Cadosanctus sent in this lovely submission, along with a great message:
"Okay I’m extremely nervous about doing this… Because I’m a bit paranoid… Internet scandals and such lol (plus not my best shot). But I feel people should get a glimpse of what the average woman looks like. In addition to that, I think my story may inspire a kindred spirit out there.
I struggled (and still do to an extent) with my weight for a very long time. In my early teens, I was at my heaviest, 215 lbs. Being the only black girl in my Jr. high (and a heavy set one at that) I was teased and bullied obsessively. Everything from racial slurs to offensive comments about my weight. My family wasn’t much help either. What they called playful teasing, turned out to be harmful to my self esteem and overall mental health. Past relationships added even more to the inner turmoil. My exes would constantly compare me to and/or make complaints about my not fitting their preferred body types. I went years wearing men’s clothing to hide my body. I even went through great length to avoid running into someone in my home after showering. After stress took it’s toll, I dropped a substantial amount of weight. When I realized the health differences(less asthma attacks, improved stamina etc) I began losing the weight in a healthy manner. I’m still gunning for my goal but so far I’m the smallest I’ve ever been. From a size 18 to a size 8, I never felt better. I wear what I like now, I’m far more active physically and engage in sports. Granted, I had come to terms with the fact that I will never be thin. My bone structure simply won’t allow such things. I have broad shoulders/bust, thin waist and a broad hip bone. I’m built to be a little on the thicker side of things. And for the first time I don’t mind my body. The only thing I’m looking to change is muscle mass. Strong body. Strong mind. That’s what I strive for. I didn’t drop the weight for anyone’s approval but my own. And I say this to all of you who’s trying to reach a goal weight…
Do. It. For. You.
Not for your boyfriend. Not for your buddy. Not for your momma or your pops or that hot piece of ass down the street.
Strictly, for YOU.
It only means something if it’s done specifically for your benefit. You can drop all the weight in the world. But it won’t change what stirs inside. Health is also a mental thing. Strive for inner peace first and then everything else will surely follow.
Fight on! “
I love your emphasis on finding mental health and inner peace, as reaching those goals will often help you reach your health goals. It is each individual’s decision if they’d like to lose weight, but I can only urge everyone to lose weight for health purposes and not simply to change your physical appearance.