I was always the biggest kid. Although several years younger than my sisters, I always looked their age. I was as tall and big as them for as long as I can remember. That is until around fourth grade, and I became taller. I've been the same height, 5'9, since fifth grade. In addition to my height, I was always the biggest kid. It wasn't easy being taller and bigger than everyone else.
Then in eighth grade, after not making the basketball team, I joined weight watchers at 220 pounds. The truth of the matter is that I stopped eating. I only ate egg whites and green beans, and OCCASIONALLY had a SmartOnes frozen dinner. I drank cans of diet soda to fill me up in the mornings. Looking back, I know that what I was doing wasn't healthy, but it worked!
In 6 short months, I was 160 pounds.
But I still wasn't happy.
I couldn't shrink to 5'nothing, like my sisters. I didn't have their dark hair and eyes. They were always beauty queens in the parades (no, this isn't an exaggeration), and I always felt like the ugly duckling. I always felt like I was STILL too big!
I hated pictures of me...
Age 14 (165 pounds), and I hated this picture because I thought my arms and face were too fat.
Age 15, and I hated this pic because my hips were so wide.
Age 15, and I hated this pic again because of my hips.
Age 16 (180 pounds), and I thought my legs looked like tree trunks.
It's funny how perception on these things can change. I wasted so much time hating my body!
This continued until college. Until I met my ex who two years later I found out was married. He showed me that I should feel beautiful how I was. He always made me feel good about myself, regardless of the fact that my weight was the highest I'd ever been. If there's anything I can be thankful for when it comes to him, I think he taught me to love myself. I remember him telling me once that I couldn't love him until I loved myself. Thankfully, when the relationship ended, I didn't go back to the place I was before meeting him.
I think no matter who you see when you look in the mirror, you should find something nice about yourself. Even on my worst days, I try to think one positive thing about myself every time I look in the mirror. Even when I haven't showered and I'm feeling ugly, I can at least come up with "I'm a good friend" or something non-appearance related.
Regardless of how you feel about yourself today, there may be a day that you look back and realize you spent too much time worrying about things that didn't matter and this day in your life was really better than you thought at the time. Be happy with yourself today. I didn't get to 344 pounds overnight, and I'm not going to get back to 200 that way either, so I don't want to waste the time in between lamenting for something I'm not, or comparing myself to someone I can never be.
Focus on your goal, but don't lose sight of today in the process :)