Guest Post: Denise Madsen

5:00 AM

I met Denise through friends and am so glad I did! She's a fellow Texas resident and a cute momma of 2 darling little babes. Any off-the-cuff comment about a person's size, big or small, will sink in a lot further than maybe it was meant to. I love what she says about not letting criticism from the outside dictate how you feel in your own self!

When Danielle asked me to write about body image, I kind of drew a blank. I had no idea what to write about but I knew I wanted to participate. I thought about it for a couple days and finally came up with something that I've dealt with my whole life. My whole life I've been the small girl. I've been told since I was a kid how tiny I am. Most people think that being tiny is a gift from God but I'm here to tell you that it's not all its cracked up to be. Yes there are advantages to being skinny but there are some disadvantages too. For instance, shopping is so hard when nothing fits. I bet you've all seen this picture floating around social media,

This is very offensive to me. I wear size zero jeans. I do not starve myself and never have. I don't force myself to throw up and never have. I am not anorexic and never have been. But even if I have done any of those things, saying zero is not a size is just rude! I come from a family where everyone in it is petite. My parents and my siblings are all skinny. I can eat all day long and not gain weight. I eat a balanced diet, I exercise five times a week and I take very good care of my body. And I don't think I should be punished or ridiculed for being a size zero, or anyone else for that matter! Telling a skinny person to go eat a cheeseburger is just as harmful as telling an overweight person to put down the fork. I've been told my entire life that I need to gain weight and even though I try, it just doesn't happen.

I personally think people need to embrace the body they've been given. Skinny, overweight, short or whatever. But I also don't think you can truly be happy with your body until you learn to love yourself no matter what shape you are. Be a beautiful person on the inside and your outer beauty will shine!

When I was in high school I weighed 103 pounds. I didn't weigh much but I held all my chub in my tummy. I remember walking in to Wal Mart with my Mom one day and she told me to suck in my gut. My Mom is an amazing woman but those words have stuck with me since it happened. How damaging just a few words can be on someone! Now imagine what the media can do to someones self esteem when we're constantly being told that being skinny is the only way you can be beautiful! It's a shame really and it's 100% not true!

After I graduated from high school I moved out on my own. I was so broke all the time that I couldn't afford to eat much and I lost a lot of weight! I still ate as much as I could but when you have bills and no money, groceries is usually one of the first things to go! I was 18 years old, living on my own and my weight dropped down to 87 pounds.

its a crappy picture, but its the only one I have of me at this time in my life.

I was a size 00. I didn't mean for it to happen and I had no idea just how skinny I was until I saw this picture of myself. I didn't start gaining weight until I moved back home to my parents house.

Today I have found a good balance of what to eat and how much to eat. I am still a size zero but I know that I'm healthy. I take care of myself and I've learned how to truly take care of myself and I've learned to embrace my tiny self and ignore all the mean comments about how I need to eat more. I have an amazing husband who loves me for me, whether I'm skinny or not. I have two babies and I'm currently trying to work off my post pregnancy squish (it's a lot harder the second time around!). 

I guess the point of this post is to learn to love yourself and to always try to be a healthy you. Don't worry about what other people say, no matter what you'll always have people criticizing you. How boring would this world be if everyone was the same size? Just be a beautiful person to them regardless and embrace your body! 

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