Like a lot of people, something I have always struggled with is self confidence. I remember being in fifth grade. Other kids in my grade would make fun of my friend Hannah and I saying we were the fattest girls in the grade. I don’t remember if we were or not, but I remember the sting of those words.
In seventh grade I frequently had problems with this boy. Austin. He often would pick on me. Maybe he was joking around, maybe he wasn’t. But I remember two instances specifically. One day I was sitting at my desk. Austin comes over and starts poking at my arm fat and told me I have, “lunch lady arms” (meaning they were flabby and fat) to this day I am still extremely self conscious about my arm fat. Another instance I remember Austin telling me he would rather kill himself than have someone like me like him. I didn’t like Austin romantically, but it still really hurt my feelings. I couldn’t be that bad.
In high school I remember the many many clothes shopping trips with my mom. I know we both hated them. I would try on dozens of clothes, and hated most of them. Every time would end in tears thinking about how fat and ugly I was.
Depression hit me hard in tenth grade. I really hated myself. I no longer wanted to be a part of this world anymore. I was ugly, I was fat, my father didn’t want me. Nothing was ever going to get better. I skipped school, I skipped classes. I passed the tenth grade by the skin of my teeth. That year I also gained 50 lbs.
The internal battle I was having with myself has continued past high school and college. It got worse after I became a mother. My body had changed in ways I would never think. Even though I didn’t gain much weight with Noah I still had tons of stretch marks left over. My breasts were never all that perky, but now they looked like they were trying to reach the floor. My hips were wider. My face was fatter. I now had two chins instead of one. Two months after having Noah I visited my grandmother who asked me when I was planning to lose the baby weight, mind you I had dropped 30lbs. It was even worse after having Evren. Not only did I not drop the weight after having her but now my stomach sagged too. I still have my pregnancy belly, only it is deflated with no baby.
Something my therapist said to me recently has made me open my eyes a bit. She said, “fat doesn’t mean ugly.” I have kind of always known this. I look at other fat girls out in public and long to look as beautiful as they do. I realize now that they have something I do not. Confidence. They know they’re fat, but they also know they are beautiful. Your body weight does not determine how ugly or beautiful you are. Only you can determine that. I have two kids who are looking up to me. I need to start feeling better about myself. If my daughter or son came to me saying they felt the same way I do right now my heart would be broken. My kids deserve to have a mom who loves herself.
I am worthy. I am fat. I am beautiful. I am a good friend, and a good mother. I am funny and kind. I am selfless and caring. I am me. I deserve happiness. I deserve to love myself.
I would love to hear from you. Do you struggle with self confidence? Did you at one point? How did you overcome it? How do you hope to overcome it?