In case you weren’t aware, I’m an official ambassador of The Body Confidence Revolution founded by Leyah Shanks. I’ve only been an ambassador for the past 4 months, but I’ve undergone many changes in the way I view myself since then. My body positive journey is a story that’s been in the making since I was a kid even though I’ve only been fighting for the cause for about a year and a half. I’m going to admit right now that I’m having a lot of back and forth thinking when it comes to my confidence. Since my IUD rejected in June and had to be removed, I’ve been taking hormonal birth control pills which give me a few horrible side effects including weight gain and breast growth.
Before taking the pills, I was a size 16/18 and I felt extremely confident. I wore a 36KK/L and it wasn’t too hard to find bras because most brands I wear go up to a 38K or 40K which aren’t very far off. I don’t know how much weight I’ve gained specifically because I don’t like to think of the numbers, but I’m now roughly a 18/20 in US sizes, which puts me at around a UK 22/24. I also grew from a 36KK/L to a 36L/LL, but lately my bands have been feeling a little snug so I’m probably closer to a 38KK/L at this point. I want to add right now that I haven’t changed my eating habits, and I’ve actually been more active since taking the pills. I would go off of them because they make me feel horrible, but they’re one of the only things keeping me from being in constant agony from the endometriosis I’ve officially been diagnosed with this month.
Being an ambassador of body confidence is a lot more stressful than I thought, and I admittedly haven’t been super active when it comes to my duties. It’s hard to preach body confidence when you’re feeling low about yourself. I want to be clear that it’s not the fact that I gained weight and bust size that’s getting me down. It’s the fact that I’ve had to get more clothes and I’m grown out of most of my favorite bras and bra brands. My favorite form of advocacy is posting reviews featuring unedited photos of myself in bras, but it gets harder and harder when your options dwindle down. I unfortunately don’t have the funds to promote a hundred different pieces from dozens of brands, and I don’t have the reach or experience to get a constant stream of free samples to review. Half the time I feel like I’m writing to nobody, and it’s giving me thoughts about quitting altogether.
It also gets harder when you’re struggling with some health issues and your depression comes back with a vengeance. In order to avoid harming myself again, I went back on antidepressants even though I hate being on them. My mood has been a lot better lately, and the negative inner monologue I was dealing with with has quietly disappeared and been replaced by inner silence. It’s the weirdest feeling and I can’t describe it any other way. I want to make sure I’m taking care of myself, and going back into self harm is not going to help me feel better about myself.
My self confidence also nosedived when I went to a doctor’s appointment to start getting answers about the endometriosis I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with, the back problems that have at times left me disabled, the depression that made me cry to sleep every night, and the allergies that threaten me every day. The doctor literally told me that I wouldn’t have any of these problems if I wasn’t fat, and that if I just ate better and exercised more I wouldn’t have endometriosis, depression, allergies, and back problems. She made a ton of assumptions about my diet and lifestyle that were completely false, and interrupted me when I tried to explain that I didn’t do any of the things she was accusing me of.
She wanted to send me for blood work because she said someone my size “must” have diabetes. She was also shocked when my blood pressure was completely normal. I went to the hospital with crippling pelvic pain a few weeks later, and when they tested my blood all my stats were in the normal range. I am not dealing with any “fat person’s” disease, and having a medical professional treat me that way and wave off my legitimate concerns had me in a funk for 2 weeks. Since then I’ve seen other doctors that have confirmed I am a perfectly healthy person besides my endometriosis and allergies. I also learned that my endo could be causing or exacerbating the problems I have with my back. I’ve also been given muscle relaxers that have been helping my back and completely restoring my mobility. I feel empowered and I’m happy to be back on the right track again. I don’t spend every day off work in bed anymore, unless I want to. My only health related worry that’s still bothering me is the fact that I may need to undergo surgery for my endometriosis if it doesn’t stop flaring up and leaving me bedridden, and I’m terrified because I’ve never had any kind of surgery before.
On the other hand, I’ve had some great experiences lately. I turned 21 and celebrated my birthday for almost an entire week with my family and boyfriend. My mom treated me to a Torrid shopping spree and I was able to get myself some super cute dresses to go out in, even if they were a size or two larger than I would have reached for months before. It felt amazing to have my thin dad tell me I looked good despite the fact that I’m slowly approaching my heaviest weight again. All the wonderful people I interact with online have been extremely supportive even when I post pictures I’d normally be embarrassed to post. I’ve been so swollen and bloated everywhere lately due to the medications I’ve been taking, so my double chin is in full force. Despite that, I recently posted a full body picture of myself even though I hated the way my face and hair looked.
I’m also being considered for a promotion at my job, which would make me a full time supervisor. This will take care of my health insurance once my Medical Assistance runs out. My boyfriend is also getting the opportunity to get a job in his desired field, and we’re on the track to saving our money and building credit so we can get an apartment on our own and have more privacy and independence. My mother found a plan of treatment to manage her ulcerative collitis and has found a job. Her girlfriend is also working and has already received a raise. I feel like everything around me is getting better slowly, but my depression and issues with my body confidence have blinded me from seeing how good everything has been.
My main goal at the moment is to take better care of myself. I want to start going to a gym to rebuild my strength since my back hasn’t been hurting so bad. I don’t want to lose weight, but I also don’t want to feel helpless and unable to lift anything by myself. I want to start saving money and spending more responsibly. I want to start finding more topics to blog about. I want to have a larger presence in TBCR. I feel horrible that I’ve pretty much been sitting on the sidelines not participating just because I’ve been feeling bad about myself. I’m going to channel my dark feelings into tell-all Instagram posts in support of TBCR so that I can turn the bad thoughts into good ones that can help other people who may be going through some of the same things.
If anyone has any ideas of what I should write about, or topics you’d like to see me discuss please feel free to send me a message at any time. I love hearing your feedback and I love providing posts that people want to read. If there’s any product you’d like me to look into for review, let me know and I’ll try to make it a reality. I refuse to sit here and feel sorry for myself. I want to be a better role model, ambassador, and blogger. I want to look back on myself in a year and be proud of all that I’ve accomplished, because I spent the majority of 2016 in bed unable to walk due to crippling pain.