If Thick Thighs Are The Worst Thing That’s Happened To Me This Year, I’m Doing Pretty Well

If Thick Thighs Are The Worst Thing That’s Happened To Me This Year, I’m Doing Pretty Well

I will not hear any different.
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I was someone who swore the "freshman 15" wouldn’t get them. I’ve always been pretty tiny and had a small frame I just assumed it would stay that way. I walk many miles a day, up hills and stairs. I drink a lot of water. I’m conscious about what I eat.

And yet, there it was. Maybe not quite 15lbs, but the extra weight is visibly there.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed honestly. I’ve been really busy trying to get everything accomplished. Plus, all I wear is leggings and Nike shorts, so it’s not like anything was getting too tight. I was feeling really good about myself for the first time in a while. There isn’t a pressure to be a certain way like in high school and everyone is doing their own thing. Everything is moving too fast to notice what others are doing.

It wasn’t until I went home for Christmas when my grandmother told me I was “getting big.” It surprised me to hear it that loud and clear. And it was even worse hearing it from someone I’m close to and love. I was so hurt. I had been so proud of myself for just finishing a semester of college. I was becoming an adult and I was getting the hang of being on my own. It wasn’t always easy and I still did it. I was actually doing quite well and she didn’t care about any of the good things.

I didn’t let my grandmother’s sharp criticisms affect me going into the second semester. I went back to school for another six weeks and worked harder on myself. Not just my image, but everything as a whole. I wanted to be the best version of myself and feel accomplished. Not for my grandmother and her loud and irrelevant opinions, but for me.

It was finally time for spring break and I went home but had no plan on telling my grandmother I was back in town. I didn’t feel like she deserved to see me. My self-worth is important to me and she attempted to tarnish it. I knew there was a chance she’d make me feel even worse and I wasn’t going to risk it.

She found out I was back and not even a day later, she called my dad while he was at work and asked if I had “gotten any fatter.” Maybe he shouldn’t have told me about it, but he felt it was better so that she wouldn’t bombard me with rude questions herself. I was happy he did because now I know who I don’t need around at this crazy and eventful period in my life. I have plenty of people in my life who are cheering me on and making me feel like everything is OK and that’s what I really need right now.

She won’t get to hear about how great things are going for me. It’s a privilege to be able to see me thrive and she didn’t earn it. I could be doing a lot worse than just gaining a few pounds. I could have flunked out or formed a drug addiction. But instead my GPA is still good enough that I can relax knowing my scholarships are intact, I’ve made friends, and I’m genuinely happy. If thick thighs are the worst of it, then I’m proud of myself.

Weight should never determine worth. Size doesn’t determine how great a life is. Happiness and progress determine those things. At the most important times in our lives more than ever, we should be encouraged to do well and cheered on for whatever we’re accomplishing. We can’t let anyone take away our pride and happiness for little things that don’t matter and can be improved.

Cover Image Credit: 123rf

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Stand In The Mirror

An exercise in self-love.

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If you're reading this, then I want you to stop what you're doing right now, get up from wherever you're sitting, and go stand in the mirror.

Yes, that's right. Close your laptops, put down your phones, and walk to the closest bathroom, or vanity, or wherever else you can see your reflection the most clearly. Pretend like you're the only person in the world for a little while.

Are you there? Good.

Now I want you to look at yourself, very closely.

Start with your eyes. How beautiful they look underneath the light; you can see all their colors, just like a painting! Something that unique belongs in an art museum, don't you think?

Those eyes of yours have seen so many wonderful things. Think of all the sunsets they've allowed you to witness, all the times your best friends have grinned from ear-to-ear and all the books you've read.

Now, look at your lips. Think of all the lovely people they may have kissed, all the Thanksgiving dinners they've touched and all the funny faces they've helped you express.

Think all of the times they've opened to exude laughter and joy, to express awe and other associated feelings words cannot express.

Now it's time to examine your arms. Shrug your shoulders and admire the way they fall so gently at your sides, like water flowing from the mouth of a river. Think of all the wonderful things they've helped you to reach, of all the trees they've helped you climb and monkey bars they've helped you swing through. Think of all the people they've hugged, and all the dogs they've helped you pet.

Finally, move to your legs. Think of all the races they've helped you win, all the hurdles they've helped you jump through and all the lengths they've helped you swim.

Think of all the pristine places they've carried you to, and reflect upon all the places you'll soon be heading to.

Can't you see now that you're a masterpiece, dripping with color and beauty, emotion and experience, from every fiber of your being?

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