At fifteen I had the body of a woman, with breasts and hips and thighs.
I couldn’t wear the clothes that my classmates were wearing in high school because frankly, I just couldn’t pour my extra weight inside of their sizes. I covered up as best that I could with box-like clothes—large sweaters, oversized pants, non-form-fitting dresses. Which of course, we all know is the worst idea because you actually make yourself look bigger by covering up your curves.
Every year of high school I got bigger. And never did I realize that this process of gaining weight and being the ‘larger’ woman was creating The-Fat-Girl inside.
And even though I’ve lost weight and I live a life of fitness…I will be the first to say that The-Fat-Girl still speaks. We all think she’ll disappear the moment we lose the weight, but I’m here to say that she doesn’t.
Some days I still look in the mirror and see a body that needs constant repair.
Sometimes in conversations, she still throws out old things that I used to say like, “Well, since I’m a bigger girl, or since I’m big boned.”
She taught me in high school to always tuck my arm when I sat down so that people would not see my arm fat. Thousands of times a day, I would look down to make sure my arms looked good. To this day I still catch myself looking down at my arms to make sure they are in the right position.
If I gain five pounds now then The-Fat-Girl convinces me that I’ve lost control and I will be fifty pounds heavier in two months.
She still sometimes refers to my legs as massive.
She still notices and makes me flip off my cellulite in dressing rooms under the lights that make me not want to buy ANYTHING.
She points out to me the skin that hasn’t completely pulled back to its original shape on certain parts of my body because of stretch marks.
The only thing that has changed is this…
I now realize that the Fat Tessa—although she feels alive and well—really is not.
And just because I hear her, doesn’t mean she controls me. In fact, I've learned to control her.
Now my Confidence speaks…You can do this. You are worthy. Go after it.
And the more you tell yourself these things, the longer you will go between bouts of feeling unworthy.
It will start with one minute at a time...you will have to teach her silence. The more you silence her...
The minute becomes an hour.
An hour becomes a day. You'll find yourself again...you'll pursue things that you were always afraid to pursue before and you'll only get stronger.
Soon, when The-Fat-Girl speaks…
You are prepared. You laugh in her face. She’s not kind and she’ll never let you be happy.
Let the CONFIDENT girl speak by silencing the critic within. When you hear her say, you suck…profoundly shake your head and say out loud, “You don’t control me.” Name the bazillion things that make you amazing…
You can do this. You are worthy. Go after it.
Tessa Van Wade