For a long time up until recently, I had hated my body.
While most people hate their body for its certain features, their body frame, or a disdain of their natural body type, my hatred of my body did not stem from any of that. I have always had no problem with my natural appearance, be it my body type, my body frame , my height, nor my facial features.
Rather, my hatred of my body stemmed from my inferiority of my body weight.
I had always felt that I was heavier than I ought to be. While I had never been overweight nor truly “fat” even, I had always wished that I could be lighter. I had always believed that regardless of how I looked, how many people praised me about my appearance, or how heavy (or light) I was, I would be much more attractive if I was slimmer—much slimmer.
A big part of this self-body-hate probably started when I was in primary school.
I recall sitting beside this girl in class who would regularly dissect and disparage her body parts and call herself fat, even though she was so skinny—easily one of the skinniest girls I knew.
At that time, I didn’t understand why she would repeatedly put down her looks like that. Whenever she called herself fat, I would look at myself and wonder why she would think that she is fat, for I weigh more than her.
While I did not hate my body nor think that I was fat in any way then, hearing her constant complaints planted the first seeds of doubt about my body’s integrity. It made me wonder if I was perhaps missing something about my body and that it was not as “okay” or perfect as I thought it was.
These incidents made me subconsciously conclude that being skinny is equivalent to beauty and that to be regarded as beautiful by others, I had to be stick skinny.
Subsequently, I became exposed to projected images of beauty in the mass media on a regular basis. From leggy models, to sharp facial contours, to stick-thin celebrities, these images were repeatedly projected as standards of beauty which all girls should strive for.
Of course, this wasn’t a factor of my concern back then. My only obsession was to be as thin as possible, then evaluate the results later.
To be skinny—that was deemed as a good thing. To not be stick skinny was deemed as being not ”attractive”, not “beautiful”, or even—not deserving of love.
Because I did not conform to the sticky skinny image of beauty, I harbored a deep hatred for my body. I constantly wished that I was thin, thinner than I was, or better yet, thinnest among everyone I knew.
My weight loss journey would be fraught with difficulties for my childhood was laced with emotional eating issues. I constantly ate to feed my emotions, resulting in weight gain over time despite my healthy eating efforts and constant exercising.
Because of my emotional eating issues, weight was frequently an area of contest within myself. I would constantly set goals to lose weight, only to fail one way or another. This would make me hate myself even further, for not being able to achieve my goal.
For the record, my real problem was not in losing the weight. My problem was with sustaining my weight losses, partly due to my emotional eating issues. Regardless of how much weight I would lose during each weight loss endeavor, I would regain my “excess” weight after a while, through one way or other. From gradual regains over the span of months to immediate weight regains in a matter of days, I would always regain my lost weight.
It was almost as if my excess weight had a mind of its own. No matter how many times I lost it, it would find its way to pile itself back onto my body. It was as if I couldn’t run away from it, no matter how hard I tried.
Eventually, I learned to love my body. I just shared with you my own experience. I am sure I am not alone in this and many girls experienced the same thing. So I am here to tell you that it is possible to love your body. I am going to share with you the process on loving your body in the next post:)