Here is my favourite picture (the left) and my least favourite (the right). On the left it’s my first anniversary in 2016; the right is the spring wolf run (10k obstacle run) 2018. I love the first photo because I look typically beautiful. I look sexy and slim and pretty in my new dress and new hair.
I don’t like the second because I look “bad”. Here I’m at my heaviest weight and biggest size. Since late 2017, I gained over a stone in weight after going on the depo contraceptive injection for the first time. I had “ballooned” as my mom phrased it, because suddenly my body inflated in ways it never had before.
It’s funny because in the first photo, I may look good but I wasn’t good on the inside. I was depressed, anxious, and I hadn’t achieved much and I was questioning everything in my life.
In the second, I may look “my worst” but on the inside I was doing well. I was self-employed, published, more confident, eating much better (if you can believe it), and putting out regular content that I was proud of.
But our mental health seems to slip when we see something that doesn’t suit how we want to be. Body image and comparison made me hate this image even though despite my looks, everything else in life was good.
I hated the weight on my body as I ran and it weighed me down. I hated how muscular and fit my siblings and boyfriend were compared to me that day. I hated how I looked in those images as an ex-athlete who used to pride herself on her strength, capabilities, and inability to put on weight regardless of the junk I used to eat.
But I’m consciously trying to love BOTH images. The girl who looks pretty on the outside but was hurting on the inside; the woman who was dissatisfied with her outside but felt good on the inside.
*Mental Health Awareness Week: Body Image*