it’s no secret I’ve suffered with body image issues – I’ve spoken about them here on the blog several times and hope to help others feel better about themselves by doing so. What I didn’t tell you is how it has helped me getting over some of my own issues.
When growing up, I was different. I was the kid who grew up way too fast, in a family where the tallest person is my mother. She’s 1.60 cm and therefore 8.5 cm shorter than me (yes, the half cm counts!). I was also the kid who started developing breasts at the age of 8 and got her period in the 4th grade. By the time I was 10, I was as tall as my mother.
It doesn’t seem like a big deal – and it shouldn’t be – but I was made fun of and I dare even say harassed because of it. I remember being in 6th grade, sitting on a bench reading a book during a free period on a Friday, and having two older boys (I suppose in 8th or 9th grade) asking me if they could touch my boobs. I was 11 years old!
That and comments from other kids who didn’t develop as quickly, took a toll on me. When I was 17 I lost some weight, mainly because I had missed some step classes due to a strained ankle and spent 3 or 4 months going 3x a week so I wouldn’t lose my money. I remember being in 12th grade, it was maybe April or May, and someone from my class said “Wow, you lost weight – you look great!”. It made me thing “was I fat before?”. Some time later we went to one of my aunt’s houses and I told her I wanted to go on a diet. She immediately said she thought it was a great idea, which only made me feel like I was somehow ginormous. And that’s where it all got out of control – ironically in a very controlled way. I started bingeing and starving myself and starting University made things a lot easier, because it meant I didn’t have someone to control me and my eating.
There were other factors involved, but eventually I started putting on a bit of weight. I was in my 2nd year of University, living with my then boyfriend in a flat shared with other 5 people and going through what I then thought was a depression. I now know it was a flare of fibro, but then all I knew was that I was in pain and barely able to get up from bed. Later that year I was admitted to the hospital with a pneumonia and I did gain a lot of weight. Partly because of the medication and partly because I couldn’t move. I literally had problems walking, that’s how little energy I had.
I moved back home and had to start all over, from my perspective. I felt horrible, fat, ugly, with no energy and pain. A lot of pain. I attributed it to having gained weight – my knees and legs hurt because of that, right? That Summer my uncle told me to my face in a family lunch that I was getting fat – tugging on my arms. I don’t think I left the house without a cardigan after that. Words can really damage someone, even if you don’t see it. I started trying to lose weight and I couldn’t. I moved to Vienna for a year and would go for long walks in the city, with no pound shifting from my body. I got back to Portugal and went to the gym, I tried only eating salads and the only way I lost weight was if I only ate a soup a day – ironic, isn’t it? I thought there was something so horrible with me, I hated myself.
Blogging about body positiveness is a passion of mine. One I put aside for a while, because I didn’t feel good in my own skin and I felt like a hypocrite writing words to encourage others. But the truth is, I do believe in those words, in what I say. But even I sometimes need a little motivation push. Blogging about fashion is something I like and I want to post more outfit articles. But I am scared. Scared to be judges, scared people will see the flaws I see in myself. Do you see the picture below?
It was taken in Wattens, when I was invited to the Swarovski Family Day. It was one of my favorite days so far! Yet, I felt horrible. I was SO bloated, you can even see it in the picture. On a normal day, my stomach is flat. But whenever I eat something that triggers my IBS, it gets bloated. If on top of that I am nervous or stressed, it’s full blown “how-far-along-are-you?” kind of look. I normally close my belt on the third to last hole, but when I’m like this, I have to use the 6th to last hole. That’s a difference of 3 holes, a whole jean size, really. I know this, because my jeans are 1 size big on me right now and when I’m like that, they’re snug. It makes me uncomfortable, but most of all, self-conscious. I was afraid of posting this photograph. Because I was afraid of what you would say. And guess what – no one noticed!
Last Saturday Markus and I went into the city center, to check some stores and walk around. I wore a skirt, with a shirt tucked in and a cardigan. And do you want to know the best thing? For the first time in years, I did not wear the cardigan. I showed my arms! My fat and wobbly arms were out and about! Oh, I did take my cardigan and later on in the day I did wear it, but for a good three hours I was walking around without anything covering my arms. I was scared, in my mind everyone was looking at me, but I did it. And it felt good.
Why am I writing you this? Because it was hard to face this fear of mine. But it made me want to be more body-positive. After all, we all have bodies, all have flaws, all have dimples and pimples. We should be proud of our bodies, treat them well, show them off! Not be scared of stares, hiding under clothes that are way to hot for the Summertime! I want to start posting more outfit photos, more fashion posts with clothes of my own. And I hope you guys will keep supporting me as you’ve always done until now. Blogging isn’t just a way to express myself, but also a way of getting over certain issues I’ve been carrying around for a long time.