A person can change, sure.

However, a person’s mentality & mindset is much harder to change.

This is especially true for all former fat people.

Obesity, the worldwide epidemic that’s taking over nations. The sole focus is always on the potential health risks and for good reason - they can be detrimental to one’s life. But never, ever is any light brought to the mental health implications of being overweight.

The non-existent self-esteem, the ever mounting list of insecurities, the fear of being judged, the shame, this list could go on and on and on...as it often does in real life.

From a very early age, I have always loved to act. The idea of portraying another person’s feelings & thoughts always fascinated me and truthfully, I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen. At one point it seemed my ultimate career path. So it seemed an obvious choice in year 9 when I picked my GCSE subjects. Fast forward a year, I am at my heaviest weight and plagued with insecurities & self-doubt. The bubbly, confident girl that everyone knows is beginning to fade away and this of course had a negative impact on my acting. I could barely manage to look at the audience because I felt as if  all of them were looking at me in disgust rather than paying attention to the character which I portrayed. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, the audience doesn’t have confidence in you and consequently your acting. Well, this only crippled my confidence further.

I was at a stage where when I looked at myself in a mirror, I was repulsed. I wouldn’t allow photos to be taken of me because of this voice, ringing in my head, saying “no one wants to see you in a photo”. I didn’t want to go on shopping trips with friends because when I tried on beautiful clothes, with vibrant patterns and rich fabric, the clothes I wanted to wear. I settled with the lumpy, cerulean sweater because I felt like if I wore the former I’d be judged. It seems like I’m not only one, in a 2016 survey by Dove, a staggering 89 per cent of Australian women are opting to cancel plans, job interviews, or other important engagements simply because of how they look and only 20% of women in Australia and the UK feel confident about their bodies. Showing how this goes beyond weight  and more to do with our society at large.

Regardless, when I first decided to lose weight, I was under this illusion, that all I had missed out on would suddenly be at my fingertips. The confidence: to talk to new people, to try on new clothes, to be in photos and so much more.

Boy, was I wrong.

To be honest, I did gain a bit more confidence and my acting ( which was never actually bad) had also improved alongside it. However, the insecurities, the fear of judgement and the lack of incredible confidence to do so many of the things that I’ve always wanted. Have all remained the same.

I haven’t lost all the weight I intended to, but it has changed drastically. Yet, in my mind I am still the same. I am still that “shy, really-fat-but-awkwardly-tall girl” and I think I will forever be that “shy, really-fat-but-awkwardly-tall girl.”

Now, here’s the part you didn’t expect. My weight does not define me, nor anyone for that matter. If you want to wear that dress, you should no matter if you’re a size 4 or a size 20. This goes for anyone, never let your insecurities hold you back, because you will live to regret it.

That “shy, really-fat-but-awkwardly-tall girl”, never existed. She was a culmination of my worst thoughts, insecurities and self-hate. I’m just me.