Starting at a young age it was always instilled in me to watch what I eat. Growing up in Louisiana was especially hard for me. There was this verbal and nonverbal way of living and I was always put in this box to make me think that I wasn't perfect if I wasn't thin. A lot of times the first time I'd see someone in awhile when I was younger that was there first response "oh you look thinner" or "you have grown" which would be said in a negative way towards my weight. Even having the number on a scale or the size of my pants defining who I was. Even when I was working in retail when I moved to Pennsylvania this was still present.
When I worked in retail, I'd have girl crying because they tried on pants or shorts and they went up a size. I'd explain to them that the size didn't matter if they looked amazing in their outfit but a lot of times it didn't matter. The damage was already done and the girl thought they weren't worthy to call the outfit cute because the size wasn't small enough for them to be happy. There has been many different article and videos explaining how different companies size their clothes completely different from each other based on their target weight of their customers. This means some companies actually make sizes smaller while other companies make the same size pants bigger. That being said there isn't one true size when you go into different stores. After learning this, it made me feel a lot better when I went into stores to try on clothes. I had to remind myself that nothing is wrong with me for not being the same size or to increase or decrease in size.
Even though there is a lot of people trying to reverse this stigma people have with sizes or weight, it's still present even for people who are my age. I see so many fitness accounts who are all about body positivity but then call their food cheat meals. This is something so discreet but that still enforces negativity towards food. I went through a phase where I'd watch every sign meal I ate and mentally take notes on what "good" or "bad" things I was eating. While I was the thinnest I ever was and people constantly gave me compliments on how small I was, I was miserable. I constantly was weighing myself and if I ate someone I'd consider "bad," I'd go to the gym multiple times a day.
Seeing these fitness girls showing that they had a big dessert and saying they had to go to the gym harder the next day only installed my way of eating and responding to food I love. It was so much work to constantly be thinking about everything I ate or drank and how many calories I was consuming versus how many I was burning at the gym. After I quit doing all of this and just eat whatever I wanted I gained an intense amount of weight. I was happy but it then caught up to me that I didn't want to live a life where I was either extremely healthy or eating only unhealthy food. I started to believe in portion control and feeding your body when it's hungry.
From the different experiences I have been through, I have finally found a happy with my weight and food. I truly love trying new foods, I don't want to call them cheat meals. I'm happy to just enjoy food without having to justify to myself why I am eating it. Also not letting my weight define who I am has made me a happy person all around.