Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Insecurities

Give me an issue, a controversial topic, any subject at all and I'll be able to research, write up my argument and argue my point until I'm blue in the face (ask my old debating society. Or any of my ex's.) Give me a compliment, though? Well, you better be prepared for the squirming, disbelieving girl that you're about to have on your hands. That's right, against my better judgement, we're talking insecurities.

Before stripy after fluffy
Left; Shortly after turning 18 // RIGHT; Shortly after turning 20

Up until I was 18 years old, I was what my dad liked to call chubby. I'm relatively small, about 5'4 and on my 18th birthday I weighed nearly fourteen stone and wore a size 16/18. I was happy; I had a lot of friends, I wore clothes that suited me and that I liked, I was known for being argumentative, funny, smart (although, my A-Level results would disprove that particular one soon after.) I was pretty confident in myself and, although like most teenagers I had worries and hang ups, I spent a lot of time socializing with various amounts of friends. I was happy with my weight, I would say now, because it hadn't occurred to me that I shouldn't be - until someone pointed it out to me. I had other insecurities; stretch marks, scars, the skin on my arms is bumpy and my second and third toes are the same length - but until someone had said the words "you're fat". It hadn't occurred to me that my weight should be on that list. After the words were uttered and, in fact, even after the person that said them apologized and we moved forwards (as we're still friends now) - they hung around, determined to worm their way onto that list - and it worked. Gone was the happy girl, I spent pretty much the next two years solidly dieting. I rapidly lost about three stone, and later another two, and now I'm looking back I'm willing to say something that should have been clear at the time - I was miserable. Really, really miserable. There were days I didn't get out of bed, days I did things I wasn't proud of, days when I skipped meals and lied about eating to keep my intake under a ridiculously low amount of calories a day. As my weight dropped, so did my confidence; I covered up more, I wore the same clothes even though they were now 3 and 4 sizes too big, I shrugged my weight loss off, I stopped going out with my friends, mostly I just watched American TV and stayed in bed. 

Now, I can honestly say I'm in a better place, but it's taken me months to cajole myself into eating properly, to learn to love the body that I have now, to put a stone back on as hard as it was to do so. Writing this down, I feel sad for that girl that I struggle to believe was me - even though I still have days now where eating a sensible amount of calories seems too much. I feel sad for that girl, but more than anything, I'm mad at her - for letting somebody else change how she felt so drastically, for letting her insecurities get the best of her. I should know better, we should all know better. I am not the sum of my insecurities, the number on the scales, or the number of my clothes size, the number of scars or stretchmarks that grace my skin or the number of nights out I have a week. I am a sum of so many other things, things that really matter. Things like the number of tweets that I send out to people checking that they're okay if they seem down, the number of people I make think in a day, the number of people I smile at in the street, tell a joke to in work, open the door for in a shop. I am a sum of a million things, and I know now that they are each individually more important than all of my insecurities put together and, even if it takes me a lifetime, I am determined to see myself in a much more positive light. I am going to find the time every single day to pay at least one of my friends a compliment, and to pay myself one too - self love is every bit as important as love for friends, and a lot harder to believe in. I leave you with an important thought, that I think we should all pay more attention to;

"Your value doesn't decrease based on someone else's inability to see your worth."

How do you try to overcome your insecurities?

Sammy xo.

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