I thought that I would expand on my Instagram post about body love and acceptance a little more to give you an idea of what it was like for me.
I was 10 the first time I remember hearing that there was something ‘not right’ with my body. I cant remember exactly what my Aunt said to my Dad about my weight but I do remember that when I heard it I felt ashamed of my body and embarrassed that I wasn’t as small as other girls my age. I just wanted to curl up and cry. Every time I see the picture that was taken at that moment, I can still feel the sting of those words. I get so worked up and mad, no child should ever hear that there is something wrong with their body. I also remember a few family members saying that I wasn’t fat I was just big boned. This is bullshit guys, can we not say this to people, especially children. I really wish that I had never heard any of those comments. These comments paved the way for me to think that there was something wrong with my body and that I needed to change it to fit in.
In high school I always compared myself to the ‘popular’ girls. I would beg my parents to buy things like they had in the hopes that it would make me cool and people would pay attention to me and I would be accepted. I desperately pleaded with my body to just be skinny. High school is all about being liked and accepted and I get how important that is when you are in the middle of it. I just wish that it wasn’t about that. I remember overhearing one day that a boy didn’t like me because I was fat and my friend was hot because she was skinny. This crushed me. I didn’t think I was fat. I just felt awkward in my body that was growing, like I’m sure most teens do. What I didn’t like is feeling that I was less than someone else because of the way that I looked. The person who made the comment actually had no idea who I was and knew nothing about me. So it really threw me off that they decided they didn’t like me because of the way that I looked and then compared me to someone else. We were two different people. These comments and the million more I have heard about me and others have contributed to me struggling with my body image and self-confidence. They have made me doubt myself, think less of myself, make me think I wasn’t good enough and drive me to always compare myself to others.
The Internet wasn’t so prominent when I was young and trying to figure out who I was and it absolutely scares the shit outta me just how destructive it can be today. My ideas of what’s real sure as shit get blurred. Even with my adult brain that knows most of what is on there is absolute bullshit and those girls and guys on there promoting their #healthylifestyle #blessed #feelintothismoney #allnaturalwithallthismakeuponbutitsallnatural focuses way too long on the picture and gets sucked into the self doubt. I often catch myself thinking, oh if I just had hair like that, if I just had fake boobs, if I just ran into a bit of money or if I just changed this I could get the things that I want and life the lifestyle I want. Get fucked, please. That is exactly what I don’t like about social media. I don’t like that it makes me question myself, I don’t like that it tricks me into thinking that I need to change myself physically to be happy.
It has taken me a long time to get to where I am today. There has been a lot of self-hating, a lot of binge eating and punishing myself by over exercising. I had established a really unhealthy relationship with food, using it as a reward, using it when I was sad, happy and pretty much all of the emotions I have ever felt. There was no magic cure to being comfortable with my body; it has taken time, mistakes and a lot of growth. I also got sick of letting the things I heard get to me, making me feel like shit. I was sick of being in a destructive cycle with myself. I also started to have intolerances to some foods which led me to seek out nutritional help and learn more about food so that I would have enough information to make better decisions for my body. It also helped me to understand where my feelings were coming from and why I was feeling them. Making the connection that our brains and bellies are so intricately intertwined really helped me too. I began to listen to my body and really notice which foods made it feel healthy, nourished and happy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still learning and I make mistakes, I don’t have it all worked out. I still eat too much of some foods and make myself feel unwell at times, but it’s okay. I am much kinder to myself and my body, which makes me a lot happier and more confident with taking life on. I feel that we all need to be kinder to others and ourselves. We need to change the way we think about our bodies and the way we think about others. We need to change the language we use when we talk about ourselves and others. What our body looks like is NOBODY else’s business. NOBODY has the right to comment about our appearance uninvited. Words hurt people like you wouldn’t believe and you have no idea how long these words will stay around and affect others. So don’t be a dick. Be kind, always.