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Imagine being 10 years old and you’ve bloomed early.

The boys all loved you.

They’d dump water on your shirt, to try and reveal what was underneath to the whole class. They succeed. You don’t say anything, you just start wearing bras.

Imagine being 11 years old and for the first time, someone calls you fat. 

They tell you to not eat so much. You wonder if you eat too much.

Imagine being 12 years old and you’re sexually assaulted, but never realized it because it was “just a joke”. There were bruises on your chest, but it was just a joke.

Imagine being 13, 14, 15 and opting for the tomboy look because oversized sweaters and big jeans were way easier than showing your body anymore.

Imagine being 16, and the girls in gym class pressure you to get on the scale. You tell them you don’t have to, because you weighed yourself that morning and was 160lbs. It was a lie, and you were still the heaviest in the class.

You loved highschool, but you hated those moments.

Imagine joining a gym and they put you through the “pinch an inch” test and tell you how much fat you have on your body. You continue to pinch yourself your entire adult life after that.

Imagine being 19, getting married, and being lower income and new to housekeeping and working and you immediately gain 30lbs from poor eating habits and lack of care.

Imagine being 20, and the pregnancies began. 

Baby after baby, and a little more given of your body each time. A few more lines added to your stomach. You hated it.

Imagine being 25, mother of 3 and 225lbs. 

You’re exhausted, depressed, diagnosed with chronic fatigue and you accept that this is just a different life for you. 

Imagine being 28, and you go to a party, you dress your best, and then a photo is posted of you online and you’re so mortified, it makes you hate yourself so much that you’re motivated to lose weight. 

You will *try* to hate yourself happy. 

Weight loss means happiness, yes? 

Imagine being 29 and losing 100lbs.

Imagine being 30, and losing just a little bit more.

Imagine how the internet praises you. Everyone tells you how amazing you look. You feel it, in a lot of ways. You feel more confident, but guarded, so you still photoshop your body to suit what you think the world wants of you. It’s so confusing.

Imagine being a now single mom and scared, with three kids in tow, at the lowest weight you’ve ever been, and you still pinch and inch and wonder how much more of you there is to give. 

Why aren’t you happy yet?

Imagine being 33 and deciding enough was enough. You could be happy and healthy and stop letting it be all about your body, all about the boys and all about what people might think.

You marry a man who loves you and never comments on your body more than to tell you “you’re beautiful”. 

You watch your children grow and pray they can learn from what you learned. 

Then you pinch yourself…

This time, not for fat.

But to remind yourself, that this is all real.

This happiness, this love, this life. It’s real.

And you smile, in thankfulness for this body, that you finally can appreciate and honour.

After all that noise.