It’s officially the peak of summer, and that means saying “good-bye” to my winter clothes. If you’re like me, the idea of packing away those comfy sweats and reaching for a pair of denim shorts is honestly terrifying. What could be worse? Probably the fact that last year’s wardrobe doesn’t even fit one thigh anymore. This is my first summer after gaining weight and yes, I’m here to tell the tale.
Phase 1: Initial Insecurities
I’ve always felt strongly about body positivity and giving myself grace as my body changes. I’ve battled eating disorders throughout my young adulthood, and it’s taught me that a healthy body does not mean skinny in many cases. However, when last year's crop top hardly covers your new chest, it’s hard to remember those self-love affirmations.
Insecurities are a feeling, and if you don’t face them head-on, they will always linger. I could either accept my new body, or spend the whole summer trying to hide it. And I definitely didn’t want to do the latter. And guess what? My new boobs absolutely rock a triangle-style bikini. I spent so much time stressing about what I no longer had, I was denying myself from embracing what I gained. Perception is everything. Search for the negatives, and you’ll find plenty. Look for the positives, and you’ll see the beauty in everything!
Phase 2: Catering to my new body
Here’s the reality: I could either spend summer bikini-less, or I could buy a bikini that suits my bigger body. Of course I’m going to feel disheartened if I’m squeezing into last year’s wardrobe. The key to feeling confident after gaining weight is embracing your new bod. This is a fresh chapter in my life, and I need to treat my physique with love. For me, this meant taking the plunge and buying myself flattering clothes. The first experience stepping into a new size can be scary, so if you have a supportive friend or family member, ask if they’ll tag along as your hype person!
Phase 3: Protecting my peace
We all like to think that the people around us are going to treat our new bodies with love. However, this isn’t always going to be your experience. Unfortunately, there are hateful individuals who only share negativity. When they do, it’s important to protect your peace.
Personally, I’ve had judgment from people close to me who thought they were giving healthy advice. The reality is, unless you are my doctor, I do not need weight-loss tips from you. It’s important to stand your ground when people provide unsolicited input on your body, and remind them that it’s not their place to comment. It’s hard enough learning to love yourself after weight gain, and unnecessary remarks about your appearance are not helpful. Your body belongs to you, so don’t let others interfere with how you perceive it.
Written by: Emma CookeInstagram: @emmakooke