I Do Everything Like My Shirt, Extra Large – The Great Canadian Woman

September 14, 2020

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Olivia Bauer

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I Do Everything Like My Shirt, Extra Large

When I heard that line for the first time it resonated heavily with me. Probably not for the reason that 2 Chainz intended but it got me thinking about how much we associate our size with our worth and how much we need to stop doing that! 

I spent much of my time growing up on the latest fad diet, counting points, calories, god knows what and that really took a toll on my mental health. I was constantly made conscious about how much I was eating and felt ashamed when I was around my friends. What made it even more frustrating is being the “fat kid” playing sports. I played soccer and hockey for most of my youth up until my early 20’s and struggled with my weight and comparing myself to the other kids on the team who didn’t look like me. I wasn’t thinking about things like slow metabolism and genetics that come into play with what I was going through because I just wanted to be like everyone else.  

And it’s not even that I’ve always been overweight; I’ve been slim but not in a healthy way. I lost a ton of weight from nerves, anxiety, my birth control and walking an unnatural amount when I lived in Toronto for a year back in 2014. I dropped from a size 16 to a size 6. You’d think I was the happiest I’ve ever been but actually I was the most depressed and anxious because of my surroundings and situation. Going from being bigger to a twig (by comparison) in under a year does something to your brain. That something is called body dysmorphia. You look in the mirror and think “I’ve gotten this far, I can be thinner”. I never thought I was beautiful or good enough and spent the first year of my beautiful relationship self-sabotaging. I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to be with me, even though I was the smallest I ever had been, I was still so self-conscious. 

A single-digit jean size does not come in a package deal with confidence, mental stability and self-love. I lived for the instant gratification seeing progress in the mirror or when the scale told me that I’d shed a few. But good always comes with bad, I became obsessed with losing weight because I thought that being skinny is the only thing that could make me desirable. 

As my relationship continued, one day the words “don’t get too skinny” came out of my boyfriend’s mouth and it’s like it flicked off the switch in my mind that made me think that my curves were ugly. That someone wanted me to live in the body I was intended to live in, needless to say he’s a keeper. 

I wish I could say that I grew out of this toxic relationship and that negativity with my size was a thing of the past but it is still something that affects me daily. I’ve gotten a lot better at talking myself out of the hateful things I think about my body and hey, no one is perfect and everyone has days. Sometimes I wake up and see my curves and I’m just like damn, I look good. Somedays I feel like the Michelin man. Everything in life is about balance. I’m blessed and forever grateful to have people in my life that love me, support me and consistently provide me with words of encouragement and boost my confidence. I have my amazing man who loves every roll and stretch mark that has come with my fluctuating weight. 

I spent a few years getting reacquainted with who I am as a person and not just what I look like. I learned that being truly loved is based on your mind, soul and actions. I realized my true potential and began to thrive. 

Fast forward to last year and I truly began to embrace the person I had grown to become. Regardless of what the scale said or what size I wore at any given time. I have to just be grateful that I am healthy and I am happy.  A huge part of realizing my worth came from distancing myself from people and situations that perpetuated unrealistic beauty standards, unfollowing anyone who made me think negatively about myself and nurturing myself with content that empowered me for who I am. I started following people like @tabriamajors and @igobymindy who record the podcast “The Thick”. They will have you laughing, manifesting and feeling damn good about yourself. They are everything.

I’ve come full circle and taken the time to purge all of my “skinny” clothes, the same way I did with my “fat” clothes when I lost weight. Holding onto those clothes (that I swear couldn’t even fit my thigh now) was just looming over me. Like there was some kind of pressure to get back into that size every time I opened my drawer. But no longer, I can’t let that kind of negativity control my life and sit on my spirit. 

I prove to myself that I didn’t have to be a size 6 to get a modelling contract, to launch a new brand, to be loved or to be happy. 

Because at the end of the day the only person whose opinion of you matters is your own.

If you have any questions about my self-love journey or if you want to chat, send me an email or message on Instagram by following @livingextramedium 

As always, love y’all ❤️

 

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