Learning To Love Myself

TW: Suggestion of weight/weight loss/EDs/vomit.

I haven’t even started writing this post, but I’m already taking really deep breaths trying to calm myself down.
Love Yourself
Body Image
Self Confidence
Love The Skin You’re In
Body Posi

Every single one of those words/phrases make me shudder. Every single one makes me feel a little sick.
Now, this is something that I’ve never really spoken about before. I touched on it on my Why Doesn’t Fashion Cater For Me post, but I didn’t delve into specifics.
I hate my body.
There, I said it.
I feel like this is a secret I’ve kept hidden inside of me. A dark, dirty little secret that has eaten me up inside. But, in reality a lot of people feel this way about themselves.
I know for a fact that some people who I look at and think are ‘perfect’ feel this way about themselves. That’s hard for me to understand, because to me they look perfect, but everyone has at least one thing they do not like about themselves, I gurantee you.
Even the most confident seeming people have insecurities, it’s human nature.
For a long time, I wouldn’t accept it. I went to extreme lengths to make sure that I didn’t put any weight on. My dad’s family have larger figures and for years everyone had been telling me that I would end up with their figure, so I became determined not too.
I was ill. I was very ill in fact, but I hid it well. Deep down I was embarrassed to admit that I was scared of one, little, three letter word.
It haunted me. Every time I would eat something, I’d find myself obsessively looking up how many calories were in it. I don’t even know very much about calories, but I know that I was not eating enough.
And it was the worst feeling in the world.
But, no matter how hard I’d try, I’d never be able to stop that sick feeling that came when I’d eaten. I’d never be able to stop enjoying feeling hungry. I’d never be able to stop laying down at night and checking that I could still see my hip bones popping out of my skin.
It was scary.
And then it stopped. I don’t know how or why, but it did. It didn’t happen over night, but you cannot expect something like this to. I took baby steps and I eventually got to a good place. 
And I started putting weight on.
Now, I should just point out here that I was glad about the weight gain. My thinness just reminded me of how close I had gotten to really being ill, and I wanted rid of that and quickly.
But, like I said, I’d hid what was happening to me well. The people around me hadn’t realised what I’d actually been doing to stay skinny. They thought I was naturally that way. They thought I was just pale, and didn’t realise how ill I was. They thought it was dancing that kept the weight off. It wasn’t, it really really wasn’t.
So the people closest to me started making comments about my weight gain. They didn’t do it to be nasty, I think they were genuinely just concerned that I’d been really over eating. But, yeah, it wasn’t very helpful at all.
And, until earlier this year, I had kept this all inside of myself. I was ashamed that I had ever felt that way, and Zack was the only person that truly knew me.
But something happened in February this year. Someone called me ‘fat’, and my fears were confirmed, and I broke into a million little pieces.
But, in the weirdest way, it actually helped me to love myself. Now, I am in no way suggesting that you should ever call someone fat/skinny/anything in-between regarding their appearance, but weirdly this experience helped me. I was in a good place before it happened, and although it caused a little wobble, it made me realise how far I have come from all those years ago, and it made me love myself more than ever. It helped me to speak out and tell those closest to me what had actually been going on all of those years ago. It helped me admit it to myself. It helped me come to terms with what I had been through, accept it, appreciate my journey since, and accept myself.
Do I look in the mirror every single day and love my appearance? No. But I truly think that learning to accept yourself doesn’t have to be looking in the mirror and thinking you look the best you possibly could every day. When I look in the mirror now, I try to find 3 things that I find positive about my appearance. And, often, I am finding many more.
I’ve learned that if you try to find the positives, you eventually stop seeing the negatives as a problem. Instead of hating it, my eyes now skim over my stomach and arms, instead I focus on my legs, my eyes and everything else that I have come to love.
And, it’s been a truly hard journey, and I am definitely not fully there yet.  But, I can finally say that I am learning to love myself. It’s going to be a long ride from here, but I’m going to take baby steps, continue to find things I love about myself in the mirror each day, and enjoy this newfound confidence.
H x

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