This weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with my mother and sisters. I knew it was going to be heavy on the sister/mother/daughter bonding moments so it was probably best that Gary went to Montreal for Fantasia and a heavy metal concert with some friends. My husband loves my family, but when the four of us get together it can be pretty intense. There is always a lot of laughter, talking over each other, teasing, bickering and hugging. I love every moment of it because my family rocks.
One of the many reasons why I adore my family is because they are and always have been loving and supportive. When I was a teenager and in my 20s I did not have the confidence that I do now. I was insecure about my body and the amount of space I took up in the world. The fact that my sisters and friends were always encouraging, that they were never hurtful or dismissive about my weight, gave me the space to feel comfortable and eventually confident in my own skin.
It was a tough road and trust me there were many nights filled with angst that I would never be loved, I would never marry, I would die a virgin, I would never …. well I would never be worthy of finding someone special because of my size. I find it interesting looking back now that I was always confident about being successful in whatever career I choose, but it was the fact that I would be alone is what troubled me.
Fast forward 20 years later and I am sharing my life with an amazing man. A man that does everything to encourage me and make me feel beautiful. Over the last five years I’ve become confident in my skin and that I know now that I have the right to enjoy my life. I have stopped waiting for the day when I am thin to do what my heart desires. Instead I do what I want now and my life has never been more full of love and laughter. In the last two years I married the man of my dreams, had some amazing friends throw us a surprise stag and doe, traveled Europe, posed for art, got a half sleeve tattoo, continue to work in a job that I love, went to concerts, attended art shows and had a life that makes me smile when I think back on it.
You can not imagine the weight of letting go of that baggage of feeling like you are not good enough because of your size. No one should have to live a life half lived because they are afraid. Do I still struggle with body image issues? Of course I do. But for me the first step was accepting that a size is just a number and that number may go up and down depending on so many factors. And you know what.. That. Is. OK. There is no need to panic and think that you are not good enough. I look so much better wearing clothes that fit me then trying to squeeze into a number that might not.
I think I’ll leave this for now. I wasn’t really expecting this to come out here in this post but I am glad it did. I tried to come up with some kind of summary…so way to wrap this post up nicely and I am at a loss. Probably because I have not wrapped this issue up nicely in my own head.
P.S. All of the photos taken in this post with the exception of the tattoo close up were taken by the amazing Ashlea Wessel of Revolver Photography.