NOTE: Long ass post with a story that’s long as f***
I’m the kind of girl that eats a lot, but never gets fat. If people haven’t seen me eat before, they tend to go, “Oh my god you’re so skinny, you need to eat more.” After they see me eat, they go, “Oh my god you eat so much but you’re still so skinny! This is unfair.” In return to that, I’ll just smile and nod.
The thing is that, the whole being skinny thing? Yeah it’s planned. I planned it. Since I was 11. Which was about 8 years ago (and before I hit puberty). Most people don’t know it, because I have never told anyone. But I’m telling all of you now – I have been planning my body since I was 11. And I still can’t seem love it.
I started having issues with food when I was quite young. My dad always said things to me when I was eating unhealthy food, such as, “You can eat this, but only sometimes. This has a lot of fats/sugar/oil/salt. Do you want to get fat/diabetes/heart attack?”
After hearing those things so often, I started saying them to myself instead. Every time I saw something unhealthy, I would say to myself, “I don’t want to get fat. I don’t want to die of a heart attack.”, and then completely avoid that food. That was the start of my obsession with my diet and body.
From then on, my obsession only grew, especially when I was going to start puberty. I saw that when girls start puberty, they tend to gain weight everywhere and they get pimples. For Asian girls, we tend to gain more weight around the hips, thighs and tummy, rather than the breasts. So when I was about 11, I told myself, “I don’t want acne. I don’t want to JUST gain weight everywhere. I want clear skin. I want breasts. I want curves. I want MODEL-LIKE curves.” (By model I mean like Elsa Hosk) Then I went around modifying my diet just to reach that goal.
My thoughts would be a variation of this every lunch/dinner (from age 11 onward):
“Ok, there’s chicken today. Chicken has growth hormones. That’ll help me get some breasts. Let’s take more chicken. Vegetables are healthy and I can eat more without getting fat. It’s also good for my skin. Great, let’s have more. Oh man, is that fish fried? Nope I’m not gonna eat that. It’s unhealthy. Oh, is that papaya? Yes papaya will help me get breasts too. I shall eat more.”
I guess it doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Avoidance of unhealthy food and changing my diet both don’t sound like such a big deal. Unfortunately, it just went downhill again. At age 15/16, I started picking on my body. I would stand naked in front of the mirror before and after my bath, and spend time criticising everything I was unhappy with. “My inner thighs are too fat. They look so gross.”, “Oh my god my tummy is bulging. Have I been eating too much?”, “I think my legs got fatter.” – these are just some things I say to myself everyday. After 3-4 years, I guess I’m used to it, but it’s still horrible feeling like your body is not beautiful and not… Enough. Yes, that is the word I’m looking for. Because of my body, I feel like I’m sometimes not enough. And there is nothing in the world worse than feeling like you’re not worth every beautiful thing on this earth.
To all you people out there who associate body with self-worth, I would like to tell you that your body does NOT determine your worth as a person. Your worth is determined by your intentions and actions, not by something physical that you might not be able to help. You might not look like a runway model, but if you treat other people with respect and kindness, you do deserve to have the best in life. I’m sure that all those people that you have cared for do appreciate you, and hopefully someday soon, you’ll see that you are worth the world and more to them.
To those that have never been proud/have been ashamed of their bodies, I want to tell you that as long as you are healthy, your body is BEAUTIFUL. You don’t need society to tell you that your body is beautiful. Society is f***ed up, and f***ed up people say f***ed up things, so why should you listen to them? If you exercise regularly and eat healthily, no one has a right to tell you that your body isn’t gorgeous. You can’t change what you were born with, so why not just roll with it and be damn proud of what your mom gave you.
I recently came across a model called Ashley Graham and I think that she’s absolutely STUNNING. She is also very involved in campaigns that promote a good body image, no matter what size or shape you are. All that matters is that you are healthy. I feel that one of the hashtags she commonly uses, #beautybeyondsize, rings so true.
Everyone, please repeat after me.
I am beautiful. So long as I am healthy, no one can tell me otherwise. I do not look like a model, and I do not have to look like a model. Size does not determine my beauty. Size does not determine my worth. I am worth everything beautiful that this world has to offer. I am enough.
I might not be able to break from my mentality because it’s been ingrained in me from a young age. But for all you beautiful, gorgeous people out there, it’s not too late to turn it around. You can start by saying something positive about yourself everyday. Even something as simple as “Hey gorgeous/handsome” will go a long way in helping you develop a more positive mindset about your body. You need to learn to treasure yourself and your body, because no one else will do it for you.
I know that this situation applies mostly to girls, but there are guys out there who pick on their bodies too. In fact, it was my guy friend who inspired this post. So I would like to say something to him in public.
Hey friend 🙂 First of all, thank you for inspiring this post, and thank you for reading through the whole thing to get here. You are an amazing person, and how you look doesn’t change that fact. I know that you have worked really hard to lose weight, and I applaud you for your determination. However, you need to stop with the whole “counting the calories” and “feeling guilty about eating junk food” thing, because after a while, you can never turn back. I would know. You did say that you were trying to change your mindset, and I hope that reading this post gave you a boost. Please learn to love your body. Because no one can love it more than you can. I wish you the best of luck in this 🙂