To The Women Who Gained Weight In College

This is for all the women who are learning to love themselves after gaining weight.

I love seeing women show their before and after pictures after losing their unwanted weight. However, I think we also need to see women show their progress in other forms of self love.

Over the past three years I’ve gained more weight than ever before. At the beginning I hated the way I was starting to look, but at the time I could do nothing about it. My battle with depression had returned, I was busy with school, work, and meetings from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. I was too busy keeping myself sane and alive. 

My health continued to deteriorate. I’ve never been one to eat extreme amounts of junk foods so it was clear this was something a lot bigger and more than I could handle on my own.

At first comments like “oh you look different,” “you seem a little chunkier lately,” and my favorite one, “I have a diet you could try” made me feel insecure and ashamed. I wished I could’ve explained the battle I was fighting and that sometimes even getting out of bed was a hard enough. I wished they understood, but how could I have asked for their validation and understanding when I didn’t even do that for myself?

Before I never really cared what others thought about myself, but rather what my family and I thought and I needed to remind myself of that. I was only going to continue to dislike myself if I continued to listen to negativity instead of the voice inside me telling me I was good enough.

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The picture on the left was taken at the beginning of my college career. Back then I constantly found something wrong with my image. The way I felt about myself was more negative than anything else. I thought I was “fat” and had plenty of insecurities. I had this idea of what my body needed to look like and I was never pleased. I look back now and laugh at how silly I was.

On the picture on the right, it’s a woman who loves herself more than you can imagine. For the first time in my life, I accept and truly love my body. I may not look the way I wish I did, but I’m not losing sleep over it anymore because my weight will not change who I am as a human being.

Too often we walk around this world paying attention to the way we look as if that’s going to get us that degree, job, friend, or happiness.

As my college graduation approaches, I’m starting to analyze all the wonderful things I’ve been able to accomplish, the places I’ve visited, and the friendships I’ve made. None of them had anything to do with my weight, but rather my personality, determination, and passion.

We must celebrate ourselves and our beauty the way we celebrate academic and life achievements. Wake up every morning and smile at the beautiful face on the other side of the mirror. Allow yourself to feel pretty in leggings and a long t-shirt after pulling an all-nighter or when we dress up for a night out with friends after a long week of deadlines and commitments.

Learning to love ourselves and the body we were given is definitely a tough and long process. In my case, I got tired of hating myself and letting my weight pull me back when I’ve never allowed anyone to do that. I had become my biggest hater and that made no sense to me.

Being a woman on a college campus is hard work. Overcoming obstacles and boosting our confidence levels is a tough process itself, especially when we add identities like being a woman of color, queer, with disabilities, and Muslim into the mix.

I don’t know what you or I will look like a year from today, however, I am sure that we will be happy with who we are and the type of women we continue to grow into.

Learning to love myself, and I mean truly love myself, did not happen over night. I had to hit the reset button plenty of times and start again.

You will have plenty of time to work on your post-graduation shape, but don’t hurt yourself by not acknowledging you’re worth at this very moment.

Women, we are intelligent, resilient, and one of a kind. If the future is in fact femme, then we have got to embed this type of love our minds, hearts, and souls.

Loving the way our body looks, regardless of the number that appears on the scale, will liberate us and allowed us to be fearless, outgoing, and most importantly, happy.

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13 thoughts on “To The Women Who Gained Weight In College

  1. You are gorgeous before and after. I understand what you say because I´ve been through the same, instead of i needed actual treatment. what you are talking about is something I have discovered this year: you are not your weight or your body, you are you and those are just some conditions you have but that mean the same as being blonde or having your nails painted.
    Loving yourself is the best that can happen to a person, and sometimes we forget about it and focus on our physical aspects too much. Loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In a society and an era where women are constantly compared to others, unabashedly and subliminally bombarded with the message that there is a standard to beauty this is a beautiful and strong message. As women however, we need to be more supportive and accepting of each other instead of trying to pour everyone into the kool aid that’s being served.

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    1. This is so raw and true, I’ve gotten the pleasure to meet you recently & can say your weight never crossed my mind. You have awesome views, many accomplishments and a welcoming smile & cant forget about your beautiful hair lol as a whole you’re a beautiful woman! Much love

      Like

  3. I enjoyed this piece. It was very simple, and highlighted some of the points I’ve told myself over the years. Throughout college I tried to do several activities that would keep me active, but in between working 3 jobs, taking care of course work, volunteering, and trying to make the best out of college, I didn’t really keep up. At some point I became very self conscious, something I had dealt with in middle school, but got over in high school because I had lost so much weight and had reached a place where I felt happy and powerful. While I did have a few admirers in college, men who made me feel very special whenever they saw me, a huge part of me hated how I looked and wished I had the body I once had in HS. Recently I went through a very tough moment where dating didn’t work out due to lack of communication, honesty, and in one case “attraction” and I began to question if I was ever going to be good enough; particularly when it came to how I looked. But then I read this piece and I was like “heck yeah muxer! You are more than good enough and you just have to keep being the powerful babe you were meant to be!.”

    So thank you for sharing this ❤

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  4. you look really pretty in both the pictures
    i share the same experience as you do, i started my college in last September and since then i am seeing a kind of beauty standards being setup in here which makes most of the girls around me including me so bad about ourselves
    but with time i have come to know that there is no such thing as beauty standards and you are beautiful the way you are yourself

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  5. Reblogged this on My hidden gems and commented:
    “Too often we walk around this world paying attention to the way we look as if that’s going to get us that degree, job, friend, or happiness”
    -P.S.: it’s not

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post! I went through the same thing when I went to college. The freshman 15 was my worst nightmare, but like you, I stopped caring about the weight and started focusing on being healthy and learning to love my body as it is. Great post and thank you for your transparency. Love it

    Please check out my articles I submitted to COLLEGE MATE:

    https://collegemate.org/2017/07/04/5-tips-to-help-you-avoid-the-freshman-fifteen/
    https://collegemate.org/2017/03/21/decoding-the-bro-code-one-night-stand-or-long-term-girlfriend/
    https://collegemate.org/2017/04/25/how-to-maintain-a-happy-long-distance-relationship/

    I would love your feedback!

    Like

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