I can't get a guy because I'm too fat.
This was what I told myself for many years, so much so that it became a mental habit that was hard to kick.
Let's rewind a bit ... In my late teens and early twenties my body developed into one that wasn’t what the media considered "hot.” At least, this is what I allowed myself to believe. I was a size 12, had a forest of cellulite on the back of my thighs and “muffin top” love-handles.
As a single gal, the fact that I was "puffy" haunted me before every night out. Before I would dare attempt getting an outfit together, I would pour myself a vodka soda. Like clockwork, and after the third failed outfit, I would hear my roomie knock on the door.
“You okay in there Kel?”
“’I’m so freaking fat, I can’t deal with myself. Can I wear my yoga pants out?”
Hoping to remedy the situation, she would enter my room and hand me a shot of vodka while a Beyoncé song blasted through her computer speakers.
As the vodka kicked in, I would scavenge through the tossed pile of clothes in search of the first outfit I tried on. This outfit consisted of skinny jeans that left digging lines around my hips and a top that left nothing to the imagination. I would think to myself, “If my boobs are out, then maybe they won’t see the rest.”
Upon handing my ID to the bouncer every time this happened, I signed myself up for a night of seeking validation. I equated feeling worthy with receiving male attention. Any looks, approaches, dances confirmed that I was wanted, desirable.
As me and my girls danced to the latest hits, I would pretend to not hear my inner monologue yelling out jealous comparisons of other girl’s bodies. Including my own friends, sadly enough. If I didn’t meet a boy, these nights would lead to a bag of pita chips and an epic cry in bed over an Elliot Smith album.
After a few years of this trend and too many unsatisfying, short-lived relationships, I found myself asking, “Why do I kept doing this to myself?” I was raised by amazing parents, felt an outpouring love from family and friends and had a lot going for me. But I still felt something was missing. I wanted to be wanted by someone, and thought the one thing standing in the way of true love was my body.
I didn’t have the body that the media teaches guys they should want. I didn’t have the body that the media told me I should have. Which starting at a young age made me feel less than.
Of course, it didn't surprise me that I felt less-than: the media told me from a young age that I didn't have the body I should have. I remember the wall of jeans at the trendy teen stores and my size being at the very top, where I couldn't reach. I remember the time my first boyfriend bought me diet pills. I remember when a guy in college told me, “You are like two hot girls stuffed in one girl’s body, because you are bigger. But you’re still hot.”
I know not every woman (and/or man) feels this way. There are some women I bring this topic up with and they no idea what I am talking about; in fact, some probably think I am sending them back 50 years. And I know there are plenty of straight guys who don’t base their interest in women on media pressure.
I know this is true for others, but most importantly, it was true for me. So what had to give?
The problem wasn’t my body, the problem was how I felt about myself.
Brené Brown says, “People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging.” Well, I hadn't felt worthy of love and belonging because I wasn’t loving myself.
After realizing this, I made a declaration to the universe that enough was enough. I was going to learn/choose to fill the void inside and love myself first. And I wrote these new truths and reminders:
- You have a beautiful body.
- You are more than the shape of your body.
- Keep your head high and your shoulders back.
- Peace comes within not without.
- Confidence is hot.
- Re-define what you think you deserve.
- Stop dieting. Eat real food.
- Move everyday.
- We can all see what you think you are hiding.
- Freeing yourself from insecurities starts by admitting that they are there.
- There is no one in the world like you.
- You don’t have to BE anything because you already ARE everything.
- You are the only one can take that away your self-worth.
- You are enough, you are enough, you are enough. (Repeat until you believe it.)
Low and behold after leading my life with these new truths, a lot of positivity arrived. I found my calling, I was healing my relationship with food and I met the love of my life. Most importantly however, I was beginning to accept myself. Cellulite and all.
No matter your gender or sexuality, the first step in finding love will always be knowing you are worthy of it.
Have you ever blamed your body as the reason you haven’t found love? Leave your comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts.
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