What has fitness done to me?

It was Summer of 2011 when I first started noticing my body. Me and my mom went to Florence and she took a picture of me walking.
A full body picture.
When I saw that photo, my brain instantly had a breakdown. Was I really THAT ugly? THAT fat? Since when did I started looking THAT bad?
And since Summer 2011 my body dysmorphia, disordered eating and all the hate on my body started to be the biggest part of my life.

For years, since then, I actively tried to “become anorexic”, trying to stop eating and reducing my kcal to the minimum possible. Thanks God, thanks to my mom who was actually anorexic herself when young, stopped me as soon as she recognised the symptoms.
I knew the kcal of every single food, I tried to exercise in my room, I tried to go to the gym and always quit after maximum a month (I couldn’t see any results…).
I always thought I was supposed to be how I was and I would have never been able to change: I was already doing everything I could, and nothing worked!
I hated my legs more than anything; Being 165cm (5’5) and a mesomorph, I am not supposed to have the long, skinny legs I dreamed about.
The skinnier the better, I believed. 

The first time I actually started to consider the idea that my body shape was nice has been thanks to a guy I started dating. We were just sitting in a Starbucks and I noticed he was looking at my legs. Instantly my instinct was to hide them, make them look “skinnier” somehow. Paranoid, I asked him what was he even looking at. His answer changed my life. “I was just thinking how sexy and beautiful it is that your thighs touch”.
Sorry, WHAT? You just said that the thing I hate the most about my body… it’s beautiful? Sexy???
A couple of months later, I discovered a girl on Instagram having a fitness account. She pretty much looked like me, but with more muscle definition. Everyone called her beautiful, a role model, an inspiration: how could someone similar to be be called that way? And the fun part is that, when scrolling through her pics… I found her beautiful.
I bought her gym guide online and not only I promised to myself I’d start going to the gym, I promised I would become patient and I WOULD NOT QUIT.

It was January 2018 when all of this happened and damn, I did not quit. I researched about nutrition, I researched about exercise, gym, how the body works and everything. And there is not even a minute I have spent in the gym that I regret.
And, to conclude, the best sign of this for me was the day I stopped asking people to “take a picture of me but only from my waist up”, “don’t put my legs in the picture please”. All the full body pictures of me, that for you are just “nice pictures” for me are the proof of my achievements and my hard work, physical and therefore mental.
Fitness made me confident, weight lifting made me confident, consistency made me confident. 
Fitness solved the mental issues I had towards my body for my entire adolescence. 
Fitness gave me confidence and made me finally feel beautiful, no matter what and no matter people’s opinion.
For the first time in years, in Summer 2018 I wore a bikini without trying to hide myself, feeling proud of myself.

And if you hate your body, you hate yourself, you are shy, whatever: GO TO THE GYM. Start lifting weights, start doing it and DON’T QUIT.
One month will never give you results, a lifestyle change… YES. And let me tell you, it’s all completely worth it.
Because the pack of biscuits you are eating now are a short, instant pleasure: the body of your dreams… that can last your entire life.