For as long as I can remember I have lived hating and loving my body. I’ve never really felt 100% comfortable in my own skin. In my mind I could always be skinnier, prettier and smarter. I remember when I started high school and I was filled with fear surrounded by girls half my size complaining that they were “too fat to fit in.” I wrote a post a few months ago titled “f#ck you fat shamers” where I talked about how much I loved my body and how happy I was in my skin, but honestly, I’m not okay.
My body image struggle began as young as 9/10, so I’ve struggled with food and weight for over half of my life. When I was in high school it all hit a low – I’d throw away my dinner my mum would prepare me in the morning or I’d spend my lunch money on a cigarette to try and get rid of the hunger pains. I replaced food with nicotine and I gained such an unhealthy approach to food that still now haunts me. I struggle some days to eat in front of people I don’t know, and when I forced into situations on my bad days that involve food I almost completely shut down.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love food, but it’s caused the most heart break in my life.
I’m also an emotional eater, after long days of not eating in front of anyone, when I’d get home I’d binge on anything I could get my hands on until I was sick. I wouldn’t say I suffered from an eating disorder, I’d say I had a completely unrealistic and unhealthy approach to food. When I did stop eating and smoking, I did realise I lost weight and even then I never felt good enough.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I was older, smarter but I still struggled. I had boyfriends telling me how amazing I’d look if I were skinnier and more toned. That I’d be a perfect 10 if I lost my fat – so when those relationships broke down, the unhealthy habits kicked back in. I started exercising an unhealthy amount, smoking more and eating less and I lost around 4 stone. I was down to a size where everyone loved what I looked like, I was “hot.” But you know what? I still felt completely and utterly awful. I still felt too fat, too ugly and too unlovable. So I binged and gained.
I focused so much on what other people wanted me to look like that I forgot about how I was feeling and how ill I was making myself. Still to this day, I have had people tell me how amazing I looked when I was at my smallest, how amazing I would be if I was back at that size, and that doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me feel like I’ll never be good enough until I hit their idea of perfection, my body won’t be pretty unless I’m skinny and pretty and toned. I won’t be able to hold down a man unless I smile politely and have skinny legs, a flat stomach and always be the perfect me.
I also hold grudges against doctors. So many times they’ve told me I’m obese, I’m unhealthy and I need to lose weight. They’ve withheld important medication from me because they deemed me to be “too fat” and they’ve made me feel smaller than some of my ex’s (I didn’t think that’d be possible honestly), and they’ve triggered me in so many ways that I won’t step foot in my doctors surgery ever again.
But let’s fast forward to today. I’m sat here, drinking my detox water, with fruit after I’ve just finished an hour workout with my PT and I know I’m still over-weight. I know I’m unhealthy and I know I get called fat by the people who used to call me beautiful. I may be larger, and I may still be unhappy with who I am and what I look like, but I know now that I’ll never be completely happy with myself, because that’s what society has done to me. Society has turned us all into perfection seeking robots, robots who only want wants popular whether that be thigh gaps or curvy frames.
I see some many body positive girls and guys online that have jiggle going on, look beautiful, and work it, I see so many toned athletes that look beautiful and they work it too. I want to be proud of my skin, I want to be beautiful, but it’s hard when you’re paranoid about what everyone is thinking about what you look like.
I know I’ll be okay eventually, and I know I’m as beautiful as I can be, but I guess I want to make sure, that if you’re reading this and you’ve ever said to someone “you’d look amazing with toned abs” or “you’d rock a curvy figure” please think before you speak, everyone has a struggle, everyone has a demon they’re fighting. And please, please don’t make me feel like me, being fat, is a reason that you’ll leave me.