The difference between these two sets of photos is about 18 months. I’ve yo-yo’d about four times over the past few years, not by choice. Stress, anxiety, and grief made me thinner. Acceptance and resignation to my circumstances made me rounder. At no point was I trying to be one or the other. The interesting thing about being these two different sizes is that I didn’t feel that different. My clothes fit differently and my wardrobe choices had to change, but inside, I didn’t feel any different at all. I have felt alternately self-conscious and confident on any given day.
Here’s the weird thing, though: when I see photos of myself, I think, who is that?! That’s not what I think I look like, it’s not what I feel I look like. It’s been a love/hate battle between what I feel inside about my appearance and what I see in photos or videos. They do not match at ALL. I give mega-side-eye to articles about how our “flawed, child-bearing bodies” are beautiful, blah, blah blah. I personally don’t like mine. I don’t like it at ALL. I don’t take particular pride in stretch marks of pregnancies I didn’t want or enjoy. It wasn’t fun getting them and it isn’t fun having them. They aren’t “badges of pride”, they’re marks of damage.
I’m really bored of media hype about being happy with your body the way it is. It doesn’t matter what friends, lovers, strangers, or family say; I have a real problem with mentally/emotionally/psychologically relating to the body I have. Most of the time, I feel like a voluptuous, round, ripe piece of fruit. That feels GREAT! Then it all goes away when I see my reflection in a mirror and in pictures of myself.
My opinion is likely to be unpopular, but I don’t mind. I’m just speaking my truth. I’m not speaking for anyone else. Just me. It’s my body, my mind. I have to live in it.