I Grew Up a Fat Kid – My Body Image Struggles


March 8, 2018

Dear Readers,

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!

As women, we all share the same common insecurities. For instance, most of us are never satisfied with our body; the shape of our bodies seem to be the greatest source of our insecurities. BUT IT SHOULD NEVER BE THAT WAY. In fact our bodies should be the source of our strength. Our bodies can give birth. Our bodies have its purpose. Our bodies are strong… and you should never be ashamed of it.

We all have our own unique body shapes and sizes. You can’t compare an apple to a pear – so why are you comparing your body to that of someone else?

You are inherently unique.

The perfect body doesn’t exist”. That’s a phrase you probably had heard plenty of times… but that phrase is so true. When it comes to body image, I find that women are more critical about how their bodies look than men are. There is this growing stigma of women trying to perfect themselves through any means – healthy or not. This struggle of achieving “the perfect body” has led to mental illness and unhealthy behaviours such as dangerous diets. Women had been characterized to be skinny, but skinny doesn’t mean healthy.

I promote healthy body perceptions. I want all women from all age groups to understand that their bodies are unique and beautiful. Having a healthy body perception means a healthy mental state. Women must empower each other towards being healthy, both physically and mentally. We should empower each other to be healthier – NOT to look “good” but more towards doing our bodies “good”.

I used to be a fat kid. How I improved my body image, started with my drive to live a healthier lifestyle.

I grew up fat. As a fat kid, I grew up being the main target for bullies in kindergarten. As I aged, the bullies from my past stayed within me. I went through junior high with an attitude, driven by my sole desire to fit in and be accepted. Then, when high school came around I finally had a chance to be different (I went to a dominant “white” school, wherein only 10% of the students in my grade were Asians). Although I stood out due to my race, my appearance was still not like the other girls in my grade. They were all Barbies. A living, breathing array of perfect girls – with pretty blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes. Not to mention, these girls were fit and had “model-like” bodies. I had no chance of being that girl whom all the boys wanted. Thus, I became your typical high school snob. You know, that one cocky kid with an attitude but really has nothing else to back it up… yeah… that was me.

Now that I think about it… I was an awkward teenager. I wasn’t like the girls my age, due to the simple fact that I was a little bigger than them. Back then, my body shape really impacted how I saw myself. I didn’t have enough confidence… I felt isolated… I didn’t feel like I was the person I wanted to be.

I envied other girls who were skinnier than me. I wanted to have a body like them. Regardless of how hard I tried to fit in, I still stood out like a sore thumb. I was really, really, really different. (Or I thought I was….. out of place) So, I went on to high school accepting my difference. I embraced the fat kid in me, and continued to play my part in the minority.

I had lots of insecurities due to the fact that my body was different. I had lots of hatred towards how my body was shaped… I doubted myself too much… I didn’t like how my waist was too big… and I hated how my legs were too thick… worst of all, I hated my big belly. 

All these insecurities that I had gone through as a teenager, were mostly derived from my weight and body size.

This was me before:

ONE DAY I HAD ENOUGH OF IT

The way I fought my battle against “body image” is through improving my body the healthy way. I decided to change the things I disliked, when I knew that the change itself is achievable. That’s when I decided to hit they gym and eat healthier. My lifestyle today is shaped because of my body struggles. My personal “body image” has improved because I changed the way I viewed and lived my life. I’m more confident now, because I made a decision to become a better version of myself.

This is me now:

To change my “body image” and to remove my insecurities, I made a personal promise to myself that I will take better care of my body and live a healthy lifestyle. I started waking up earlier to go to the gym, I started eating more vegetables, and I slowly started to understand that my body is different in a beautiful way. As the days passed, my body was starting to look the way I wanted it to be. Most importantly, I was feeling better than I’ve ever had before.

However, there are still times wherein I find myself too critical of my new and improved body… despite all the progress I made, somehow I’m still insecure.

Even though I’ve gone a long way from who I was before, there are still times wherein I’m not happy about my body. For some reason, I’m still not satisfied of my body even though my body’s changes are noticeable – my followers often comment “goals” on my body pictures in Instagram, but that doesn’t really mean much for me since I’m overcoming my own personal mental struggles. There are times, wherein I still feel like there are so much more work I need to do, and more things I need to change – and no matter how much “likes”, “comments” and “support” I get from my audience, I still feel like it’s not enough.

THEN I REALIZED THIS:

I will never have the perfect body for OTHERS, but I can make my body perfect enough for ME.

The key to a healthy body image, is to love yourself more than anyone else does. In this world, it is close to impossible to please every single human being… so why waste all your energy on being perfect for others?!?!? You’re way better than you think you’re not – you just need to realize it for yourself.

It takes a lot of mental strength to love yourself, but it’s an inherent aptitude.

When you find yourself in an insecure position about your body OR when your confidence is lacking, I want you to reach deep within yourself and BELIEVE.

You are great! You are beautiful! Your body was made for you! It’s a work of art created just for you… it’s an abstract masterpiece designed just for you! Don’t try to change God’s design – embrace it!!!

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We all have different standards and views on beauty, and thus, the perfect “body image” doesn’t exist. Take my story for example. Some would consider my current body as “goals” and “perfect” – but I still don’t see it. I know that my body has its own imperfections, and I EMBRACE IT. Pictures can be deceiving, so don’t compare your body to what you see online, on TV and on the magazines. The curves of your waist, to the size of your booty is beautiful – and you should really, really, really love yourself MORE than anyone else does.

You can shape the way YOU want to be beautiful! If you want an IG model body, then work hard for it! If you can’t learn to embrace yourself, and love everything about your body – then who will?

At the end of the day, your body is yours to care for and love… so give it your all, because a work of art needs to be appreciated, not hidden.

I hope this message empowers you. It is International Women’s Day today, and I wanted to share a post that would uplift us all. We’re all beautiful and if we continue to lift each other up, the world would become 100 times stronger and unified than it is today. Don’t let the hate, negativity, and envy drag you down. Lift yourself up and believe in your own worth.

You are simply, amazing.

A personal message to my Readers:

Sorry for my slow blogposts, I’ve been super unmotivated lately… and super tired… plus, I’m about to graduate and I’m focusing so much time on finding a job and doing well in my classes. For now, I’ll try to post at least 3 times a month… but if I can’t keep up, I hope you understand I’m going through a transition in my life.

There are also other personal matters my family is going through at the moment, which I will share with you all once the timing is right.

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio

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Photo by @hzgunner on Instagram
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