My Journey to Self-Love and Self-Confidence!
I am not here to tell you that I am perfect or have it all figured out… but I am here to tell you that I am happy and a little about how I got here. I am a self-confident, plus size woman living, loving, learning and laughing in this crazy world. Throughout my life, I have gained weight, lost weight, laughed until I cried, had my heart broken, made mistakes, hit rock bottom and climbed my big booty back up to the top… somewhere along the way I fell head over heels in love with myself and the person that I am inside and out, imperfections and all.
After struggling with my weight from the time I was in middle school till I was in college, where at my heaviest I weighed well over 300lbs, I found myself basing my self-worth on the opinions of others. I was unhappy and unhealthy, that’s when I knew something had to change!
Then I knew I needed to take some time to figure out what I wanted and what would truly make me happy. Was I unhappy because I was so overweight, because I was alone, or was it because I was unhealthy? I needed a new start and some changes in my lifestyle. I decided to take care of one thing at a time.
First, I let go of any negative people in my life who brought me down or made me feel like I needed to change to be worthy of their love and support, easier said than done but so worth it in the end.
Next, I joined a gym, I decided that a girl in her early 20s shouldn’t have trouble climbing a flight of stairs or have aching joints from carrying around so much weight. Taking it slow at first I tried group classes at my gym that I thought would be fun! Next, I changed my eating habits, I didn’t cut out all the yummy stuff, but I watched what I ate throughout the week and didn’t worry about it as much on the weekends. Over a couple years’ time, I lost over 150lbs which seems great … but the problem was I became obsessed with losing weight. Worrying about every single calorie was exhausting and unhealthy.
In the end, guess what? I still was unhappy. I let men treat me badly in relationships because my bad self-image told me that’s what I deserved. Even though I was thin, I had terrible body image issues. At that point in my life, I was working out 2 hours a day and cutting calories to the extreme to maintain my weight. Yes, I was thin, but as my friends will tell you… I was a psycho… worried about every calorie I ate and killing myself in the gym. Then, I broke my foot while working out and was forced to take 8 weeks off from them gym. I started gaining weight back almost immediately but instead of letting myself get depressed I decided to embrace my body.
It is not in my genetics to ever be a “small” or “skinny” woman. The extremes I had to go to get there and to maintain it wasn’t healthy. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when I am on top my gym routine and eating super healthy that I am at a lower weight and there are times when I get burnt out and put on some weight. Which is totally okay! I built up my confidence and discovered my self-worth, which is way more important than the numbers on a scale!
We as women put too much pressure on ourselves to be what society defines as “beautiful” … but you already ARE beautiful. Those stretch marks, that cellulite, that belly jiggle, those thighs that rub together when you walk … all those things are your proof that you lived and lived well! Find your beauty and never let anyone take it from you even for a second! How boring would it be if we all looked the same? Embrace your differences.
After my journey and finding my way to happiness, I wanted a way to connect with other plus size women struggling with confidence and help them feel amazing in the skin they are in. That is when I started Curves, Curls and Clothes! I have always loved style and clothes, but sometimes it’s hard to find stylish items when you are plus size, so a plus size style blog seemed like such a fun adventure. It can be hard to know how to dress your body and hard to find the confidence to wear things you’ve been told as a plus size woman you “shouldn’t/can’t” wear. I use my platform for reaching women all over the world and inspiring body confidence and self-love!
The Finish Line
Now, if you would have told me 4 years ago that Curves, Curls and Clothes would have me collaborating with companies like Macy’s, Forever21 and Wet Seal and reach people worldwide or that I would feel good enough in my body to be modeling swimsuits on the internet I would told you that you had lost your mind but here I am. I get to talk to y’all today from a platform that makes me so happy. I love connecting with girls all over who are inspired to change up their style or tell me that I have helped them feel better about their bodies.
How to build self-confidence and embrace your body
When people ask me about how to overcome issues with confidence, self-worth or body image here is some of the advice I give:
- Surround yourself with ONLY positive people who lift you up. People that truly love and care for you do not care about a number on a scale.
- Find something active that you ENJOY! Working out is so much more fun if you aren’t dreading it! (I love boxing! Great cardio and super fun!)
- Eat healthily but do not deny yourself things that you really enjoy!
- Stand up to anyone who tries to tell you that you are not beautiful, you are BEAUTIFUL! Believe that! Live that! Love yourself first!
- Focus on the parts of yourself that you do like, don’t dwell on the parts you aren’t crazy about. Eventually, you won’t even think those negative thoughts because you will be too busy loving those positive parts!
- Insecurities are totally normally and EVERYONE has them not matter what they weigh. Some days my insecurities get to me too.
- Never let ANYONE’s (family, significant other or strangers) opinion of you determine your self-worth. Find that inside yourself, yours is the ONLY opinion that matters.
- Believe in yourself because you know what like they say “haters gonna hate,” no matter if you are a size 2 or a 22 people will find a reason to judge you. Let them, that reflects on them and some issue they have with themselves … not you!
- Try not to compare yourself to pictures on TV or social media, people only put their best face out there. No one is that perfect!
- Ladies remember whenever you look at someone and wish you had their body, there is someone out there wishing they had yours!
- Stop self-objectifying. Self-objectification is thinking of oneself as an object first and a person second.
You are more … more than a name, more than a pretty face, more than an imperfect body. You have a story to tell and a life to live. Women have to stop seeing other women and ourselves as objects to be desired and instead as lessons to learn and chances to grow from one another. We can love, inspire, encourage and build up instead of comparing and competing. Let’s learn how to admire the beauty in others without questioning our own.
Oh, and wear WHATEVER the hell you want to! If you feel good in it… ROCK IT!