Weight

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

I remember age 8 feeling my lilac groovy chick tee shirt cling to my skin and I felt awkward. I would tug and stretch it, pulling it over my knees making a tent for my legs. To most I'd have looked like a fidgety infant. That was the first time I remember feeling fat.

I went through years of the same routine, I was academic not athletic so I favoured quavers and a book to three laps around the block. I would look in the mirror up until the age of sixteen and pull at my jawline and pin back my thighs, questioning why all my other friends got washboard stomachs and pin thin legs. In that same year I tried to squash my complex, until a group of boys literally bullied me out of a pool party saying I was fat and brave for getting in my bikini leaving me to run home hysterical in my towel. I was 16 and a size 10.

I write this now from a place where I've tried every fad diet, every shake, every juice every soup and I am tired. What if I gave all the energy I have thinking about weight loss to improving my intelligence? What if for every meal I tried to skip I instead thought about reading 5 chapters of a book. I look back on photos of myself age 8, age 14, even last year- and there was nothing wrong with me. I am about a stone lighter in all of them than I ever let myself believe. 

The pressure we put ourselves under to seek weight perfection is often so warped by an ideal that we don't realise what we already have. Being happy, healthy and intelligent lands far closer to perfection than looking like that blonde Asos model. 

I'd tell myself I was too fat for a boyfriend, that friends looked at me differently- but the truth is that's nonsense. Why would I want to associate myself with people that valued my weight over other attributes? My family have never tried to disown me because I'm a comfortable size 12, my friends have never held an intervention because they felt embarrassed when I wore shorts in public, my blog readers have never stopped reading because I no longer fit Topshop petite.

 I am off on holiday in 3 weeks, my female friends all size 8s, and instead of juicing myself to tears for the next 21 days, depriving myself of my evening kinder bueno, I'm going to read so much and watch so much that I'll have the best conversation around the pool instead of competing to be something I'm not. 

29 comments:

  1. You're such a great person! And you're beautiful. I'm the same size as you and I'm 16 and always think that this is why I can't get a boyfriend and that my friends look differently at me. I really hope I'll be able to think about it like you any time soon.

    x

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  2. I'm so excited for your and your holiday. Where you off to on June 9th?!? If my math skills are correct. :))

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  3. But you're so so beautiful Charly!

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  4. You are gorgeous, I love this post so much as I thought I couldn't blog due to my weight. You're actually inpiring love your outfits and posts <3
    KKKIRANXOXO
    xoxo

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  5. I had the same problem all my life. And I'm still not comfortable with my weight. I wish I could come to the same conclusion as you one day. But this day is still far ahead of me...

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  6. I love this Charly you're spot on here, fearless young woman! have a fabulous time on your holidays.x
    www.stylecastle.co.uk
    x

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  7. I find that the older I get (I'm 17) the more I care about my weight. A couple years ago it was never an issue. I'm still the same size (US 6-8) but now a days it's always lingering in my mind. Every so often I have to stop and tell myself that I should be happy the way I am. I think all people should do that. Because we are all beautiful, not matter what number is on our jeans.

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  8. Very timely post, I must say. My friends are currently continuously telling me that I'm getting fat because I was a "Small" in college and now the only clothes that fit me are "Medium" tops and "Large" to "Extra Large" bottoms. I'd tell them that I'm not in college anymore and that I'm 23 so my body is meant to change, so does my appetite and my nutritional needs but they just won't stop. They'd berate me for taking a bar of Hersheys and tell me I dhould diet. No one's ever praised me for exercising though, or climbing a mountain, or reading reading two books in one week, or getting better at my job, or the fact that I've started sleeping better, or that I've started eating more fruits. Nope. Just fat, fat, fat all the time. And yes, I've been trying to tell myself the same things as you have but it gets annoying and depressing at times. Thanks for the inspiration Charly. I'll try to be as brave as you are :) Cheers!

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  9. I'm trying to find the words to express how much this post means to me. Its almost sad in a way, I'm turning twenty in the fall. Reaching two decades of my life having accomplished enough to make myself proud and yet every single day I continue to measure my adequacy (or lack there of) in my weight. I really want to thank you Charly, this was beautiful, necessary and very relevant.

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  10. I totally agree! And I can totally relate to looking back at pictures and thinking: 'what the heck, whyyyy was I unhappy with my body back then?'
    I just met you and your blog, and I really like your writing :)

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  11. This is really beautiful, and so inspirational. This really touches me , and I'm sure it will a lot of people. Just found your blog and I totally love everything, just voted for you in the company awards! You are amazing and beautiful :)

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  12. Please... I'm so upset when slim girls complain. I know what you felt when said the people you're fat. I assure you that you're not and you weren't. I know because I was and I'm. I'm 18 years old and my size is 18. (wow... same numbers... funny (: ) So please don't worry about the opinions of others. You are OK! Others do not deserve pleasure that you feel yourself bad. They're just jealous. ;) Please, have a nice holiday.
    PS: The best size is the 12, everybody know it just they afraid to admit it. I want size 12.

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  13. I think that this is such an important topic to talk about. We are all too hard on ourselves and need to learn to accept ourselves for who we are; all unique individuals :) I know exactly how you feel!

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  14. I really needed this tonight, but I still can't accept it fully. Thank you, Charly.

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  15. You know, we will always be judged by other people. You will even be judged for some good qualities you might have, I know because it has happened to me in the past. People has told me a million times that I'm way too pale (I used to try SO hard to tan, now I'm over it :P), I had a friend who was pasive-agressive with me for many years because I was skinier than her and because boys tended to pay more atention to me than to her. The advice I have for you is a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: "do what you feel to be right in your heart for you'll be criticized anyway" ;)
    I know here you talk about weigh, but focussing more in the peronality part, at the end we are all a little bit weird, some people are just better at knowing when to show that weirdness :) With years you will eventually realize you are starting to care more about what you think of yourself than others, it's a part of growing out of adolescence.

    Well I hope this will help you somehow, best of luck!

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  16. I'm 15 and a size 2, which I guess is normal, but I always feel so large, and I've literally been trying to lose 10 lbs since the 7th grade. Reading your piece was definitely a turning point for me, and I'm starting to become more comfortable and happy in my body. Thank you so much x

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  17. I just want to say thank you for this. I don't often comment on blog posts because I usually feel my comment will just go unnoticed anyway but I really have to say thank you this time, whether this goes unnoticed or not. I've never been happy with my body, I guess my story is very similar to yours. I've just been realising recently that my body is not terrible, I've just led myself to believe it is and so all I can see it the extra fat around my hips and thighs when I look in the mirror. However I know after reading this that body image cannot be a competition, if you are happy and healthy then there is nothing wrong. This has made me realise how much more important it is to be interesting than this new social-definition of hot, because intelligence is more attractive than a "perfect" body will ever be, whatever a perfect body is anyway.

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  18. I love this post Charly. It's so beautifully written and very honest. There's so much more to people than their weight and I think one of the most important things is to surround yourself with people who value other attributes higher than how fat/skinny you are. It's ridiculously hard to fit into society nowadays if you don't conform to the ideal but I feel the more people talk about it the less pressure young girls will feel. Oh and by the way you are beautiful :) xx

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  19. I LOVE THIS. Thank you, so much thank you. This is so relatable. I've just started my blog stalk here and already you are wonderful - so inspiring. x

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  20. So relatable, so glad someone else feels the same way. I always think that everyone is built differently, some just aren't designed to be a size 8. Intelligence is the only quality that keeps you attractive in the long run :) This idealistic physical beauty that so many people our age try to achieve is short lived.

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  21. Discovering your blog is probably one of the best things I've done all year! I absolutely LOVE LOVE your blog and how beautiful you write without losing the true meaning behind overly complicated words (if that makes any sense). You are pretty much everyone's ideal best friend - and I know I probably will never meet you or become besties, I am glad that you have your blog to reach out to so many people through you words! There aren't many honest and genuine blogs out there these days, and I'm so glad I found yours! Charly Cox you are truly a legend, please don't ever stop posting! xx

    recently decided to start my own blog after spending so many hours on them - check it out if you ever have spare time, much love

    http://miuse.blogspot.com/

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  22. this is not only a wonderfully written post but also the absolute truth!
    you are a stunningly beautiful woman with a wonderful body - not once would I have thought to think of you as overweight in any way - on the contrary, I was even a bit confused why you would write about the topic 'weight' in the first place ;)

    it makes me happy to see a woman accept herself instead of mindlessly following the eating-disordered masses and letting others pressure herself into any kind of chastening behavior.

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  23. omg, this is just the kind of thing that i really need to read, i'm starting in this world and i was afraid of this.
    You're so brave!

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  24. I kind of love everything about you ! I am an 18 years old french girl and I'm not confident enough about myself. Too fat, not beautiful enough, not thin enough .. so reading the blog of another woman who experienced things quite similar as me is making me feel better! I love your blog and I find you more than beautiful ;) Being confident and accepting your body is, I think, the key to true beauty.

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  25. Reading this is encouraging in so many ways, having discovered your Blog I now realise that, not only is honesty important, underestimated and appreciated all at the same time, but this post in particular is really... awesome.
    I struggle with the way I look, I am 17 and size ten... my friends have the 'perfect' figure and all I seem to do is compare myself to others, I don't mind being honest about this any more because I am slowly realising that others are too.
    I pull back my thighs and poke my belly and look in the mirror and ask "why?" but some days I feel pretty happy in myself and the way I look and those are the days I live for, because if I can feel that way for one day then why not for all of the others.

    A message to anyone else. Beauty isn't always on the outside.
    Beautiful girls can be right... we let's just say it... bitches.
    You are beautiful and I know that because I am human and so are you... hopefully. We are all beautiful.

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