July 12, 2012—I posted this photo set after feeling the need to express how I felt about my body. I had shitty self esteem, but it was better then than it had been in a while.
A couple short weeks later I started on a path to a better me.
I started playing roller derby. The thing about roller derby is that it’s a sport just like anything else you play as a team or with a big group of girls. But the thing is, there are girls of all shapes and sizes. It’s full of people who have been skating for twenty years, or people who have been skating for two days. The girls—at least my girls in my league—are so kind and so loving.
They didn’t look at me and see a fat girl. They saw a nervous freshie who wanted to participate in a sport that she had some interest in. It didn’t matter that I was 5’4” and weighed 220 lbs. For the first time in my life, I had found a sport and a group of people that didn’t immediately notice my weight. It was amazing.
The morning after practices I would wake up and pass by a mirror; no longer would I rush by or try to avoid it. I’d pause. “Damn I have a fine ass,” I would find myself thinking. Week after week it got better. I started exercising on my own, outside of derby. And the thing is, I was exercising to feel healthy. Not to lose weight. Not to try and live up to some impossible beauty standard. I had come to realize that even if I did lose all the weight I wanted to, I would never be a size zero. I’ve got hips that don’t lie, and I’ve got the genetics to give me some boobs that rival Dolly Parton’s. (Okay maybe not that bad, but it feels like it sometimes.) I didn’t lose a ton of weight—I still haven’t—but I was felling healthy. You’d be surprised how feeling healthy does for your esteem.
Then in September, I broke my leg. It was a long six months of inactivity, and I felt my esteem slipping. I cried when my cast was removed. My left leg was so emaciated and shrunken. Where were my beautiful calves that skating for six hours a week had given me?
But unlike the first time around, I had had a taste of what a good self esteem can do for you. As soon as the doctors gave me the okay, I hit the gym to feel healthy again. I’ve started skating again. Mirrors have now caught my glances yet again, and I’m proud of the way I look.Sure I have my bad days-everyone does. You’re never going to be happy and proud of yourself 100% of the time. But the important thing is that you take something away from those bad days and you learn how to get past them.
I’m not a size 0. I never will be. But you know what I am? I’m healthy. I’m happy. And I love my body.
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