Let’s talk about bodies. In this case, my body and its size and shape that have been changing throughout the last decade very drastically.
16y.o.: I move to the USA as an exchange student. From a pretty athletic girl with good booty I turn into something ball-shaped with slightly bigger booty. It’s like that Freshman Fifteen people talk about in college, instead it happened to me when I was first exposed to the “American cuisine” of club meetings with donuts, school breakfast with muffins, and field trips with BBQ and subs.
17–18y.o.: My weight is back to normal more or less. Finished high school back home. Applied to colleges in the States. Got into all of them, left for one in upstate New York. Freshman fifteen didn’t happen but I did gain all that lost weight back.
19–20y.o: Joining a fraternity where I meet great people, my new family. Nights out, lots of cheese for snacks, huge brunch every Saturday/Sunday morning. Then, for a semester, I move to the Netherlands. Studying abroad AKA LOTS OF DRINKING, no work out (except for biking but when you top your countless nights out with Belgian fries what good does it do?), not much sleep, cooking pasta for dinner cause it’s the fastest thing to make that you can’t burn. Here comes more weight. I move back to the USA.
21–22y.o.: Final year at college. Never drank more and cared less. Bigger bottles, longer nights, less healthy snacks followed by humongous brunch portions. By then my weight was at it’s top! 165 lbs at least.
22–23y.o.: I move to NYC, go to the gym, meet an awesome fitness coach. I don’t lose a lot but I definitely get more fit. Still pretty round for my height, cheeks too big for my eyes. Life goes on, weight goes down just a bit.
24–25y.o.: I move back to Russia. I continue going to the gym, eating a little less, drinking a little less — not a biggie. Something hits me before winter and I stop eating carbs. Weight drops to 125 lbs in 2,5 months! I get that gap between my legs, cheeks aren’t there so you can see my eyes, all clothes are 2-sizes too big BUT NO CONFIDENCE BOOST WHATSOEVER!
And it got me thinking… Yes, I decided to watch what I eat cause I wanted it, not cause people around me are thinner, or I feel uncomfortable, or people tell me to lose weight. No, I made that decision on my own but I still don’t feel any more confident at all. I still think I’m just as attracted as I was before, still as outgoing, silly, and funny. Is there something wrong with me or is it the opposite?.. Do I love myself enough not to attach self love to my weight? I guess I do ;) and I wish other girls to feel that way about themselves too!
One very important thing I have to say though: I don’t feel more confident but I do feel better. Physically. Now that I lost weight, I can run again without having my legs hurt after 5 minutes of jogging. I can put both of my legs up when I sit in an airplane and feel comfortable. I can go up the stairs and not run out of breath. I still wouldn’t say I’m skinny or thin, but I’m fit and I LIKE IT!
So here is this: if you are confident and feel healthy in the body you have now — let it be that way! Contain this state of mind, this attitude, and this body, keep taking care of yourself just like you’ve been doing. But! If you want to feel better physically and allow yourself do things you could’ve done had you been a little smaller, then make it your goal and keep focused. People can give you looks, people can judge but it is not about the tabloids, standards, or opinions — it is ONLY about how you feel and what you want.