Tanina Buglino Tanina Buglino, 24 We have known each other since all the questioning of “perfect” started. Although no matter how self-conscious we felt about ourselves, we always saw the beauty in each other. It’s funny how a few words from someone who doesn’t see that makes us feel less than “perfect”. Reading your poem made me feel so sorry for how you felt, and made me remember I used to feel that way, but I went the opposite way. I used to eat more every time I was criticized by someone who I thought loved me. I watched myself for most of the relationship because that’s what I thought he wanted. For me to never lose my high school body, which then I thought I was hot, cute, sexy, and sassy. I have a very overweight Aunt – we have a very similar personality whom “HE” didn’t like. So when things started to go south in the relationship, he said and I quote “You two act exactly the same so what does that mean – you’re gonna get big like her too? Because I won’t love you if you look like her.” Being that I saw nothing wrong with her, I figured how could he say THAT?! She was beautiful and funny and I was proud to have some of her life strengths. So I ate, and ate, and ate, and asked for seconds and thirds, and ate some more. When I was approached by my family, concerned because I was now up 30lbs, I blamed it on a high hunger side effect from birth control, but refused to stop taking it. Not fitting into new clothes, being approached by concerned by-standers, being made fun of, or being asked if I was pregnant still wasn’t enough. It got worse. McDonald’s extra large value meals, still being hungry after a footlong and going back to subway to buy another one, covered in stretch marks, and waking up in the middle of the night with pins-n-needles in my arms and legs. I was no longer a beautiful big boned girl. I was killing myself and it showed no signs of stopping. We eventually broke-up, so there I was over 200lbs. and single. I felt like I had lost who I once was. I wasn’t me anymore. I was a stranger. My body apparently when stressed out tends to shed weight so with all this going on and not trying I had lost about 20lbs. and looked in the mirror and saw the difference. I felt like maybe I could still be in there somewhere. So I started eating healthier, and maintaining a weekly workout, and realized I could fix it. I vowed that day that never again would anyone determine what I was to become, but loved by myself, and if it wasn’t good enough “HIT THE DAMN ROAD!” I am now back down all the weight I put on give or take the last 5 or 10lbs (lets face the facts, we’re women and we fluctuate), but the most important thing is I am healthy, happy, still physically flawed, but wouldn’t have it any other way. I was beautiful both ways but I truly was unhealthy then. It doesn’t matter what you look like, but how you feel. And healthy feels good to me.

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Tanina Buglino is originally from Long Island, NY but is currently living in Pennsylvania, working in Wyomissing. She has been doing hair for six years, specializing in makeovers.  To see a full range of services that Tanina offers as well as browse her portfolio, please visit her website at http://bellacapelli.webs.com/!

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I was so happy to have Tanina  (also known as Tina) as a first personal story featured on the blog. I have known Tina personally for several years through high school and have been lucky enough to keep in touch with her. Her story is something that many people can relate to – how someone else’s words can have an impact on how we treat and see ourselves as well as how we can self-sabotage in order to deal with those conflicted feelings. In this story is hope and inspiration in finding love for yourself and in discovering the strength to raise your standards – if someone doesn’t appreciate you for who you are, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and let them walk out of your life. You deserve to feel great about yourself and no one should have the power to make you feel any less of a person. Thank you Tanina for such a great personal contribution!

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