I was an active kid at school and enjoyed a variety of sports, netball being my favourite. I was never thin but strong and athletic. I had a good bikini body. But I was also shy and self conscious. I believed that my body wasn’t good enough for a swimsuit. I’d always hide behind a giant oversized T shirt. I’d drop my towel just before jumping into the pool and would reach for it before I’m out the water. I always said no to going down the Super tube even when I really wanted to join in the fun.
My mom always warned me that someday I’ll regret not walking around in my swimsuit when I had the chance.
And she was right.
I regret all the times I thought I couldn’t wear, eat or do something because I was too fat. Thinking I’ll wear, eat, do it next year when I’ve lost the weight and would look perfect. Thinking I had to put life on hold until I reached my goal weight.
I regret all the money I wasted on quick fixes and unhealthy diet pills because diet culture was so ingrained into my being that I believed every bit of nonsense they threw my way. Using money on an expensive weight loss program when I actually wanted to use the money on something fun like zip lining or surfing lessons.
I am tired of always measuring my worth according to my weight. Oh she’s thinner than I am so she’s obviously cooler, smarter more successful. I should just sit here in the corner and keep quiet because no one wants the opinion of the fat girl
I am tired of listening to everyone talk about their diet. I’m tired of you thinking you have the right to tell me “Let’s lose 5kg’s”. Telling me how long I should run to work off the calories I just consumed. Stop projecting your “oh she’d be so pretty if she just lost some weight” onto me.
I’m a mom now. I have a little boy who thinks the world of me, who loves me just the way I am. Who wants me to splash in the waves with him, who wants me to jump on the trampoline with him, but I don’t. I ask someone else to do it, because I’m too fat to splash in the waves in a swimsuit. But I’m tired of regret and tired of missing out.
When I first saw this photograph I hated it because all I saw was my porky upper arm. Now its one of my favourites.
My mantra for the new year:
You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of happiness.
You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of respect.
You don’t have to be thin to be worthy of love.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THIN TO BE worthy.