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On my way to Dublin last week, something happened that not so long ago would have been a massive issue for me. The fact that it didn’t really phase me proved to me how far I’ve come.

The incident was that an airplane seatbelt didn’t fit. This is something that I actually used to fear. A while back, every time I boarded a plane, I braced myself for the humiliation of being too fat to fit. It turned out to be no big deal. I had a brief moment of panic, my thoughts raced through all the seat belts that had fit, and how big I was then. Then it dawned on me that I didn’t care. It didn’t matter if I was bigger or if this particular seat belt was smaller. It just didn’t fit, and there was an easy remedy for that. I asked for an extender and stopped thinking about it.

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Until yesterday when it dawned on me what that meant. I wasn’t embarrassed to ask for the extender, meaning I wasn’t ashamed to acknowledge my fat body. That is incredible. Being a part of the body positivity community has led me to a place where I can genuinely appreciate my body. Once I realized that, I started thinking about all the little things that marked real progress. 

It recently occurred to me that I had gained some weight on my bum. The marvellous part was: I liked it. I’ve found myself dressing to show off my bigger arse, and I am so chuffed about that.

Then, on Saturday, as I was dressing, I automatically tucked my top into my skirt. Not a very momentous act, except that I spent years of my life ensuring that my top always covered my stomach. I was that person tugging at my clothes to ensure I was hiding flabby bits. Now I just wear what I feel nice in—and here’s the kicker, I look better tucked in or in clingy vests. 

Along the same lines, while out with my sister, I asked her to take blog photos. I am usually a pain the arse about pictures: never happy with how I look, probably because I wasn’t happy with my body. In the past, I have ducked out of pictures at big events and special moments, which I’ve come to regret. So, in recent times, I have made a conscious effort to push through my discomfort and mark significant times. I was, however, still dissatisfied with my appearance in the photographs. This weekend was different. My sister snapped pics of me in various poses and I loved them all. Breakthrough!

The last and probably most obvious symbol of acceptance of myself is how comfortable I am naked. I run about my house in the buff all the time. I look at myself in a full-length mirror while I dry my hair, and I don't feel critical. I have no desire to hide. I notice the parts of my body that look amazing, rather than hating my stomach or chubby arms. This carries through to being naked with others. I no longer feel worried about comparisons when changing with female friends. In the same vein I confidently show my body to anyone I get jiggy with. 

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This may strike a lot of people as unremarkable, but it’s a life-changing shift for me. Immersing myself in the body positive has helped me alter how I think and feel about my body. I’ve gone from yo-yo dieting, disordered eating, and choosing clothes to specifically hide "problem" areas to being a woman who no longer believes there are any "bad" body parts. I like me. I like my curves, my wobbly bits, and everything else. Body positivity works. Women supporting and encouraging each other moves mountains. So, I owe a big thank you to all of you who read, comment and create fat-friendly content. High five, ladies, we’re changing the world.

top photo: wayfair.com

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ly is a freelance writer & blogger from Glasgow. She writes on a variety of topics, but specialises in mental health, body positivity & social justice, all with a feminist slant. You can follow her on www.somethinginthewayshemoves.me, Instagram or Twitter.

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