I’ve always been over-weight. photo(7)I was always the chubby child who wore the same styles of clothing in different colours. I wore men’s shirts un-buttoned and bandanas, I wore sandals until I saw the first snow (I had a serious issue with socks and shoes…okay, I still do), and I always considered myself a boy.

Growing up, I never thought that I was pretty. I changed my hair colour at ten years old, bleaching it, and then being made fun of because it was the beginning of the Eminem phase.

Twice a year, I would get one new item of clothing, anything I’d choose from Zellers, or we could go to a discount store in downtown London where I’d be able to choose as much as I’d want for up to $20.

I was always conscious of what I looked like – but it wasn’t until my Grade 8 graduation that I knew that my weight was a problem. Months before the actual graduation, my stepmother and my father took me dress shopping. I saw it – it was beautiful!

Light green with all these little crystals down the front. The gown was flowy and princess-like with the back lacing up like a corset. I fell in love.

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My friend, Cynbad, playing dress-up in my grad gown

It was one size less than I was currently at. My step mom suggested that if this was the dress that I could always diet and then fit into the dress when graduation came around. I agreed only on the merits that I loved the dress.

Now I finally understood that need that women have when they see a bikini and yearn to wear it. I had finally taken the first real step into womanhood – feeling the need to mould myself into something better, something thinner.

I was on a edited fad edition of the Atkins diet. I would eat lean turkey deli slices heated in a pan, grapefruit, celery, and some other things that I’ve since put on my NEVER EAT AGAIN list.

I was so hungry all the time. I had to stop riding my bike and going outside because I just didn’t have the energy to do it anymore; I would get winded climbing the stairs to my classroom. I just had to keep my eye on the prize: the ultimate dress.

I went with this diet for about six weeks before I gave it up, and finally, the graduation was here! My step mother brought out my dress and we held our breath as the zipper…didn’t do up.

I can’t even begin to express the disappointment and anger at myself, but what was worse was the epic yelling that came from my step mother. She was quite upset and had decided that I must have done something wrong, I must have been sneaking food somewhere.

That broke my heart.

My father swooped in to save the day – he took me down to the tailor and we had a clasp added and everything was fine. Problem solved.

$7.99 versus SIX MISERABLE WEEKS OF HELL DIETING.

It still didn’t change the fact that I had let myself and my step mother down. Every time our eyes met on the evening of my graduation, I could see the disappointment all because I couldn’t shed the weight with this miracle diet in time to fit perfectly into this dress.

It doesn’t matter though because when my grandfather saw me, his face lit up and the dress no longer mattered. He was so proud that I got honours and that I was on my way to highschool; Education was all that mattered to him.

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I was at Universal Studios – I didn’t care what I looked like, I was in HARRY POTTER WORLD!

Since then, I’ve always had to shop in the tall section (being almost 6 ft tall), so it just made sense to shop for clothing in the plus sized stores as well.

I went on various diets. I cut out sugar. I drank water and only ate vegetables. I stopped eating a few times in an effort to make myself thinner and beautiful.

Every. Single. Time. I hated myself a little more and I got a little heavier.

I reverted back to my old ways, only coming out of my shell when I had to.

I’ve never really cared to dress myself up, and I only just learned how to do my make-up (beyond mascara and a smudge of blush) in the last year. I’m now armed with my  professional makeup brushes and an army of make-up.

In the past year, so much has changed:

I’ve learned that saying fat isn’t a bad thing. It’s okay to embrace your height and encourage your own geeky side fashionably, all thanks to Not Afraid To Wear Heels. (her tumblr)

I’ve learned what fat rules you can throw out the window and how to dress for your own body (and making sure that you’re sexy while doing it!) thanks to Petite Plus, Meow.

I never would have had my eyes opened to this world of dressing for myself and this huge revelation of self-acceptance if it wasn’t for Karen and Peter (yes, you too!) from Your Big Sister’s Closet.

I still feel as if I’m playing dress-up, and I’m definitely not afraid to speak up and say, “I don’t know how to wear this…”dd2

Accepting my body has made me so much happier. I can look in the mirror and truly like what I see.

Thank you, ladies, for being yourselves.

 

 

Unfortunately, due to the fact that some followers are stealing my photos without permission, I’ve been forced to place an annoying and rather un-photoshop-able watermark on them. Ugh.

 

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