Weight ain’t nothing but a number

Written By: Madilyne Paniagua

"Babe you would look so much better if you gained some weight." The words echoed in my mind as I drank my third protein shake of the day. I didn't really enjoy the taste but I read online that they accelerated weight gain so there I was forcing myself to enjoy the chalky taste. The only thing

that motivated me was the mental image I had of myself with fuller hips, and thicker legs filling out that fashion Nova body con dress perfectly. Ah! *takes another sip*.

I never really gave much thought to my body size. I was always a thin girl and growing up in the 90's all of the models I saw on television and magazines were about my size.

Everyone always wanted to be skinny like me but now it seems like being thin is so “overrated." Society has shifted and now curvy is "in". The Kardashians are the new #bodygoals that run the world. Where do I fit in?

I never felt insecure but when I would scroll through Instagram and see my boyfriend like pictures of these curvy Instagram models it made me scared. Scared that he would find a bigger butt to grab on

to or bigger breasts to lay his head on. Scared that he would fall out of love because I didn't have more to love. Scared that he would curve me because I didn't have those type of curves.

So I chugged protein shakes like they were water and squatted as low as my self- esteem. Feeding myself to grow but my soul was starving....

We hadn't seen each other in a few days. I climbed on top of his lap and gently kissed his lips. He caressed my legs. Starting from my ankles he made his way up to my thighs and came to a halt. "Babe your legs are so muscular now. It feels like I'm touching a man."

In retrospect, I don't know what bothered me more; the fact that after all of the hard work I put in he still had something

negative to say or the fact that after all of this I still chose to stay...

The more my soul grew hungry, the more I realized that I would never live up to his expectations and his love would never fully nourish me. Love should never have conditions or
expectations. So instead of gaining weight, I lost weight. I lost the weight of the constant pressure of keeping up with today's "goals". I lost the weight of his empty love and let me tell You, losing those 180 pounds of negativity really brightened up my life.

I was a young and deprived girl looking for answers to unknown questions. A puzzle searching for pieces of myself in others. Secretly hoping those pieces would bring me peace. It never occurred to me that this stemmed from a lack of love. I’m not talking about romantic or platonic love I’m talking about self-love, the O.G, the G.O.A.T of all loves. It wasn't until I learned to love myself that I

realized that I was enough whether I was 90 lbs. or 200 lbs. I was enough with a

face beat, contour on “fleek” and also with a bare face, freckles visible, acne visible, and still perfect. There were so many aspects of myself that I had yet to explore but wanderlust was kicking in and boy was I ready to discover what I truly needed to help me grow. Was I the wild card in a game of UNO or was I a queen in a game of chess? Or was I both and then some... The new goal is to pour love into myself and watch it sustain me. Only sunlight can help a flower grow, only love would let my true light show.