‘I felt him slip away from me. I realized it wasn’t his mission, it was MINE.’: Plus-sized woman shares mission to inspire others to ‘embrace their flab’

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Inspiring Authenticity

“My name is Alexandra, but I much prefer to be called Lex, as it goes better with my red-haired plus-sized vixen persona on my Instagram. I am a 34-year-old, voluptuous, size 18, 5’4”, 245 lbs, and full of sass! I enjoy taking pictures of myself as a larger woman and posting them to inspire others to feel comfortable and respected in their own skin.

I initially started my Instagram in October of 2018 as more of putting myself out there. Mocking those who didn’t appreciate fat women and just showing that I had no cares to give and that I loved my body. I am who I am, take it or leave it! Then, it evolved into something much more. I began to open up, show more of myself, and bring about the positivity and courage I wanted to share with others. I wanted others to love themselves, and I wanted to be a person who could nudge them to that!

woman on bike
Courtesy of Lex WM

Over the span of nearly four years, so much has happened, and I’ve been very honest with my audience. I’ve restarted college in my 30, I got married, I have children (although I don’t show them much if any on my page due to privacy), I am a godmother, I had a miscarriage, then a divorce, then the subsequent passing of family members. I feel like being truly authentic.

Over these years, I’ve met many people locally, nationwide, and even a few people overseas. Occasionally because of my hashtags, I get a few perverted, inappropriate messages, but for the most part, the emails are good and inspiring! I also choose to follow several different accounts that exude confidence and demonstrate body positivity and love just as much as I try to emulate.

Skinny, Not Happy

I didn’t always start off as a confident plus-size vixen. In fact, there was a time when I was 100 lbs less. But I wasn’t happy. I felt insecure; I felt the pushing of my mother to try new diets and become skinny to fit her need of her forced eating disorder on herself by her mother. That nothing was good enough or I wasn’t skinny enough.

woman standing smiling
Courtesy of Lex WM

I realized now that it was something that was ingrained in her, it’s not necessarily her fault for what she thought she was doing was the right thing. Too much trauma happened to me when I was skinny. Much of it I still don’t like to think or discuss. Part of me just never felt like ME.

I didn’t start putting on a large amount of weight until 2008 when I became pregnant for the first time and I gained 80 lbs. I was a lonely, single mother and felt like I had the world on my shoulders, I wish I had love, I wish I wasn’t doing that alone, and all I wanted to do was cry. But, instead of crying, I ate, and I ate a lot. I remember eating hidden Oreos in my room at night. I ate everything. I often said it was because it tasted better since I was pregnant, but really, I was eating away my emotions.

woman standing in street smiling
Courtesy of Lex WM

After having my first child, I initially lost a bit of that weight. I remember trying diets and wanting to be skinny. I thought maybe if I was skinny that I could find love. But in actuality, I never found love until I loved myself.

It wasn’t until my oldest was around four when I finally felt a better feeling in my skin!

Embracing Myself

I embraced my fat. I knew that love brought my child into the world and into the body I was in. I felt more confident. I still covered up with cardigans, a second layered tank top, longer and looser fitting clothes. I felt beautiful, and for once I started to finally feel whole!

I don’t really remember what was the specific reason for the change in my mindset, maybe because for once I felt loved by someone and it wasn’t because I had to be a specific person. I could be me, I would be loved as I was, so I guess, she did that to me, she gave me the love I never felt, the acceptance and belonging I craved from someone else but couldn’t find in myself.

woman standing next to balloons
Courtesy of Lex WM

In a weird way, I didn’t feel noticed because of my size so I also felt as though I didn’t have to fit to a different mold. When I was skinnier, I felt like there was more pressure to be skinny, stay skinny and fit into certain limits that just didn’t fit me. Now, in a way, because no one was watching me, I could be myself and try new things.

Eventually I craved being looked at and feeling like I mattered too, that not only skinny girls could get a second glance, but also big ones who were willing to step out in different colors and patterns. I didn’t want to have to fit into anyone’s normal to feel beautiful! I just wanted to be seen! I could feel my confidence blossoming and the attitude of not worrying about others ideas of me or who I needed to be shrinking.

Letting Myself Shine

Soon after, I found what I thought would be the love of my life. I felt like I didn’t need to hide anymore, I felt seen, and beautiful! I felt that someone could love me as much as I loved myself, if not more! So, off went the cardigans, away went the maxi dresses, and out popped more skin. Over the course of our marriage, I showed more skin and a general I don’t care attitude about what others thought of me. I went from maxi dresses to mini dresses, long skirts to mini skirts, and cardigans to shirts showing cleavage and arms. My flab was fab and I didn’t care who saw it. This was me!

woman in swim suit standing smiling
Courtesy of Lex WM

In 2016, I did have a setback in confidence. While I was still proud of being a larger woman, I did worry about my weight and my health, more than I already did and so. With that I also could see myself growing larger than what I once felt comfortable as. Then, when our youngest was born, and I was looking to feel confident and bold like I once had, I wanted to do something that felt like I had a purpose, like I could inspire others to feel good as I did, and to be proud of their bodies! Embrace their flab, love handles, cellulite, dimples, whatever that imperfection may be.

After much consideration of what option to pursue, in 2018, I decided to not let fear lead me, and I decided to show the world who I am. You could see me boldly walking in a bikini with no care in the world! I would wear bold colors, and I would demand people’s attention. I didn’t care if something was too tight or showing too much: I was going to be bold and wear and show what I felt confident in.

Over the course of my marriage, however, I felt as though we grew apart. As my confidence grew, and I shared more of myself, he pulled away from me. He didn’t want a wife who broadcasted herself so publicly. I was hoping I would get more attention and affection from him as he would be proud that I was helping others to feel loved and beautiful in their skin, but it was then that I realized it wasn’t his mission, it was MINE. The love that once breathed life into me was no more. I felt him slip away from me. I didn’t feel the love I once did, and I wanted him to see me and love me again, but it was too late.

woman standing in hallway smiling
Courtesy of Lex WM

And so, I embarked on a journey. A journey that I hope would lead to inspire others to feel loved and confident in their own skin, whether I had a supportive partner or not. If you take anything from me, remember something. We all have one life and one body. How we choose to use it and flaunt it and feel in it is at our own discretion. You know what your happy is, but just remember, don’t choose to hide from the world. We all deserve to see you and love you!

As I stated previously, I enjoy taking pictures of myself as a larger woman and posting them to inspire others to feel comfortable and respected in their own skin. Beauty is not in one model, there are several versions and displays of beauty. I hope if I have done one thing, that it was to reach out and make someone more confident, and choose to love his or herself as I do. Putting yourself out there is hard, but once you break down the walls and exude that inner confidence and love, I promise you, there will be no turning back.”

woman against wall
Courtesy of Lex WM

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Lex WM of Lafayette, LA. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribeto our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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