I was unhappy with my body for a long time.  When I was younger, I was afraid to go in the pool without my shirt on because I was scared that people would make fun of me.  Every time I looked in the mirror, I would become upset at the sight of my very own reflection.

The first time I tried to do something about my weight, I made a drastic and unhealthy change in my lifestyle. I barely ate anything and I started going to the gym every day until I was on the brink of collapsing. After the longest days of my life, I remember feeling incredibly excited to see all the progress I had made.  Somehow, I had gained a few pounds. I failed and it wasn’t long before I reverted to my usual unhealthy habits confused and disheartened.

When I finally tried again, I failed time after time. I failed so many times that I can’t even keep track of them anymore.  But every time I picked myself up and tried again, it became just a little bit easier and I was a little happier. After every failure, I took another step towards eating in moderation, reaching attainable fitness goals, and finding reasons to love myself and be happy with my progress, as slow as it was.  Eventually, I started to feel the judgmental stares disappearing.

My failures have taught me that no one is perfect.  I’ve learned that it’s okay to fail. Making a significant change in my life wasn’t something that happened overnight and it wasn’t something that happened in a single try.  By struggling through the weight of our failures, we improve to be better for next time and we take another step towards self-acceptance.