None of my clothes fit. I’ve been wearing the same pair of black skinny jeans that are becoming increasingly tighter and the same baggy black t-shirt big enough to hide the fat on my upper arms, midsection and hips.
As of 3 weeks ago, at least I’m participating in life again. I spent a good 3 months prior avoiding social situations and friends because I didn’t think I could bear to hear the words whispered behind my back “she got fat” or “she gained weight.” Unfortunately, I heard those things along with being told that I’ve let myself go.
They hurt, but not as bad as I thought they would. The sad thing is, I’ve been trying to lose weight. I’m eating cleaner than I ever have, I was working out everyday until finally giving myself a break because instead of losing weight I was becoming a magnet for it. The happiness I had built so strong throughout the last year began to weaken and I found myself in a dark place where I would track every bite of food and bit of exercise in a fitness app in order to guarantee successful weight loss. It is the heaviest I’ve ever been and even so at 5’9”, 125 pounds and a size 3, I am not what people would call fat.
This is not the first time this obsession over body image has happened.
I can’t remember the last time…
-that I didn’t feel judged by my looks or my size.
-that I felt comfortable and confident in a room full of people.
-that I opened a magazine and admired the women in it instead of comparing myself to them. I can’t even remember the last time I stood next to another woman with out comparing myself to her.
I think its easy to fall down the rabbit hole with body images issues as a model. I was scouted when I was 20. I was in my second year of college. I had been thin my entire life, parents of friends were always telling my mom to feed me more and I lost count of the number of times I got questioned for being anorexic. I was extremely active and had a speedy metabolism. I ate what I wanted and whatever quantity I wanted it in. However once I went to college, I noticed that with considerably less activity and a broke college diet of Burger Kings Chicken fries (which are the bomb) and unlimited bacon in the cafeteria, I put on that “freshman fifteen”. At 117 pounds I was told to lose 2 inches off my hips by my agency. It was much more difficult than I thought and I think this was the first time that I really ever noticed there could be something “wrong” with my looks.
My face, my body, how I put myself together- it all became an unhealthy competition. My self esteem was dwindling as I was striving for this impossible idea of perfection.By the time I hit 24 I was back to my teenage weight and this time I struggled to gain anything.I accepted that 105 pounds was my natural weight again until one day, out of nowhere, I got sucked into the black hole.
I became obsessed with my body. I would wake up each day and wait as long as I could to eat, then I would go for a walk/jog and shower before ever allowing myself to put food in my stomach. I would turn down meals when I was with my boyfriend and say that I’d already eaten before coming over. I weighed myself religiously every morning. At my worst I had gotten down to 99 pounds and I still thought that I was bigger than my friends. I had to be as thin as them.
The only problem was that I was, I was actually thinner than them. I looked in the mirror and all I saw was an untoned stomach and fat legs. What I saw in the mirror and was not reality. It got to the point where I was too uncomfortable to be in a bathing suit, hip bones were not enough. I was constantly concerned that I wasn’t good enough solely based on looks and my body. No one was judging me, only I was judging me.
I became so attached to my flaws and beauty and all the other crap that my job needs to flourish and brought it into the real world. I know I’m not the only model that does this. We hear day in and day out whats “wrong” with our appearance. Our appearance is what makes us money, its how we survive. We are just as insecure as everyone else, if not more. We get told we are too fat, too thin, our ears stick out, not pretty enough over and over again. I wish I could lie and say it did not affect me but I clearly has.
Just a 3 weeks ago when I made my debut back to life, I spoke with a girlfriend of mine. She, also a model, inspired me to write about this. I am no longer with any of my agencies. Its been a bit of a mission as I want to share it with everyone, but it is still a constant struggle. I have days where I feel large and I’m still wearing the same tshirt or struggle to say yes to seeing friends.
But through the last 3 months in my bedroom I’ve finally managed to figure out that there is another world and its the world I want to live in. A world where I realized that I have more to offer than my body and my looks. Where I can accept myself, my curves and my cellulite and remember that I am a human.
I am trying to live less afraid of what I look like and more secure that being a kind, loving, intelligent and talented girl will attract the things I want. I’m on a mission to accept myself the way I want everyone else to accept me, flaws and all. I’m beginning to accept that its time to buy bigger clothes!