'Now I'm 21 and I bought my first bikini. EVER.'
A 21-year-old who has spent her entire life covering up her body has shared a picture of herself in a bikini online, along with a heartfelt message explaining why she has decided to do it.
In the message accompanying the shot, Lesley Miller outlined her various struggles with body confidence and weight through her childhood and teens. ‘When I was three my classmates asked why I was so much bigger than them. Why I didn’t wear the same smock they did’ she wrote, ‘When I was seven, I lied to the lady at Weight Watchers, desperate to sit in on meetings full of middle aged women trying to shed a few pounds.’
Describing a recent regime which has seen her lose half of her body weight, Miller said she was fed up of waiting to look ‘acceptable.’
The picture has been shared and liked thousands of times, with hundreds of messages applauding Miller for posting it.
Here is Lesley’s post in full:
‘I’ve spent the past 18 years of my life waiting.
I kept my body covered up and hidden away. I told myself that one day I would finally let myself be seen; I would finally do all of the things I dreamed of when I was enough. Thin enough, happy enough, confident enough. When my body looked the way that it was “supposed” to.
I fought my body every step of the way, continually ashamed and silent.
When I was three my classmates asked why I was so much bigger than them. Why I didn’t wear the same smock they did.
When I was seven, I lied to the lady at Weight Watchers, desperate to sit in on meetings full of middle aged women trying to shed a few pounds.
When I was nine I went to weight loss camp and stood in line the first week to take my “before” photo.
When I was eleven the surgeon cut into my stomach, and he told me how happy I would finally be. I was the youngest person to have weight loss surgery.
When I was fifteen, I started cutting into my own skin. I thought I deserved it.
When I was twenty, I lost half my body weight in nine months, my worth for the day solely determined by the number on the scale being lower than the day before.
And then I got tired of waiting.
So now I’m twenty one and I bought my first bikini. EVER.
You can see it all. Weird bulges and rolls of fat. Hanging excess skin. Stretch marks, cellulite, surgical and self harm scars. Awkward protrusion on my abdomen from my lap band.
I want to learn to love all of myself, not just the parts I’ve been told are “acceptable.” Because the secret is, I was always enough. And you are too.” 🙂
Submitted by Lesley Miller