A couple of months ago I started my first semester of graduate school at a different university than my undergrad university. I had to start over: new school, new professors, new program, new classmates, and new responsibilities. I went from a school tucked away in the mountains, to a school located in a big(ger) city. I felt lost on that campus, so I turned myself to the internet. I first started off my addiction to blogs by reading an acquaintance’s food (& healthy eating) blog. Well, I like food and all, but there’s only so much I can read about oatmeal and black bean burgers. I then began thinking about the things that I enjoy. I’m an avid reader, so I considered looking into book blogs. Movies? Yea, that too.

It wasn’t until I started thinking about what I would write about that I even considered that being plus-sized could be a topic all on its own. That’s when I searched plus-sized fashion blogs and came across this site that opened up an entire world of blogging to me. I quickly became addicted to those blogs and to other blogs I found from their websites. It was a whole new frame of perspective for me. Never had I seen a community that promoted positive self-image for fat people (I spent a few years in high school torturing myself to do and read ANA blogs). Never had I seen such a STRONG group of women say “This is me” and feel so proud of that. For a few short weeks, I thought I had completely changed my views. That I was one of these STRONG women, but I’m beginning to realize I’m just not there yet, and those bloggers may not always be confident all of the time, and it’s OKAY.

I went shopping with a couple of friends this weekend. Every time I went into a plus-sized store (the three of them that existed), I felt like my friends were embarrassed to be there. I would hurriedly say “Oh, go to Gap/Loft/Express. I’ll meet you there in a minute!” and push them out of the store. At first I felt angry, like they were the ones who made me feel uncomfortable and made me hurry to shop and not enjoy the experience. But now that I look back on the experience, it was me who was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that I had to go to a special store just for me. I was embarrassed that my friends had to wait on me.

Days later, I’m still trying to grasp on to the reason why I was embarrassed. I go to plenty of stores with my friends that have clothing that doesn’t fit me. I’ve waited on my friends trying on clothes, when all I could do was look at the jewelry. Why did I feel so ashamed to be asking the same in return?

I don’t have answers. But I do realize that I have a long way to go on accepting myself and letting others accept me in return. I’m hoping that by continuing blogging and continuing being inspired by other women, that one day I’ll be able to shop without embarrassment of myself. I know I’m going in the right direction.