Monday, 16 July 2018

A Weight Off My Shoudlers

A quick t/w: I will be discussing weight, dieting and eating habits in this post. If this is something that could potentially trigger you, my advice would be to click away.

My weight is something I've struggled with since my early teen years. I hit puberty and puberty hit me back. Strangely enough, I never struggled with my weight before turning about eleven. I was always very thin and athletic. I did cross-country all through primary school, joined a dance group, did gymnastics etc. I was always doing something active. When I hit puberty around eleven, I felt uncomfortable in my leotard at gymnastics as I had a different body to the rest of the girls in the group. I was developing in ways they hadn't started to yet and this was probably the first time in my life that I really suffered a blow to my self-esteem. I started to drop out of my activities and becoming lazier.
My weight gain was quite gradual, I would put on about a stone a year and because of this it never really hit me that I was getting bigger until after I finished secondary school. I was lucky enough to not get bullied for my weight in school. I think this may be because I addressed the elephant in the room (pun not intended), before anyone else could. I was the big girl who could laugh about herself so no one could hurt me by calling me fat because I'd made it clear I was aware of this. I was the funny big girl of my year. Even though I was kind of self-conscious about myself, I wasn't largely bothered by my weight. I just thought I was meant to be the funny, bubbly big girl. Almost as if my weight was a part of my personality.

It tried numerous things in order to lose weight. I'd do portion control, calorie counting and other things like that. I'd just always give up on myself. I'd go for a walk one day, not wake up skinny and just give up. 

My unhealthy relationship with food is a really big culprit in my weight struggles. Food was always a friend. Food was there for me when I felt alone, anxious or angry. I'd celebrate with food and console myself with food. It's that relationship with food that I've been trying to fix. It's been a long road and it's taken me a while to realise that I could have a relationship with food, but it had to be a healthy one for me. I stopped looking at food as my friend and started looking at it as something that nurtures me and looks after me. 

Around last year it really hit me just how unhappy I am with my weight and appearance. When trying to lose weight previously I would always aim for a photo of a celebrity - usually Kylie Jenner. It took me so long to realise that I will never look like that. The women I aspired to look like were different to me in so many ways. We have different diets, shapes, genetics and height etc. These goals were unachievable and that's why I wasn't trying for myself. I was constantly being beaten up by the comparison game in my head. "You'll never be happy with your appearance", "you'll never be able to dress like other girls" and so on. I just had such a low opinion of myself, in short, I didn't like myself. In order to try to make myself a better person, I had to learn to love myself. You'd never help a person you didn't like, right?

I finally found a photograph of myself where I was the weight I wanted to be and it really motivated me. That was my body, it was an achievable goal. More importantly, I focused on my health (physical and mental) more than how I would look when I lost my weight. I wanted to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath etc. Doing things like this, looking at my weight loss journey as more of a positive thing, has really impacted how I feel about myself. I am still on my journey and it's a hell of a ride. I'm no longer just trying to lose weight but I'm trying to gain confidence and love for myself. I have a long way to go but I've also come a long way.

Thank you so much for reading this post. I feel so much better now that I've written this. Please remember that you are beautiful however you are and that you should only change if it's what you really want. You are not defined by a number on a scale. Have a lovely day and stay beautiful. 

"When I accept myself, I am freed of the burden of needing you to accept me" - Dr.Steve Maraboli.
Lots of loves,

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