What is beauty?

As a young girl, beauty was a way to describe the world around. Flowers, trees, butterflies…they were all beautiful. But people? That was different.

I grew up believing that to be beautiful was to be thin. Anything bigger than a size 8 was ugly, bad, gross.

My mom certainly didn’t push this idea on me. So where did it come from? Books, magazines, doctors, family, friends, classmates…

You get where this is going?

I’m not thin. I’ve never even been close. Growing up, I was always the fat girl. I may not have been the biggest, but I sure felt like it. I was constantly made fun of, bullied, traumatized. Clothes never looked good…in fact, it was horrible shopping for anything.

I was on diet after diet from middle school on. And nothing worked. I’d lose a few pounds, but then gain way more back. In an effort to be beautiful, I starved myself. To attempt to fit in, I exercised myself into exhaustion.

I feel (sometimes) like finding someone who loves me for who I am was a complete fluke. As if I don’t deserve love because I’m a size measured in double digits.

I know (logically) that beauty isn’t measured by your dress size, or by the way you wear your hair, or by the clothes you wear. I don’t judge others for how they look…so why do I find it so difficult for me to feel beautiful?

Honestly, I feel frumpy. Disgusting. FAT.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve lost a significant amount of weight and should be proud of that fact. Or that I’ve had 3 children and it’s going to take a while to get my body back. I feel like whenever I go out, all eyes are on me and judging my decisions. Like I shouldn’t be eating out or shopping for new clothes.

“Geez, did you see what she ate? Have a salad you cow”

Are people actually thinking these thoughts? I HIGHLY doubt it. And I definitely DON’T think like that when I see other people. Why is this so engrained in how I think of myself?

My definition of beauty needs to be amended. Maybe I don’t think I’m beautiful when I wear a dress, but my kids think I am. Maybe I feel frumpy when I wear an outfit that looks cute, but my friends think it looks great on me. Maybe I need to stop judging myself and listen to others.

But it’s difficult to reprogram 30 years of thinking.

“You have a pretty face, but you would be beautiful if you lost “x” amount of weight” ~ said by a doctor.

I’m healthy. I work out anywhere from 5 to 15 hours a week (depending on our activity levels). I eat pretty well. I don’t smell, I’m not a drain on society. But I just can’t feel good about myself because I’m constantly being told that fat is, in fact, NOT beautiful.

It’s all me. All in my head.

“Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are.”

If only I could be comfortable being me. If only I could accept that God made me this way. If only I could feel like I’m enough. If only I could feel truly beautiful for once.

If only.



One response

  1. This is a well written blog. Kelley, always remember that beauty is only skin deep. What is inside is what really matters. You have made great progress and I suspect you will continue to do so. You have three wonderful little girls that adore you, as well as your husband. Always remember that I love you as you are, inside and out!!! Keep up the good work.

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