HOW THREE MONTHS ABROAD CHANGED THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT MY BODY

I spent the last three months in Germany for an internship. I realized during and after the trip that I feel a lot better about my body than I did before I left, and I spent some time breaking down WHY I felt so different.
  1. 1.
    Sizing of clothes is different in Germany, so when I was shopping, I just bought what fit without the feelings of guilt about not fitting into a certain size anymore.
    This past Christmas, I refused to buy size 8 pants. I left the store when I realized I didn't fit into a 6 anymore and felt horrible and ashamed about the weight I've gained. When shopping in Germany, I couldn't tell which was a "bigger" size, so I bought what looked and felt good without shame!
  2. 2.
    Everyone I met only knows/loves me for how I look now.
    All of my US friends knew me before I gained approx. 15/20 lbs over the past 3 years. Sometimes I get these nagging feelings "would my friends still become my friends if they met me now?". With the friends I made in Germany, they all only know me as I currently am, and it proved that I still deserve/can find friendship, love, and acceptance in my current shape!
  3. 3.
    I got tagged in photos from my senior year of high school.
    At first I felt bad - I was SO much thinner 4 years ago. Then I realized, even at that time I still thought I was fat, didn't like my body that much, and wanted to lose 15 lbs. Looking at those photos made me feel bad for my past-self, who was beautiful and spent a lot of time picking apart her body.
  4. 4.
    I realized that, in 4 years (whether I lose weight or not) I don't want to look back at photos from my AMAZING summer in Germany and pity my past-self the way I pity SeniorYearLiz.
    Even if this is my peak weight and I lose weight, or if I pack on 50 more lbs, I don't want to have memories of hating my body and feeling insecure. The point of photos of me eating and drinking with friends on the Baltic Coast is to remember a beautiful evening, not to recoil at my arm flab/tummy roll etc.
  5. 5.
    I decided to fully enjoy my time there.
    If I wanted to eat a sausage or drink beer, I did. If I wanted to go for a run, I did. If I didn't run, I didn't feel guilty about it. I did exactly what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it and didn't feel bad if it wasn't worthy of a fitspo blog.