Even though I just recently posted my first activewear post in over a year (here), accepting this collaboration with Reebok was still extremely challenging for me. I actually cried after this photo shoot because it was such a struggle for me, but Reebok’s new “Perfect Never” line felt like something I needed to be a part of. An activewear line that isn’t focused on a killer six pack and the “perfect body” but instead about unique styles, imperfections, and challenging the norm? Sign me up!
I’ve felt tremendous shame and discomfort about my body throughout the years. I was overweight most of my life and the comments I received from acquaintances and friends were horrific. I was constantly told, “you’d be beautiful if you lost some weight.” I was told by teachers and friends that no one wants to marry a fat girl. I was told by a family member that I couldn’t truly be loved if I weren’t thin. And when a family member lost a lot of weight, I was asked not just once but multiple times by multiple people, “why aren’t you losing weight too?” I can’t even begin to describe how I felt hearing those things.
I also always equated being loved with thinness, something I still struggle with to this day although intellectually I know better. I lost a lot of weight for a while through some pretty extreme measures but gained maybe half or more of it back these last couple years. And whether I was thin, extremely overweight or kind of chunky, I consistently felt uncomfortable in my skin.
So you’re probably thinking, how on earth do you post photos of your body on a daily basis for the entire internet to see while simultaneously feeling so uncomfortable in your skin? It’s a question I ask myself too all the time and with the recent changes in my weight it’s been getting much harder to do.
But the reason I keep up my blog and the reason I’m writing this is because no matter what your body looks like, you shouldn’t have to hide. And while it’s been more difficult to take photos this past year, I do it because I want to practice what I preach. I also want to show that while it may be harder to find clothes at larger sizes that reflect your personal style and make you feel good, it’s possible to do. I want to to provide style inspiration whether I’m a size 2 or a size 12.
I’ve been getting a lot of comments that it’s nice to find someone on the internet that looks more like the “average” woman which gave me encouragement to keep pushing through. Something I work on every day is not putting my life on hold because my body isn’t exactly how I want it to be. I know many of you struggle with that too; refusing to buy clothes that make you feel good because you’re not at the weight or size you want to be. But I think it’s important to change that because punishing yourself intentionally or unintentionally will only make you feel worse about yourself.
If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that I truly believe we all deserve to feel confident, comfortable, and beautiful. And the size of our body should not determine that! So that is why I said yes to teaming up with Reebok for 3 months for their “Perfect Never” campaign. Because I’m working every day to challenge my discomfort and fears while not allowing the size of my body to hold me back from the things I would’ve done at a different size.
I’d love to hear about your journey toward body acceptance and what helps you feel more confident! Please share them with me in the comment section below.