Last summer, my shorts started to feel tight, and I started to panic.
Mind you, I've had these shorts for at least four years. It shouldn't shock me that they started to feel tight. My body was growing. That's normal.
I got on birth control during my sophomore year of college. Although my periods felt less painful, I had to deal with the weight gain. I went to Vans Warped Tour and took a photo with the lead singer from one of my favorite bands, Movements (unfortunately, his head is cropped out). I couldn't feel confident in the photo; instead, I couldn't help but think, "Does the crop top show too much of my stomach?"
I've gained even more weight, and I don't fit into many of my shorts from last summer. In fact, I only comfortably fit into one of them. For a while, I refused to accept that, and I just squeezed into the shorts. I walked around uncomfortable with how I looked, all because I wanted to fit into my size 3 shorts.
Guess what? Bodies change. And that's OK.
I'm throwing my old shorts away soon. Why struggle to fit into pants that don't fit? Why worry about being a size small when a medium or large is more comfortable? Most importantly, why does this even matter to me so much?
Everyone loves summer because that means the beach, the pool, and spending more time outdoors in general. For others, though, it's a time of panic. People with body image issues can't imagine the possibility that they might have to get new shorts and a new swimsuit.
This summer, I'm challenging myself to stop worrying about what size I wear. I'm challenging myself to focus less on the stretch marks on my thighs and to live more in the moment. I'm going to challenge myself to stop worrying about how I look in a picture, whether I look thin enough, and how I can prevent my fat rolls from showing.
Everyone has fat. Our idea of perfection is artificially constructed.
I know that if I'm not careful, how I feel about my body can become a huge problem. That's why I'm working to change it, and I'm going to wear clothes that fit rather than the sizes I think I should wear.
Let's love our bodies this summer...and beyond.