Fat And Flourishing: Embracing Weight Gain Taught Me Self-Love

Life & Travel

On any given morning, you can find me fresh out of the shower, staring at myself. My natural inclination is to pick apart all of the imperfections looking back at me, wishing for a magic pill that can fix them all at once.

In the midst of this disgruntled mess, I start a private freestyle of positive body affirmations and eventually end up doing a happy dance until my stomach hurts from laughing so hard. All of this in an effort to practice self-love and undo years of critical thoughts about my body.

People don't look at me and think of me as obese. In fact, I'm mostly doused with compliments and kind remarks from those around me. Yet psychologically, I am constantly struggling to be fully content with my weight.

At 118 lbs, I was too skinny for boys to like me. I had no shape and my butt was nonexistent. In high school, my "boyfriend" broke up with me for a girl with the body of a grown woman because she was fine. "You've got potential," he said. "Give it 'til your senior year, and I'd bet all the guys like you."

I ate everything in sight in hopes of getting thick enough to be desirable.

At 130 lbs, I decided to tone up a bit so I began working out like crazy. Months passed, and as I stood in the mirror proud of my progress, a friend pinched my lower stomach and said, "You're doing good! If you could just lose this, you'd be straight."

Her words left an impact that makes me disgusted by my stomach no matter how flat it gets.


At 175 lbs, people started reminding me that I needed to save "room to grow" as I got older. Family members said, "You look good, but don't gain another pound." Others asked if I was expecting or had something I needed to share with everyone. Regardless of my weight, I was always "too" something – too big, too small, too shapely, too pudgy, too something.

Every now and then, the memories feature on Facebook would offer me random glimpses of myself from previous years, and I remember seeing a picture from 2011. I remember thinking, "I can't believe I thought I was fat then." Next, I ran across a swimsuit picture from 2005 and thought, "I'd kill to have those abs again."

As I reminisced through photos, I found things I loved about my body at each stage in my life. I realized that I'd found fault in myself simply based on the perceptions of others. This fault turned into an obsessive cycle of self-criticism that was unhealthy to my mental state.

I found myself turning every conversation into an opportunity to talk about the things that were wrong with me. I realized that I was a hypocrite. I was always the girl who would walk into the room dishing out compliments to everyone else, meanwhile inwardly being mean to myself. Upon my newfound realization, I made the decision to love the skin I'm in no matter what.


The words of men, friends, and family made me feel captive in the body I was blessed with. I always found myself wanting to trade with someone else until those Facebook memories taught me that there is freedom in being me. At every stage of my weight, there was something to be thankful for and something to be proud of.

It's my own responsibility to esteem myself.

I'd given that power away each time I'd attempted a metamorphosis, or wished for a different body based on the actions of someone else. I decided to take my power back by making a conscious decision to see the best in me every day – denying my natural inclination to be critical of myself.

Bad habits die hard. Some days, I fail horribly but others, I knock it out of the park in terms of developing a positive self-image. Either way, I'm trying. And each day, I am learning a new level of self-love by being thankful for the present version of me. I haven't used a scale in a few months now. The number that pops up doesn't determine how I should view myself.


People will always have their opinions, but as for me, I plan to flourish regardless of how my weight ebbs and flows.

Whether you're 100 lbs or 300 lbs, love yourself girl or nobody else will. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, so make strides to be the best version of yourself. Just don't forget to enjoy the transformation along the way.

Reaching your goals means acknowledging your constant journey, not just the destination.

Halle Bailey Talks 'The Little Mermaid' Backlash & Having A Forever Best Friend In Sister Chloe

Halle Bailey won our hearts alongside her sister Chloe when their cover of Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts” went viral when they were just teenagers, and from there they have become Grammy-nominated artists as the group Chloe x Halle thanks to albums like Ungodly Hour and The Kids Are Alright. Now, their fans have more to look forward to as Halle will be starring as the Disney princess Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
The Power Couples In The Zodiac & Your Money Match Based On Astrology

When it comes to power couples in the zodiac, there are instant matches that make for love and financial compatibility. Some zodiac signs work better together than others, and considering financial challenges tends to make or break relationships--finding your money match is important. Not only that but there are certain signs in the zodiac that can enhance your financial world, just by being in it. Planetary energy in certain areas of your birth chart can provide higher success rates and opportunities, and compatibility energy varies by degree.

Keep reading...Show less
The Do's & Don'ts Of Having Sex On The Beach

I’ve never actually tasted a 'Sex on the Beach,' but I certainly have imagined doing it. In fact, I’ve had a lot of sex fantasies, but this remains to be one at the top of my list. However, I continue to harbor some fear because it seems that beach sex is no easy feat.

Keep reading...Show less
The Evolution Of Serena Williams

It is like witnessing magic when you watch an athlete do what they do best. To see a mere human soar in the air over to the other side of a bar or to witness someone run at a speed quicker than a human thought. A basketball player defying gravity just to get a ball into a hoop. A ballerina turning their body into a top, spinning and spinning without fatigue.

Keep reading...Show less
Lori Harvey On Dating With A Purpose & Not Compromising Her Peace For Anyone

Lori Harvey’s dating life has consistently been a hot topic on social media and now the model is shedding light on some of her dating do’s and don’ts. In an episode of Bumble’s new “Luv2SeeIt” content series, the SKN by LH founder sat down with the series' director, producer, and host Teyana Taylor and disclosed some quote-worthy thoughts on dating and relationships.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Former Beyoncé Dancer Deja Riley On Changing Her Career For Her Mental Health

Former Beyoncé Dancer Deja Riley On Changing Her Career For Her Mental Health

"I felt like I was not enough. And my mental health is important. So when I started feeling that way, I knew that it was time to shift."

Latest Posts