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17 Women share how they've handled their insecurity about weight

I'm a community editor at SheKnows. I spend the rest of my time on Twitter, reading memoirs and fiction, hiking, painting and writing about things that rile me up.

These women bravely shared their ongoing struggles with their weight and self-image

Weight is a fraught topic for many women. We're surrounded by images of thin, fit bodies and often fail to live up to them. And women who naturally have slender bodies are hounded for being too thin. We asked our community of Experts about how they've handled their feelings toward weight and body size.

"I've always been insecure about my "mummy tummy." I've had three huge babies and ended up with diastasis recti, which means I'll never have a flat tummy like others — and I envy those who do. I have lost weight (50 pounds, but I'm still struggling with the last 10 on/off) and gotten in incredible shape, and I feel so much better about myself overall that this insecurity has faded away quite a bit. I now don spandex to do triathlons and try to be proud that my body is capable of doing half Ironmans, after doing a great job at birthing three babies!"  — Cynthia Steele

"Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (hypothyroidism) affects your self-image due to weight gain, hair loss, depression and hormonal imbalances. I am insecure about these things because I look at my photos and am reminded of how I once had a slim waist and energy but now have to go up in size, have painful menstrual cycles, low libido and ugly comments from family members and friends. I am overcoming getting out of bed and reminded myself that everyday is going to be a great day. I remember that I couldn't get out of bed due to joint pain, depression and giving up on myself. Now, I jump out of bed and serve in my purpose and passion of being inspirational to others." — Andrea Imafidon

"I have always been insecure about my weight. I have always been big boned and not naturally thin, but I have subconsciously stayed fat for a long time. I am still dealing with it, but I am going to work on facing it and getting through it." — Miriam Slozberg

"As a former figure skater and current actress, much of my life has been defined by my looks, and often, I question how to balance who I am with how I need to look in order to be successful. Despite what the media says, there is more than one type of beautiful, and we should celebrate our healthy bodies. Skinny. Curvy. Whatever fruit shape you are, self-acceptance can feel like a constant battle, but we win when we talk about our body issues and accept our bodies for the beautiful creations they are." — Ashley C

"I have always struggled with a fear of being overweight as I was 50 pounds overweight until I was 16 years old. Although I am in good shape now, I still struggle with seeing myself through a false lens and have to fight thoughts that tell me I am still "fat" like I was as a young girl." — Jenna

"I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, which brings with it symptoms like weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne and infertility. I've experienced all of these symptoms and together, they've taken a toll on my self-esteem. Through a wonderful support team (in my daily life and through the blogosphere) and through much prayer, I've overcome these insecurities and know that my worth lies in the One who created me perfectly. We are all wonderfully made, in spite of our shortcomings!" — Logan Andreotta

These women bravely shared their ongoing struggles with their weight and self-image
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

"Small. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be — small. Nothing about my person is small; I palmed a women’s basketball in my playing days, wore pants around my hips out of necessity (and was thankful when capris with boots were in fashion) and have dreamed of walking into a shoe store and selecting an armful of different styles to try. I spent my late teens through mid 20s attempting to starve myself small, but my fatless frame was still in the double digits. Now in my late 30s, I’ve embraced who and how I am." — Lauren Stevens

"I have been so hard on myself for not losing the baby weight now that my youngest is 6. I hate that I carry it all in front and people ask me if I am still pregnant! Well, two months ago, I joined a CrossFit gym and I am watching my body change for the better! I would love to do a piece on how making a change for your own health and body image really does have to be done for you!! It does not matter what other people think. It only matters that you are happy with who you are from the inside out!! I am so happy with the changes but happier that I am finally doing something selfishly good for me... no matter how I look in the end!" — Lori Pace

Next: More women share their weight and body image struggles

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