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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ainscough

A First Date with my New Weight

Updated: May 26, 2022

This post may be triggering for people suffering with body dysmorphia or weight-related self-esteem. No sizes or numbers are included.

Knowing something intellectually, and feeling it emotionally, are two very different experiences. My body does not look the same as it did before my condition. Even when I'm not having an episode (which drastically changes the way I look as muscles are being activated a-typically), even when I'm having my best days and I feel in my mind and my heart just like the' old-me' again, I don't look like her. I've gone up at least a couple of sizes and a lot of my clothes don't fit me anymore. I have gained weight.

Now, what I know intellectually, and what I keep reminding myself of, is that I am beautiful. Of course my body doesn't look the way it used to, my wonderful body is working so hard to battle my seizures, to fight fatigue, to manage pain, to organise the chaos of the muddled signals my synapses are receiving. My body is doing a million things right now that it didn't have to before, and even though sitting or lying resting so much is making my body change, it doesn't mean that I'm doing the wrong thing.

However, no matter how much I believe this and tell myself this, the truth is that I have grown up in a society that has openly communicated to me and to all of us, that some bodies that look a certain way are more valuable than others. And, even though I disagree, sometimes it's a little harder to get there emotionally. Being body-positive isn't something that happens over-night when you tell yourself to be. Like anything, some days are better than others. Some days I look in the mirror and touch and cuddle and love every inch of myself; and then some days, I hold in my tummy or change outfits twelve times because I can't find anything I can love myself in. That's okay, it's not about the outfit. I try to remind myself that what I'm feeling isn't a reaction to how I look, but to a history of lies we have all been told since we were children. It makes sense that it is taking us a while to let go.

So, I had a first date on Wednesday with a nomad called Sam. I was self conscious about my condition, about my weight, about all of it - I was basically punishing myself for not being the version of myself that I was 2 years ago, and then I was recognizing that and punishing myself for being so hard on myself! So, what I did, was I felt those things. And I went anyway. And you know what... ? It was amazing. Yes, sometimes I found myself pulling my tummy in, and I look forward to a day when I don't even think of doing that. But, most of the time, I was in the moment, connecting with a wonderful, strong, kind and sexy man, as a wonderful, strong, kind and sexy woman - because I deserve to be loved and appreciated for the version of me that exists right now.

I will tell you more about the date next week. But for now, look in the mirror, and tell yourself you're sexy until your lips curl into a smile. Because you are.

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