Epiphanies are often great things. I bet some of the world’s best inventions were made by epiphanies. I had one today; maybe not seemingly as great as the invention kind, but for me – life changing. In the past I have been a girl of many weights. I started off like most healthy, active kids of my generation, at a healthy weight, but medications and hormones had me at my top weight of almost 140lbs during the 8th grade. I kept most of this weight throughout the early years of my high school career until I finally started shedding pounds my junior year.

By senior year I was at the lowest I had been in a long time at 112lbs. This only lasted for about a year, however, when post high school activities caught up with me. By mid-freshman year of college I was back at 132lbs. I looked in the mirror and I wondered how I could gain so much in such a seemingly small amount of time. I longed for the body I once had, but more than that, I scolded myself… maybe a little for gaining the weight, but what really bothered me was that at a mere 112lbs., I didn’t think I was skinny enough. I would look in the mirror and not appreciate the body that I had. I scold myself for not appreciating what I had. For not loving my body or priding myself in it as I should have. At 132lbs I had wished that I could remember what my body looked like then. I remember thinking to myself that if I could have that body back, I would appreciate it now.

Second semester of my freshman year I worked hard and although it might not be much in some people’s eyes, it means a lot to me. I have lost 8lbs and am down to 124lbs. Even at this weight, I look at myself in the mirror and know that I want to lose more. 124lbs still isn’t enough for me… or so I thought, but for the first time today, I looked at myself in pictures, and I saw a beautiful girl, and I didn’t think she needed to lose weight.

Self Love
It all started as I was heading off to my PR internship this morning, where they have a loose dress code. No shorts and look nice. I was rushed, but I managed to pull together an outfit that I actually really liked. When I got home afterward, I looked in the mirror one more time, I touched up my makeup, and I decided that I loved the outfit so much that I wanted to share it with you guys.

I got out my camera, set it up, and took a few images. As I uploaded them onto my computer, I got a better look at them. Then I started to add them to the post editor and looked at them even more closely. I almost didn’t recognize myself. I started to wonder if over the years, my weight had fluctuated so much that I never really was able to get a good look at myself.

Sure, the stomach under my shirt might not be completely flat or hard as a rock, but I looked healthy. I was proud to call my body my own. I will continue to workout and have goals. I want to get toned, but if I stay 124lbs for the rest of my life, I could be happy, because for once, I feel like I am seeing an accurate picture of myself, free from any harsh self-judgement and criticism. I need to love my body to feel good about my body to want to treat it better. Today and hopefully every day forward, I pledge to love my body, love my mind, and love myself. Today I pledge to feel beautiful.

Self Love
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