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4 to 16

This isn't a "story" like my other blog posts. Rather, it contains my thoughts surrounding female body image, gaining weight, and mental health.

I take two mental health medicines that make me gain weight. This is a common side effect for such medications; I won't go into the details of what they are. I have taken them since the fall of 2019, when I was first hospitalized for depression at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.

Since then, I've gone from a size 4 to a size 16 in just a short amount of time, hence the title of this blog post (size 18 according to the wedding dress ateliers). As a former runway model, this is something that I've become quite self-conscious about over the past two years. It makes me want to post old pictures from when I was skinnier (which I do frequently, then take down). I want people to still think I'm a size 4, but the fact of the matter is, I'm not.

Day to day, this weight gain has taken a hit on my self-confidence. It makes me feel unsexy and unlovable. It doesn't help my mental health either. However, I'm lucky enough to have a partner who reminds me that I am beautiful on a near daily basis. For that, I am so grateful.

It's hard sometimes seeing girls on social media with perfect bodies and comparing myself to them. I used to be one of those girls. Social media exists in comparison; we constantly compare our lifestyles and body image to one another, especially among women.

Many people have told me that I "need to get off the medicine," largely to help with the weight gain. But this medicine has saved my life. While sometimes I think it "dumbs me down," it has stabilized my brain and made me easier to interact with. The medication has also allowed me to progress with my company, Agora, which before seemed like an insurmountable task. Agora has been making money and has helped small businesses across the country. Even if it's a small impact, it's still impact. Before I was on this medicine, I couldn't do that effectively.

I am working on embracing my new body, rather than seeing it as a negative. I'll write a post about my mental health journey soon, which has been long and arduous, but this is all I want to say for now.

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