You write so very, very beautifully of the most painful of experiences, which I identify with so totally and utterly. Despite knowing deep down that I had to be worthy of love, I knew I would never get it — and was suspicious of anyone who might actually profess interest. I couldn’t possibly show my own interest in anyone, or speak of it to anyone other than the closest of friends, because surely I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to be interested in anyone, looking the way I did. And then I (finally, finally) lost a lot of weight, and kept it off, and I started experiencing what it was like to be a ‘normal’ size, still with that ‘lovely face’ and ‘great personality’ I’d always had, but that hadn’t ever been enough before. And eventually, I met the most wonderful man, who felt like home, and who was warmth and trust and acceptance and love and laughter, and who became my husband. And I felt like my life had been redeemed from its ghastly narrative, I felt like I had left the ugly duckling finally, finally behind and was the princess who got the prince and wore the beautiful dress and lived happily ever after. (There’s no twist here; I was right, I did). And yet…then I got pregnant, and put back on half the weight over the ensuing years… well, it turns out, my (thin, tall) husband still loves me. But those voices in my head, telling me I was not actually worthy of love, they started creeping back along with the pounds. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do these past few years (other than parenting!) has been to work on banishing those voices, to accept that his love is still there, still real, and that I am truly worthy of it, no matter what my size. I struggle with it all the time, because of those decades of damaging messages, because of what the world tells me about who I am. But I am loved. I pray you will be too.