It all changed when my co-worker (Nathan) became more than just a co-worker. I was finding myself being more confident around him at least, and this, in turn, "leaked into" the general public. I think it was mostly facing my fears more than anything else as I didn't really change a whole lot. Although, I did start crazy, long hikes up mountainous roads last summer and found that I had slimmed down about an inch and a half, combined with doing crunches, but I didn't do much else. This time around, I started eating healthier foods (partially induced by eating basically nothing but fried food for two semesters) and actually have gone to the gym to workout (both with Nathan and by myself). My waist has gone down two inches this time, I'm finding my pants/shorts are fitting much looser in the legs, and my arms are much more muscular than before.
A co-worker told me that she can see a difference in my appearance just from this summer alone. It alarmed me a little, because a rapid change like that was how it was when I was suffering from anorexia. I was worried that I was doing it the wrong way to have gotten results that quickly, but Nathan has assured me that I've done nothing wrong. Yes, that fear is still there, but I think it's slowly being kicked in the rear for good. I did take a good look in the mirror and look at my face more closely. It does look a little thinner in the sense of excess fat has been lost and not totally thin like it was my freshman year of high school.
I decided once and for all to dig out that bikini that I had purchased years before. I told myself that I would somehow build the confidence to wear it at least in front of my boyfriend, if not in public (I wasn't dating someone at the time I had bought it). I don't know, it's kind of a "low-rise," I guess. It has spaghetti straps versus another one I own (this one resembles more like a "regular" bra). Y'know what? I think the best comparison to the Hollister bikini is Ariel's (The Little Mermaid), but with straps. And in a plaid print. Yeah, that's it. Anyway, though, I went to the public pool with Nathan, but wore my now-way-oversized T-shirt and gym shorts on top of them so he wouldn't know what I was wearing until we got to the pool. Once we had entered the water and were far away from the lifeguards, he told me not in a whisper but certainly not loud enough for all the world to hear, "You look really good."
Really, I needed to hear that. Nathan would not have used the adverb really if he didn't mean it. I was even looking at myself wearing it and realized that my stomach was basically flat. I wasn't even sucking it in, either. It was just a normal bulge like what women typically have because that's just how women are built.
I could not have done this without Nathan. I never thought being in love with someone would do this to me. Nathan never once pressured me to go to the gym with him (he would certainly encourage it, but he only started when he realized that I wanted to change), and he's been patient with me and is willing to set me straight when I need it. He knows I had fears about my past eating disorder, but all he did was reassure me that I was fine. I changed for the better because of Nathan, not for Nathan (although, I think any guy would rather see a woman take care of herself than to see someone who doesn't). Really...I just love that guy so freaking much and can't thank him enough for the kind of influence he has been on me. ♥