It’s Okay To Love Yourself
I was 10 years old when I first decided I was too fat.
I was 12 when I decided I needed to lose weight or else no boy would ever like me.
I was 13 when my friend suggested we do workouts together when we hang out. That was also when I started restricting my food intake in an attempt to shrink my butt.
I was 15 when my best friend made a comment behind my back that compared me to a pig. I never forgave her. She never found out that I knew.
I was 17 when I started exercising vigorously every day. I still wasn’t happy, hated my body, and still didn’t have a boyfriend, which at the time seemed like the only goal worth achieving.
I was 18 when I kissed a boy for the first time. I was so happy to finally be the subject of male attention that I did things I wasn’t comfortable with. He turned out to be an asshole.
I was 19 when I fell in love for the first time. I lost my virginity to him. After he finished he rolled off of me and told me he loved me. My first thought when he said it was “no you don’t”.
I was 21 when I started pole dancing. It sounds counter-intuitive, but pole has given me a sense of freedom I was never able to find. I am strong. I am sexy. I can lift my whole body off of the ground and do impressive spins while I’m up there. I can climb. I can dangle upside down by just my ankles.
I’m just a girl who grew up hating herself, and every day has to remind herself to focus on the good things instead of the bad. I don’t diet anymore, I just eat right. I don’t punish myself for making mistakes or not achieving the ridiculous goals I set for myself.
I’m happy in my own skin in ways I’ve never been before. And it didn’t take weight loss or a thigh gap or a team of Photoshop experts to get me here.
I just wish girls didn’t have to go through those years of self-hatred like I did to make it to a place of self-love.