I had a yo-yo body for the longest time: I could easily lose and gain weight with only little effort. I remember not having to hit the gym just to lose some pounds because I could just avoid rice and do sit-ups every morning and I’d rock that swimsuit in 2 weeks. I didn’t start this lucky though, and I don’t have the same amount of luck now.
In my teen years, I was one of those overweight kids who would always be made fun of. Fat-shaming was at its prime, I think? But what I cannot forget was me crying in my room because of the hurtful words and being compared to other girls in my class. As a 13-year old, being accepted and feeling that sense of belongingness were my top priorities (I was a teen, hello). So after my first breakdown, I turned my life around— or so I thought. I became anorexic. I don’t know how I did it, but I just stopped eating altogether. Instead, I cut out pictures of food from different magazines and posted them on my wall. I figured, even though I wouldn’t eat them, at least I could see them. Awesome thinking, huh? And if I felt like fainting due to starvation, I would eat a little and then punish myself. I formed this habit of pushing myself towards the edge of a table for an hour just so I would try to stop my stomach from bloating. That was how I developed an acid reflux disease. You sometimes get that from wearing clothes that are too tight. Only in my case, it wasn’t the clothes.
After 1 short week, I measured my waistline and it dropped from 32″ to 25″. I looked very ill, but it still wasn’t enough. I thought about stopping if I reached a whopping 23, so I did something else: I bought diet pills. I didn’t listen to the “rumors” about those pills because I trusted the store I bought them from (Healthy Options). I started taking pills every after small meals and I would go back to my room and look at my wall, just in case I was still hungry. God, I wish I had pictures to show you. I looked scary. Thin, but scary. It wasn’t long before my family started to worry. My mother cried. My aunt asked me to look at myself in a mirror. I did, and I couldn’t believe it was only then that I noticed how horrible I looked. I think I was subconsciously ignoring that the entire time. I didn’t realize what I was actually doing to myself. I walked away from the mirror and immediately grabbed a Big Mac.
Years went on and just when I thought I learned my lesson, I didn’t. I gained some weight again and I went back to the same cycle. I didn’t buy pills this time but I only ate once in 2 days. That’s why in my senior year in high school, I would constantly lose consciousness during my CAT. The officers (and perhaps most of my schoolmates) hated me for that. It was as though I was just faking it to skip the practice. LOL? I wish I was, but I don’t think a lot of them knew I was confined after. I had counselling, too.
So why am I opening up so much about this topic? My point is this: Please, stop body-shaming kids. Or anybody, for that matter. You don’t know how much damage words can do to someone. I honestly don’t understand why people don’t understand that body-shaming has the same effect as slut-shaming and bullying. It does, and if you’re not against bullying, then maybe that’s the problem.
I guess it took the maturity in me to realize that I shouldn’t do what I had been doing before. Now, even though I bounced back to my old weight, I have learned to love me in my own skin. It wasn’t easy at first, especially when I was in a place where everybody just continued to make me feel worse about myself. Eventually, it just hit me: This is MY body. I can eat whatever I damn well please. I can cut down on the bad food groups but won’t do it anymore for other people. There is more to everyone than just their frame. I left the horrible place I was in and I vowed not to associate myself with negative people from then on— Now let’s get real here, you don’t just walk away from those people. Shockingly there’s a lot of them. So up to now I would still hear people say, “Jeez, what happened to you?” but you know what? I learned to be like, “Bitch, life happened. Go get some” or at least ignore them. I learned to realize it’s none of anybody’s business but mine. Am I in tip-top shape? Nope. But am I happy with how I am? Hell yes, I am starting to be. I will go on a diet whenever I need to. And even when it takes several months because my metabolism has slowed down a bit, it’s okay. Besides, progress is progress no matter how slow.