When I was 18 years old, I thought that losing weight would make my life perfect. Like so many teenage girls obsessed with fitting into Hollister and cutting carbs before prom, the size of my thighs consumed me. All of the time. I spent my high school years wanting to be the one thing that seemed impossible for a pudgy Italian with an A+ on the emotional eating scorecard: skinny.
I wanted to be skinny because I thought being skinny would make me invincible. I thought it would give me the confidence of a freshly primped, doe-eyed cheerleader, shouting with pom-poms on the sidelines of a football game.
To say I was crippled and mislead by these illusions would be an understatement. I equated joy and self-worth with what the mirror reflected and never thought I'd be physically desirable or worthy of love until the mirror reflected a svelter set of legs and a toned torso.
This low self-worth disallowed me the ability to believe I could be sexy at a plus-size, or good enough for a relationship in any way, really. The idea of having an exciting or fulfilling love life was mostly a fairy tale in my mind—one starring the supermodel version of myself that I so desperately wanted to be. Do You REALLY Want to Lose Weight?
My low self-esteem resulted from the all too familiar cocktail of societal factors: wanting to look like the popular girls at school, believing the bullsh*t of Hollywood about having to be thin, and growing up with an alcoholic stepfather who took pleasure in calling me a "fat ass" after too many beers.
I was also teased at school at times for being heavy. That was perhaps the most painful part of the plight of being plus-sized—a lot of kids at school didn't want to talk to me or be my friend. And that hurt.
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