Every girl struggles with body weight and body image. Too tall and skinny, too short and fat, too pear shaped, too much like a stick figure. The list can go on and on. Weight and body image is a never ending and popular topic. Your body image is a major influence on your self esteem and can ultimately control your entire life. Which is what has happened to me.
I was always a chunky child. That never really phased me until middle school. I have always had beautiful friends who would always have boys chasing after them. Boys either saw me as a friend or liked me and would not say it because I was too overweight. I did not think much of it until one day I told my mother I was hungry. She looked at me and word for word stated “It does not look like you’re starving”. That was the moment it all began. (Note that my mom was struggling with anorexia at this time).
The summer after 8th grade I ate salad everyday and started running. I also began cheering and lost about 30lbs. I started to get some attention, but it still was not good enough. I did have a boyfriend throughout the last two years of high school which I believe kept me from going overboard, but I was still tired of being the chubby girl with a pretty face.
I started community college which made me feel like a loser compared to my friends who were working on four year degrees. I started going to the gym daily which helped with stress and slight depression. Before I knew it I was cutting calories lower and lower. The weight was falling off. I started getting so much attention that it actually became annoying. Before I knew it things were out of control. If I did not go to the gym I would get really angry. I probably ate 400 calories a day and that is if I ate at all. People were telling me I was too skinny, but all I could see was fat. I weighed myself everyday and would be in tears if I gained a pound. Everyone saw what I was doing, but no one tried to stop me. I would just lie about it anyway. I continued this for 3 years. I tried throwing up a few times, but for me it was easier to starve. I enjoyed the feeling of being hungry.
I finally decided to go for a 4 year degree. Working full time and going to school full time caused me to gain back some weight. I would starve myself until it came back off each semester. I started to become happier with life throughout school which made me eat more and gain more. People started to tell me I looked healthy every time I gained a few pounds.
After college I quit smoking and the weight came packing on no matter what I did. I was terrified, but I wanted to stop smoking more than anything. I kept letting the weight pack on and just thought that I would control it later.
It is now two years later and I am over weight again. When I go to the doctor, I ask that they do not say my weight out loud, but I will look at my summary after each visit and have tears in my eyes . Every time I think about dieting, I eat more. The only way I know how to diet is to starve. I have outgrown all of my clothes and I hate that feeling.
I have looked into food preparation and have a gym membership ready to go. I am researching and learning how to diet in a healthy way. I have printed a weekly schedule to keep myself disciplined. I know that I can fall into old habits very easily and I need to strengthen myself emotionally during this process.
I no longer feel the need to starve myself to prove I am just as pretty as my friends. I now look into my future and would like to live a long and healthy life. Anorexia will always be knocking at my door, especially when I am dieting, but I will be strong enough not to answer.
I am excited to start this process for all of the right reasons instead of all of the wrong ones. I finally love myself enough to focus on a long and healthy life. Wish me luck!