Love the skin you're in

It took me almost 22 years to love the skin I am in. I have never been comfortable with my weight, my acne, nor my freckles. 2018 has been the best year for me when it comes to loving my body and that’s because I’ve been working on myself for myself to strengthen myself. 


My friends use to call me Stick. For the majority of my life, I was skin and bones and so uncomfortable in my body. I was active and participated on three different sports teams throughout high school, but no matter what I did, I was still underweight. Muscle definition wasn’t (and really still isn’t) a term that people used to describe me. 


I didn't start gaining weight until colleget. It wasn’t just the Freshman 15 that I gained my first year; I gained more than thirty pounds of fat. My healthy eating habits went out the window when late night delivery and binge drinking were introduced to me. I was no longer on a sports team of any kind, and the gym and I were distant acquaintances.


I started eating salads… occasionally. Eventually, the gym and I became more than acquaintances. I stopped drinking alcohol so heavily as well as drinking soda. Some of the weight came off while some stayed. I stopped working towards making myself comfortable. Instead, I dressed my body to hide the fat that lined my body. Chunky sweaters became my best friend as well as one piece bathing suits. 


However, I grew tired of only being comfortable when I wasn’t showing copious amounts of skin. I wanted to be comfortable all the time. I wanted to be strong. My resolutions this year were to find an exercise I enjoyed and be able to defend myself. One of my good friends suggested boxing. After the first session, we were both so dead we couldn’t move the next day. Work even sent me home early because I couldn’t walk fast enough during the dinner rush. However, by the third session, I was already feeling stronger. We both invested in memberships and attended as many classes as possible before I had to return to school where the closest Title Boxing Club was two hours away. By the end of my winter break, I was already feeling stronger and more confident. I probably still wont be able to win in a fight (yet) but I will eventually. I just have to keep working at it. 


Back at school, I begged a friend to teach me to lift. We finally got our schedules to match up and he took me to the gym where we spent two hours working on my core and back. Since then, I’ve been doing this at least three times a week and can’t wait for him to help me with my arms and legs. Every time I go to the gym, I am going for myself. I’m not going so I can shrink down in pant sizes, but instead to feel stronger— to feel healthier. I realized that when I feel strong, I am more comfortable in my body which makes me more confident. However, this isn’t the same for everyone. Everyone has a different reason for not feeling comfortable. 


Another reason why I’ve been feeling more comfortable in my skin, is that my acne is finally starting to disappear. Puberty hit me like a freight train, covering my face in acne. New pimples would come every day and my forehead was bumpier than a Crunch Bar. My dermatologist and I meet often, but nothing he did really worked. 


I’m almost 22, and I still get acne WHICH IS NORMAL. The reason why I was always so uncomfortable in my body was because I was stigmatized to hide. I hid my fat, I covered my pimples and freckles. No one ever told me I should embrace it. I was in denial, and since then, I’ve accepted it. I’ll go bare face: showing the pimples and my freckles. 


I love my freckles, but I haven’t always. Ever since I was introduced to concealer and foundation, I was pounding makeup on my face every single day. This not only made my acne worse, but I was also covering my freckles. This year, I’ve been carrying around a water bottle everywhere I go. The only things I drink are water, smoothies, and wine (because I can’t go without wine). Since starting this, I’ve seen my skin drastically improve. I love face masks; they are a staple in my bedtime routine at this point. I have a bunch of different ones for different reasons (deep cleaning, cleansing, hydrating, etc). 


I’m all about self-love, but you can’t fully love yourself if you don’t love the skin you’re in. It took nearly 22 years for me to comfortable and confident in mine, but I’m working on it FOR MYSELF. There isn’t a need to please others, to look like the girls on the magazine covers, because the only person I need to please is myself.


The only person you need to please is yourself. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, ask yourself why. I think it’s important, especially when dealing with weight, to keep the word “healthy” in mind. Losing 20 pounds in a week isn’t going to happen, nor should it. Same goes for gaining weight. Don’t just load up on junk food, work on your body and gain some muscle. Drink water, go barefaced. Do whatever the hell you want to help yourself love yourself even more!