“For most of my life, I’ve been terrified of my body (esp my legs) getting bigger. I can remember as far back as 7th grade, comparing myself to other girls/being self-conscious because I desperately just wanted their skinny legs.
For years, I did anything & everything to keep my legs (and myself) small, including basically starving myself. Even after I stopped restricting my food so much, I still lived in fear of gaining weight & definitely didn’t eat as much as I needed to.
Turns out that eating less than your body needs for almost 10+ years can have health consequences. (In a nutshell: I constantly felt like sh!t & my body stopped producing hormones). About a year and a half ago, I made the decision to prioritize eating whatever it took to make me feel better, regardless of how it made me look.
I started lifting, gained some weight, & was eating more food. I was definitely in a healthier place, but it was still a really tough decision to make (and continue to make, day after day).
In the last few photos, I weigh the most I’ve ever weighed at 140-145. but I finally feel GOOD. My thighs did in fact take this opportunity to try and take over the world. Literally, all of 19-year-old Maria’s worst fears came true.
But you know what? The world didn’t end. I did go through like 10 pairs of jeans in a year, trying to figure out my size & what looked good. And yes, I still often feel self-conscious about my legs/cellulite and wish my quads weren’t so d*mn massive.
But at the end of the day, it wasn’t actually that big of a deal. In fact, I get more compliments on my legs now than ever before. And I no longer struggle w/ chronic cystic acne, mood swings, low hormones levels, or non-existent sex drive. Thanks Paragon Training Methods for encouraging women to take up space & eat the food!”
📸: Maria Burke