From a young age the world showed me that I had to look a certain way to be considered beautiful and I was not to their standards. At 5 my parents divorced, the home cooked dinners became a rarity and two fast food meals for dinner became the thing. I say two dinners because I'd have an old person dinner (4/5ish) with my dad and then dinner at (8/9ish) with my mom. I was little and just wanted to please both of them, that soon caught up to me though. It wasn't that I didn't like healthy food, it was that neither of them really had time. By the time my mom realized my eating habits were terrible she couldn't break my habits by herself and my dad wasn't much help to the situation. Because of these bad eating habits I gained weight and my classmates started calling me things like whale and donut girl. After about 3 years of this and no help from the teachers I changed schools. I started becoming more active and lost weight, but even at a size 5 I still hated myself and the way I looked. At my slimmest (7th grade) I was still bigger than my peers and so I dreamed of a smaller waist size so I could share clothes with them and the same boys would like me. I remember in middle school a girl looked at me when I was ordering three cookies for our table to share (it was someone's birthday and that's how we celebrated) and said “you know boys don't like girls that look and eat like pigs”. Not only had I seen that society treated me differently I saw the way my mother was treated for being bigger. We always tried to work together to better ourselves and be healthier, and even when we did that we weren't losing weight. She always warned me “it's sad Rachel, how the world treats you differently when you're bigger.” I didn't want to believe it but it's true.
It took me a really long time to get comfortable in my own skin. Do I eat completely 100% healthy? No, not one bit. I love a red juicy steak with a yummy sundae after and lord I could eat cheeseburgers for the rest of my life and omg don't get me started on my strange love for raw cookie dough and frosting. But I also love strawberries, blackberries, carrots, tomatoes, radishes, kiwi, etc. Fruits and veggies are so good, I have to hold myself back from smashing on them too hard though. And omg KALE AND SPINCAH WITH BLACKBERRIES AND SUNFLOWER SEEDS WITH LEMON JUICE ON TOP ARE THE BEST!! Plus I have a strange obsession with tea, especially green tea (I'm literally sitting at SOCRAtea with 3 pitchers of green tea in front me right now). I'm not lazy... I dance, I go on walks a lot etc. do I go to the gym regularly? For a week after Jan. 1st I do. Could I do more? Yes of course, but I'm not gaining weight or have any health issues. It's not always about how much you work out or how healthy you eat (or the opposite). Do what makes you happy and don't worry about the standards society places on you because as long as you're happy and you're healthy, mentally and physically, you're doing fine:)
The other day in meeting our president asked us to write what we love about ourselves. If you would've asked me that question three years ago, my answer would have been "nothing". If you asked me two months ago, I would've said “I have a nicer bum than I did a few months ago and I'm not too big”. You ask me that question today and I'll say "are there things I'd like to change? Yes but that's for myself and it's not something I worry about because I'm completely okay being thick". I love myself so much now and I'm not afraid to say that because it took a lot of hard work to get to where I'm at today. Why should I hide the fact that I love me? Why should I not love me? Self love is one of the most important things and I wish everyone could stand in a mirror and pick out the good things instead of the bad. I wish people could look at themselves and see the true beauty of their “flaws”, it's what makes us who we are. Our “flaws” make us unique and amazing. We are humans, we are not perfect. We are not all shaped the same and we most definitely make mistakes. And I totally get that loving yourself is not an easy thing to do, there are times where I catch myself looking in the mirror critiquing the littlest things about myself from the two rolls on my back to the stretch marks on my sides. I see them I start to get obsessive about them. Then I throw on my crop top and high waisted jeans and walk my fine self out the door.
It's not only women who go through this, growing up I saw my brothers go through the pressures men have on them. They are expected to be strong, have big muscles with v lines and the washboard abs. Having girls tell them “you're not tall enough for me” or “you're too skinny for me”. This was a long time ago, but things haven't changed. I see my male friends go through the same things with girls now, I've heard them get remarks like “ew that girl is so much bigger than you” or “how do you date someone stronger than you”. The standards society places on men and women are unfair, no one is perfect. We are not chiseled by Michelangelo, we are human.
No matter what is going on in your life, no matter how you feel or who has told you that you are not beautiful know that…
YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL NOW AND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO BE NO MATTER HOW YOUR BODY CHANGES!
Be unapologetically confident always <3