. For the first 24 years of my life, I was about 20 lbs underweight despite stuffing my face as much as possible. I did everything I could to either gain weight or create a facade of a larger frame. I wore two pairs of pants to make my legs appear larger and of course stuffed my bra as early as grade 6. The difference I found between my experience with my weight and that of my childhood best friend who was twice my size was that people weren't afraid to criticize me about it to my face. I would constantly hear "God you're skinny- don't you ever eat? Do you have an eating disorder?" or "Oh don't bother asking Sang to help, she's not strong enough" and "Oh I'm afraid to hug you too hard cause you might break!" Not good for my self esteem. I never heard anyone say a word about my friends weight to her face so I could only imagine what they said behind my back.
Guys didn't even consider me a contender until I was around 16, so I overcompensated by flirting like crazy and teaching myself to be an awesome kisser. My mom, who is 5 foot 1 and 110 lbs, tried to reassure me that all would be well but I sobbed that no one was ever going to be attracted to me if I turned out like her (I'm actually 5'6½"). She promised me that men loved her body and when I grew up they would love mine too. She was right. Fat or skinny, there will always be guys (and girls for that matter) that find us attractive.
My self esteem was obviously a major issue and it took going to extremes with my weight for me to finally find some peace. Hard living and addiction made my weight plummet to 102 lbs. I wasn't bulimic or anorexic psychologically but I ate so little and threw up so much from the drugs that my system was under the same kind of stress. Under the influence of mind altering chemicals, my senses were off as well. Though I knew I was dangerously thin my legs still looked fat to me. The only difference between my condition and an eating disorder was that I wasn't okay with it. I wanted to gain weight. When I finally gained the strength to quit dope and get into recovery, I was put on a number of psych meds. In around 2 months I gained 50 lbs, eventually topping out at 170. I was appreciative to have my life back but I was miserable about my weight. Yes, I enjoyed finally having boobs but my issue was this - I spent my whole life trying to love my 'sporty spice' frame and now here I was a pear with a gut, thighs and an ass to go with.
Figuring out how to love me for me, no matter what my size or shape, rather than love the specifics, was tough. Little by little I started actively loving myself with self care. Things like taking a bubble bath or making a cup of tea, working the 12 steps, dancing, buying myself much needed pretty underwear, taking good care of my skin, splurging on expensive mascara or spending time with people who actually LIKE me, not just love me, and of course the big one- buying a decent vibrator and discovering clitoral stimulation gel-these all led to joy and serenity. Flooding my system with natural oxytocin and endorphins instead of drugs filled me with what my mom calls "happy hormones" and this joy gave me the opportunity to finally start seeing myself clearly, looking at my face and body with much needed rose colored glasses. Sometimes I even feel beautiful inside and out - fat or skinny as long as I'm treating myself right I'm happy and that's what counts.
image courtesy of drlauraberman.com