My Journey to Body Confidence

“Babe, actually I weighted 226 pounds when we came back from Canada and today I weight 206.4 lbs. I didn’t want to tell you because I was ashamed of my weight.” 

That was a recent confession I made to my Boyfriend a.k.a “Mr. A”. He has been asking about weight lately. Not that it matters to him, but in his attempt to lose weight himself, he suggested that we take the weight loss journey together since I have myself decided to shed the extra pounds. It sounded like a great idea, but I would often opt out of it because doing this taking this journey with him, required me to reveal my weight; which is something I was not ready to do just yet. 

Being Self-Conscious

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I struggled with my weight and body image for as long as I can remember; pretty much since I was a 11. It all started when family members commented on how “fat” they thought I look. Cousins would often compare me to girls in school they find “hot” or “sexy”, and in their eyes I was nowhere close to those girls.

I remember classmates pointing out my wide hips. And yes at 12, I had wide hips and my breasts were developed, my thighs were bigger than average. I was fully developed compared to most girls of my age. It felt like I was excluded from the skinny legs and tiny boobs associations.No really, Don’t laugh!

Seeking External Validation

I moved to Benin West Africa, things changed. Over there, people celebrate curves, wide hips, and big butts. I find myself getting approached by guys complimenting me on my curves and my “coca-cola”shape which is an expression for “hour-glass figure”. Classmates complimented me even ranked me as “Top 3 of the prettiest girls in the class.”Lol, We were so childish! But I am not going to lie it felt good to know that I fitted in another society’s standard of beauty. For the first time, I felt accepted. However, somehow I still self-conscious about my body; choosing an outfit was a nightmare. I had to find the right shirt that cover the wide hips; I hated wearing jeans, I felt like they made my thighs look bigger. I mean, it was crazy!  The compliments I received were not enough to erase my negative body image. No external validation could fix my confidence.

Embracing Myself

It all started when I realized that I could not rely on others to define me.  Am I sexy or pretty enough?  Is my Body Size OK?  Are my curves beautiful? Well, I learned that the only answers that mattered was my own answers to those questions. In other words who I am is who I say that I am. I learned to love myself flaws and all. The moment I decided to embrace myself, that when my body confidence kicked in. To be honest with you, sometimes I still feel a bit insecure about my body size. When I gain excessive amount of weight, I start to feel less confident, unhappy and less energetic. But at least I know that this insecurity has nothing to do with external pressure such as society’s standards or people opinions.

Still Enjoying Journey

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When I start feeling insecure and uncomfortable that is because I made poor eating choices that led to an excessive weight gain that I am not comfortable with. and I know something has to be done. I go at my own pace and try to get at a weight that makes feel good, confident, and that allow me to be productive and enjoy life. I am currently weight loss journey; I’ve lost 20 pounds so far and it feels great. It feels good because my vitality increased and also because I am doing it for me, my health, and my own happiness.

What I’ve learned

 You can only gain true Body Confidence when you fully embrace and love the body that are in. It’s your body! Once you understand that, then you can begin to nurture it from the inside out; it doesn’t matter whether your goal is to lose or gain weight. Loving it, Nourishing it, Keeping it active is what I try to do.

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Now Let’s talk !

  • What was your journey to body confidence like? 
  • What did you learn a long way?
  • Are you still on that journey like me?
***Sonia Francine***

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