The Struggles Of Self Love

I have spent my entire life battling weight problems. By the age of 15 I weighed in at 80Kg (176 pounds). This wasn’t a healthy weight for someone my age.

I wasn’t exactly unhealthy. I was just…..big boned…..with an appetite for food. My parents really didn’t encourage bad eating, however the source of food was pretty generous at home and I guess throughout my life there were more “in-going’s” (food) and not enough “outgoing’s” (exercise) which led me to my weight struggles.

I would always compare myself to my friends and peers and they for the most part were a lot slimmer than I was. I always thought to myself that how I looked was disgusting and not normal. Whether anybody was saying it to me or not, that’s how I saw myself and that’s how I assumed the rest of the world did too!

Women who were praised and idolised on social media when I was 15 weren’t exactly #thick #bootylicious or even #fashionnova worthy women. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these women didn’t exist. I’m just saying 2018 seems to be a much bigger year for embracing diversity in body shapes, meaning more women are empowered to display their figures online.When I was 15, there wasn’t too many larger girls embracing their curves on social media and if there were, I wish I knew about each and every one of them so I could have filled my feed’s with their empowerment of self love, confidence and positivity. I had nothing going for me and my friendly rolls of soft skin, cellulite, non existing thigh gap and painful chafe.

THANK YOU MIGHTY THIGH CHAFE OF RASH AND BURN FOR ALL THOSE PAINFUL SHOWER PEE’S AND DIFFICULT WALKS BACK TO THE CAR AFTER A DAY AT THE BEACH! THANK YOU FOR BLESSING ME WITH YOUR AWFUL PRESENCE OF STINGING RUB AND RASHY BURN!

While my female peers were rallying up cute outfits in the change rooms of clothing stores and receiving attention from hormonal teenage boys. I was having anxiety attacks about whether or not the local supre’ store (an edgy clothing store for #kween’s under the age of 17 to shop at and all wear the exact same, one outfit that was on trend in different colours of fluro) would even carry my size. Boy attention wasn’t even an existing thing I had to deal with or look forward to either.

– Side note – Supre still exists but sells way less fluro (RIP Fluro fashion)

Throughout my entire adolescent life, I have struggled to see the positive light in how I physically appear. There are a lot of factors that play into this self love struggle, but  my weight is definitely a massive factor.

When you grow up and the people you admire, both online and in person are physically different to you, you plant this mental idea that your image isn’t normal or perfect. It takes minor life encounter’s throughout your years of growth to help enhance the negativity’s of this idea too.

For example, I was 16 years old and had a friends birthday party coming up. I was really looking forward to this party and my mum had taken me shopping to get a new outfit to wear. I wasn’t feeling confident with how my hips and belly looked but I loved the outfit, not because it was on trend, edgy or cool but because it fit and the idea of trying to find something that fit, made me comfortable AND had the power of edginess to it would have been too exhausting to find. My mum bought me some spanks to wear underneath my dress. I was thankful for these spanks because in my mind they were going to make all the difference to how I looked and in a really silly way, they gave me a little more confidence.

I got to the party and I noticed that all the girls were in crop tops paired with high waisted skirts, or dresses that sat way above their knee’s. Here I was in what felt like my Sunday best paired with spanks that went from my crotch to my under boob area in a room full of skin revealing outfits. That little bit of confidence I thought I had was lost in an instance. For most of the night I tried to pretend that I wasn’t totally aware of the fact that I was the only girl wearing an Amish like dress of modesty.

The night went on and I found myself innocently at a table of party food extravaganza. I went to grab a handful of Doritos’s from one of the bowl’s and while I was mid Doritos endeavour, I noticed a group of guy’s that I went to High School with, sitting right by the table of food. One of the guy’s said to me “You look like you should skip out on those Dorito’s”. I wanted to crawl up into a ball and die. Looking back now I wish I had the confidence to have said something and put that asshole in his place.  Instead of sticking it to the man, I laughed along and had nothing to say. He followed my laugh up with another comment, “Why don’t you give us the bowl of Doritos so you don’t eat them all yourself”.

I’m sure this son of a bitch has totally forgotten that this night even happened. I bet the comment’s he made to me that night never crossed his mind ever again. But they stuck with me. The night I heard those words leave his mouth, my self worth broke into a million pieces and again I was on this lost cause treasure hunt of self love.

From the age of 15 years old to about 21 years of living, breathing and not self loving. My weight fluctuated throughout my journey of fad dieting, depression fuelled ice cream binges, starving myself or over eating myself to even farther self love achievement.

I hit really bad depression when I was 19. I saw myself as this beast like human who never got to do the same things her skinny friends did!

I never had a boyfriend, HELL I never even held hands with a boy. I listened to all my friends stories of relationships failed and succeeded, I listened to them exchange sexual stories with each other whilst bonding over it and I just couldn’t relate. It went deeper than boys though. I was this pre-adolescent girl, ready to make a statement in society but the only statement I was making was that I was large and not in charge. My weight affected Job’s, it affected my confidence and by 19 It started to affect my mental health.

Because I was so unhappy and because I felt so lost….and also because I loved to travel. I decided I wanted to leave Australia for a little while and find myself again. Find myself in a completely new environment where I could re-write my story. Start fresh. Be a new Veronica, surrounded by new people.

I lived abroad at the age of 21 and living abroad put me in an environment where my image started to matter more than it ever had. I lived in London and everyone dressed to impress! I was no longer at home so my food source became somewhat non existent at times and my fitness started to naturally increase with my newly changed lifestyle.

I lost 20kg’s (44 pounds) over the course of two years. I went from a drastically fluctuating, unhealthy and unhappy 80kg (176 pounds) Veronica to a somewhat happier and a lot more healthier 60kg (132 pounds) Veronica.

It all happened a lot more naturally than I could have ever wanted it to and for the first time in my life, my head was in the right place and committing myself to this major lifestyle change was possible.

I feel like when you want things the most, you get lost in the “sauce”, and by “sauce” I mean the gym memberships, the healthy recipe app’s or flat tummy tea’s. When you get lost in the “sauce”, achieving what you want the most can be excused by procrastination and a wrongly set mindset and that’s exactly what happened throughout my weight loss journey prior to moving to London! I was always lost in the “sauce”, in this idea of being slimmer without properly applying myself to actually making it happen.

Throughout my weight loss journey I felt great but I still wasn’t able to embrace and love my body like I assumed I would. I saw myself as heavier than the people around me still and even though buying new clothes wasn’t emotionally challenging as it had been my whole life prior, I wasn’t able to comfortably love my physical appearance still!

I spent my whole life telling myself that my appearance wasn’t worth anyone’s attention. That my body image was appalling. I used to say to myself “once I weigh this much….I will love myself and be happy” “If only I was a size…..then I would be content”

But I became that weight and that size that I told myself would make me happy and content, I lost more than I had set out to lose and besides being proud of my new lifestyle choices and meal array, I just wasn’t physically comfortable with myself still.

I follow a lot of female goddesses on Instagram now. A lot of thicker, fuller figured women that fill my feed with skin revealing, confidence beaming posts. Every time I see their posts in my feed, it makes me proud of them, but it still doesn’t help me look at myself and love what I see.

I think because of this constant conditioning from society, my peers and myself, I am an adult who has been conditioned to see her physical appearance in a negative light.

I am desperately seeking advice, information, step by step instructions WITH PICTURES! At this rate I’ll even take a DIY IKEA instructions manual on how to find self love within myself.  How do I find happiness in my #curves instead of embarrassment? Love for my fluctuating belly flab instead of spanks that smooth them out and constrict my breathing flow?

I’m on this constant journey to find self love for myself and I don’t know where to start! From a young age, society created this ideal image of what was and IS seen as perfect. It is evolving and I am forever thankful for that. But I still feel as If I am not ticking the boxes of what a 23 year old woman should look like to be seen as desirable to society and that’s not ok! Women should not have to go through these doubt’s and these struggles of self love. Loving ourselves should be instinctual and an natural emotion instead of foreign.

To all the women who have found self love within themselves, I admire you.

To all the women who are still on that journey of finding self love – whether it be because of weight or other factors that have happened throughout your life and have conditioned you to think and feel the way you do today. You’re not alone!

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