Would You Believe

Posted by Alia Yusuf on

As a new contributor I thought I’d share a story about myself to help you get to know me. If I told you that I didn’t love my body until after I weighed more than 220 pounds would you believe me? Well, it’s true. Over the past two years I’ve been working on a Master’s in communication. This past semester was my most stressful semester yet since I had to research, write, and then defend a 100 page document in order to graduate (while taking two classes and teaching one)! During that time I was busy, I was stressed, and there was little I could do about it. Enter: food.

I didn’t love my body until I weighed more than 220 pds.

I’ve always enjoyed my food. However, during this hectic time food was one of the few things I had to look forward to. It was not only one of the few “guilt-free” breaks from my work but also I would often share meals with friends from my program. Spending time eating, and getting away from our work created precious moments of freedom in which we could think about something other than school. After about two months of this though, I started noticing my clothes fitting a little tighter. Looking in the mirror I didn’t notice much of a difference but I knew my underwear weren’t supposed to fit that tightly around my hips. You see, I’ve always been curvy but I’ve maintained about the same weight for a number of years now. I was just ramping up to write my thesis and I did not have the time or money to put into daily exercise to maintain my weight. So it was at that moment I made a decision: I did not have time to worry about losing weight for a few reasons. 1) because I didn’t think I looked bad 2) I couldn’t find the time or money and 3) if I didn’t use literally every single bit of spare brain space on my thesis I wasn’t going to graduate. (I realize now this last one was somewhat of an over exaggeration but at the time that’s what it felt like)! I did graduate with my Master’s and also gained 30 pounds over the course of the program. I remember being worried I might not look good in my pictures due to the weight I gained but when I saw them something strange and wonderful happened. I realized I’m beautiful. I had never felt like that before. And not just for some way that I looked (I mean don’t get me wrong my winged liner was on point!) but because my graduation pictures represented all that I had accomplished. I realized I’m smart and I wrote a 100 page paper using skills I’d been cultivating for 6+ years and somehow throughout that adventure I made wonderful, kind, lifelong friends who love me for everything that I am. It wasn’t until I started understanding myself as a whole person, rather than just a body, just a mind, or just actions that I was able to love myself. I mean, I think it also helped that during the two years of my Master’s program I met another wonderful curvy lady and learned how to dress for my body, but that’s a story for next time! So what about you? Do you have stories to share about why you love yourself? Or even some comments on my story? Leave them below so we can never forget how fabulous you are!

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