Ever since I was a kid, I felt uncomfortable.
My legs would bulge out because they weren’t thin like the other little girls in my class.
I had chubby cheeks and I was really tall, even called a giant once.
I grew older and in high school this became unbearable. I was tired of the doctor telling me I was overweight. I was sick of criticizing the rolls of fat on my stomach, the thickness of my thighs, the largeness of my being.
I wanted to be smaller, thin, cute.
I attained this type of body for a little while when I under ate and punished myself in the end of high school. But I could never get low enough and I was exhausted all the time.
I’ve told this story over and again to try to encourage other women that focusing on weight isn’t worth it.
It wasn’t until I started studying Sociology that I realized the way we continue the cycle of oppression is by not challenging the roles that are placed for women like the idea that thinness equals beauty, value, importance.
This weight we desire to reach, the small frame, translates into the idea that we as women need to be small.
I’ve decided to challenge the idea of womanhood.
I will take up space.
Losing too much weight by starving myself converted into my mind that I needed to take up less space, I didn’t want to be large anymore.
I was trying to be small when naturally my body is beautifully curvy and “larger” framed. I eat healthy and workout, but I haven’t seen a dramatic shift towards smallness, so that told me that maybe I was made to look like this.
I was made to have strong legs so I could kick butt.
Really though, I think I’m finally done trying to lose weight.
It makes me cringe every time I hear a girlfriend say “I could always lose a few pounds” as if the mindset that to be thinner could always be the better option.
What if we strive to be strong, to love our bodies, to demand space?
That would really upset the companies that try to sell you on the latest fad diet or pill or whatever.
I still believe we should treat our bodies with respect, eat healthy, exercise moderately, and rest.
But maybe I can do all this and still be a size 10 pant size, and have a slight muffin top when I don’t wear mom jeans (which doesn’t happen very often but stay with me).
Maybe I am who I am because I was created this way, with purpose.
Please, take up space.
Speak up, spill your heart, be brave.