Rizzo Baldwin

@rizzobaldwin | contributor
My name is Rizzo, I’m 24. I struggle with depression and anxiety. But the topic that means the most to me is self love. I want to spread the message of loving yourself. I want to use my experiences to help others.
Rizzo Baldwin

Taking a Selfie Every Day Changed My Relationship With My Body Image

When I was in high school, I hated myself. I mean really hated myself. I didn’t want to look in mirrors. I wore baggy clothes in hopes of hiding my body. I was constantly comparing myself to the girls around me, who it seemed were all thin and “perfect.” I would sit trying to take up as little space as possible. I preferred to eat lunch alone so I didn’t have to deal with people staring. Were they actually? I’m not sure anymore, but I was sure of it then. I felt like I was a whale and I felt like all eyes were on me when I would eat lunch. It was high school, so there were a few cruel kids. Kids who would moo at me. One kid who, when I was standing in front of the board without realizing, said: “lose some weight, fat ass.” But when I look back on pictures from high school, I really wasn’t that big. But I felt like it. I was covered in stretch marks. I was so embarrassed of my body all the time. Dieting didn’t work. I didn’t have the willpower for it. Food was the bane of my existence but also my comfort. I was taken to nutritionists. I was given dieting tips from everyone. But it never worked and it just left me feeling defeated and worse about myself. So, I decided to try a different route. Instead of trying to change my body, I decided to change my outlook. I hated having my picture taken and looking at all the things I hated about myself. So, I started there. I took a selfie every day. I wasn’t allowed to delete it, but I didn’t have to post it anywhere. It took a long time, but it started to work. I started to feel more confident, little by little. I started to post them. And other people liked them too. Maybe they were only trying to help me along the way, but I believe they were being honest. It took about a year before I felt confident enough to wear the clothes I wanted. I started dyeing my hair wild colors and took control of what I could, instead of focusing on what I couldn’t. I stopped listening to the “rules” of what I could and couldn’t wear because I was (and am) fat. I realized that happiness wasn’t going to wait until I was skinny. I could have it at any weight. I started wearing the clothes I wanted to. I found my confidence only going up. Of course, there were still difficult days. There were still some things I didn’t think I could wear. (Spoiler alert: I can.) But now, there’s nothing I stop myself from wearing. I don’t have time to wait to be happy. I have better things to do with my time than be miserable. I never realized how exhausting hating myself was until I stopped. It’s been several years since high school now. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been. But I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been. So, go out there. Eat the food that makes you happy. Wear the clothes you want to. Don’t wait. Happiness doesn’t need to wait until you’re an “ideal size.” You can have it now. I won’t say it was easy. I had my ups and downs. I still do. But my good days outweigh the bad ones now, when it comes to self-love. I have found freedom in loving my body at the size it is. I see people saying things all the time: “I can’t wait until I’m skinny and can wear this.” “If I had a body like that, I’d wear that too.” But you can. You can wear whatever you want right now. All bodies are beautiful. All shapes and sizes. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from taking your happiness into your own hands. It’s a long journey, but it is so worth it.

Community Voices
Rizzo Baldwin

Learning About Self-Love and Body Acceptance

Thanksgiving is about a lot of things. It’s about family. And food. And drinks. Oh, the drinks. I don’t just mean biological family either. I usually spend the holidays, or at least Christmas, with my best friend and her mom. This year I joined them for Thanksgiving too. It was also with her new baby, their two roommates and the roommates’ three kids ranging in age from 3 to 8. The youngest, the 3-year-old, is sweet as can be. But he’s also extremely honest. We were standing outside when he said the magic phrase: “Your body is big.” Unclutch the pearls. He’s 3. He’s honest. That’s what kids do. Especially at 3. Now years ago, this would’ve ruined my whole holiday. I would’ve cried in the bathroom. I wouldn’t have eaten anything at dinner. I certainly wouldn’t have had any pie, and I love pie. You see, he’s right. I’m fat. Only now? I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. It’s a part of me. It’s who I am. I’m short. I frequently have blue/purple/pink/whatever hair. I’m also fat. This little boy saying my body was big made me realize how far I’ve come on my journey to self-love. Once upon a time I hated myself. I tried dieting. I tried just not eating. But then I realized the biggest thing I could do to improve myself, was love myself. I looked at him and I said “that’s true. It is big. Because bodies come in all different sizes.” His response? “Yup!” What if I had told him not to say that? What if I had shushed him and told him not to comment on people’s bodies? I would be furthering the negative rhetoric that being fat is something to be ashamed of. I would’ve planted a seed in his mind that you’re not supposed to talk about weight. My journey to self-love is not only about me. It’s about changing the minds of those around me. All bodies are beautiful, no matter their shape or size. And I’ll be damned if I teach a child that you should be ashamed of being fat. I’m fat. And I love myself.

Rizzo Baldwin

Learning About Self-Love and Body Acceptance

Thanksgiving is about a lot of things. It’s about family. And food. And drinks. Oh, the drinks. I don’t just mean biological family either. I usually spend the holidays, or at least Christmas, with my best friend and her mom. This year I joined them for Thanksgiving too. It was also with her new baby, their two roommates and the roommates’ three kids ranging in age from 3 to 8. The youngest, the 3-year-old, is sweet as can be. But he’s also extremely honest. We were standing outside when he said the magic phrase: “Your body is big.” Unclutch the pearls. He’s 3. He’s honest. That’s what kids do. Especially at 3. Now years ago, this would’ve ruined my whole holiday. I would’ve cried in the bathroom. I wouldn’t have eaten anything at dinner. I certainly wouldn’t have had any pie, and I love pie. You see, he’s right. I’m fat. Only now? I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. It’s a part of me. It’s who I am. I’m short. I frequently have blue/purple/pink/whatever hair. I’m also fat. This little boy saying my body was big made me realize how far I’ve come on my journey to self-love. Once upon a time I hated myself. I tried dieting. I tried just not eating. But then I realized the biggest thing I could do to improve myself, was love myself. I looked at him and I said “that’s true. It is big. Because bodies come in all different sizes.” His response? “Yup!” What if I had told him not to say that? What if I had shushed him and told him not to comment on people’s bodies? I would be furthering the negative rhetoric that being fat is something to be ashamed of. I would’ve planted a seed in his mind that you’re not supposed to talk about weight. My journey to self-love is not only about me. It’s about changing the minds of those around me. All bodies are beautiful, no matter their shape or size. And I’ll be damned if I teach a child that you should be ashamed of being fat. I’m fat. And I love myself.

Community Voices

New Contributor #MightyTogether

Hello everyone! My name is Rizzo. I am a new contributor here. I struggled a long time with loving myself. And I came out the other side. So my passion in life has become helping others to the same success, or whatever success looks like for them. I look forward to posting here!

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