Once upon a time I confused body positivity for pretending to like my body in public whilst I tugged at my fat in the mirror and cussed at myself. I got frustrated by the names men shouted out loud in the streets no matter what I wore. Can you believe that I even started buying baggy clothing to cover up in the hope that they would stop, but men are trash either way, nothing changed. Then I constantly met old schoolmates who thought, ‘Oh my, you have gained so much weight,’ was a greeting. That + the things that were constantly said to me by family and ‘friends,’ took me to a place of desperation to look a certain way. I took to working out but almost killed myself on the very first day, thank God I went with my mother for that jog because the end result was me unconscious. I needed people to stop and admire me instead of insult me for a conversation. It did not happen for a long time, when it did happen it was because the weight loss was not for anyone but me.

My first point would be reflect on yourself, people want to say things about other people to cover up for their own insecurities. So they choose to plant seeds of insecurity in you so you walk with your head as low as theirs. Do not allow another person to have that much power over your life because here is the realest part of it all. When you let this persons words get to you, you want to change their perspective so much you stick around them. When they realise that the door to breaking you is open they will walk in and never walk out. You will lose yourself to an insecure monster willing to mask themselves with your flaws.

I thought I was angry with the world, I was not. I was angry with myself for not having the body that would allow me to live a peaceful life. And when I harboured this anger I drowned in my toxic ways. I did not gain weight out of just eating regular meals, I ate when I was fat shamed, I ate when I was sad, angry or if I had failed. I would go through half a box of lunch bar chocolate by myself. How was I not to gain weight? So I would watch myself grow bigger, look in the mirror hate what I see and EAT. We may find scientific ways to defend this but it will never change how toxic and damaging it is. I got to size 40 because I made toxic normal, the toxic even had me feeling like I was not enough for anything. Not even to sing or be loved. I felt like all I deserved was food. Stop cuddling toxic traits, be true to yourself and act on it. You are only hurting yourself.

See when I said I did it for me it was because I realised how my weight was getting in my way. I could not buckle my own shoes, I needed my little sister to do it for me. I could tell it used to irritate her but for every time I wanted to do it myself I would find myself feeling tired when done and breathing as though I had just run a marathon. Let us not ignore the impact of your weight on your health, you do not need to be a Beyonce just be healthy. The other red flag was that I would stand next to my mother and people thought I was her older sister, I wanted to ignore this so much but there was no way to ignore this. It stung so bad, listen I felt this in my soul! I was wearing size 40 clothes when my mother was a 32. She was lending me clothes she wore before she lost weight, that was the last straw for me. I hurt for me!

In as much as I wanted to wear the ‘I do not care face’ all over the place I finally cared. I knew I was hurting myself and challenged myself to do better, to fix this weight problem for the sake of better living. I needed to get fit, so my point is that in as much as the outside world has so much to say, change has to be because you want it. Best believe that when you tell yourself the truth it will hurt more than what people said. I do not know why but when I looked in the mirror and just spoke truth to myself I cried because IT HURT! Note I was not throwing mean names at myself, if you find yourself insulting yourself then you are toxic to you. And that is not because you want to be but because you have downloaded all ‘insult software’ from the world around you and installed it successfully. Those are not your voices, but theirs. Find yours, a calm and constructive voice.

The reason I keep saying do it for yourself is because if you do it for the people you will get frustrated. Almost all the people that thought it right to talk me down never said a word when I finally lost weight. One person was even upset, upset that I continued to live healthy. That is when I learnt the truth about my first point, they were upset because they knew the power they had over me had broken. It hurt them that I had managed to break free from their reign and build my own little kingdom of confidence. I will tell you this, human beings aint it!

They say life is too short, YOLO, they tell no lies. Imagine dying at the mercy of the words of a broken vessel. A vessel that doesn’t know how to channel their own hurt and insecurities planted in them by society. Imagine working so hard to pretend instead of just living. Imagine questioning your dreams because your confidence has been shot at way too many times and you let it die. Can’t be life right? I speak for plus size women because I can not tell the story of being slim and shamed, I have never been there. And I remember thinking that being slim shamed is better than being fat shamed, being shamed is hurtful PERIOD! Body positivity stands to say that all bodies are beautiful. That shaming a persons body because it is not your preference is not right. So dear plus sized woman, live your best life for you! Find your voice and no matter what, love yourself. Ciao!

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