Lies I Tell Myself & Body Positivity

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Every week I fluctuate between being happy with how I look and absolutely hating it.

When I first started thinking I was fat, I was 21. Looking back at photos of myself at that age – it’s painfully obvious how wrong I was. But at the time, I was completely distraught over how I could no longer fit into my favourite size zero dress or how I didn’t resemble a literal pencil anymore. Then I moved to Spain. As a vegetarian, not only did my social life rely heavily on carbs and cheese – but my mental health did too. My depression in Madrid was at an all time low and sometimes the only thing that fixed that was a baguette smothered in alioli.

And so the obvious happened, I gained weight.

Now I’m approaching 25 and long gone are the years I could eat anything and not worry about it. This is where the Internet cries “body positivity! You’re beautiful! Love yourself!” (not my Internet, I still get the occasional hate comment calling me fat despite not being relevant online since 2012). And I get it, because I do it too. I hear people complaining about their weight and I’m all up in their face telling them how wrong they are – and I’m being honest! But it’s hard to apply those ideologies to yourself.

Logistically speaking, I know I’m not the monster I make myself out to be. I buy size 8s and 10s depending on the day and know deep down that I’m not in any danger of ill health. But when I think of myself, I picture how I was at 18 or even 21. So sometimes when I see myself, it catches me off guard. I find it hard to accept that this is what I look like now.

Somedays I look in the mirror and think I might even look good and that I don’t need to go back to how I was before. I’ll buy a size 8 shirt that properly buttons over my boobs and think I’ve cracked it. But then I’ll take a bad picture or look frumpy in my favourite shirt and the cycle starts all over again. Like last week, when I downloaded a calorie counter app.

I know I’ll never be as tiny as I was at 18 and sometimes I feel okay with this. Other times I feel that life won’t be complete until I have a flat stomach again.

But I don’t want to feel this way. I want to be healthy and look my best, sure – but not at the extent of my happiness. I’ve spent way too many lunch hours forcing kale into my mouth for one lifetime. So here’s what I need to remember:

  1. Stop paying attention to labels because they clearly make no sense anyway
  2. There are ways to fix a bad day other than a giant cheesy pizza
  3. Not everyone I meet is silently judging me on my weight

And so, in an attempt to truly get rid of these toxic beauty standards I hold myself too – here’s some super flattering upward angle photos. Behold, my many chins in all their glory.


Maybe one day I can stop letting this consume my life.


Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

One thought on “Lies I Tell Myself & Body Positivity”

  1. We women are our own worst critics and society has enabled that destructive mindset! It’s also part of that cycle of comparison that never ends! Experience has taught me to hone in on the fact that I am beautiful, unique and an original! The beauty of being you is that YOU are an original and there are no duplicates! Thank you for sharing as well as the honesty that I feel so few of us are brave enough to voice. I’d definitely love to get some feedback from you regarding some of my own musings at:

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