I feel a little hypocritical writing this because I’ll probably end up preaching about how everyone should love themselves, etc., when I personally haven’t reached that level of acceptance.
I’ll have to get over that because I’m just going to look back and see how my self-image and perception have changed.
I also want to preface this by saying that losing weight didn’t fix all my problems. It helped a lot, yes, but I don’t want you guys to read this and this that losing weight will solve all your issues.
I wouldn’t say I was a confident child. Maybe back when I was like 5-7ish and ignorant of the world and others’ perception of me.
When I was little, I remember being so shy and awkward that people thought I couldn’t talk or had something wrong with me, so I guess being ‘quiet’ has always been with me. If you ask me, I wouldn’t describe myself as quiet, but that’s a whole other post.
Anyway, I was that smart, fat, little girl who didn’t really have any close friends but would kind of hang out with everyone. That’s all I really remember. I don’t really recall much from my early childhood, since I blocked out most of it, ha; so we’re going to move on to a little later.
Middle school comes around and this is around the time that my self-confidence hits an all-time low. I, all of a sudden, became aware that I was morbidly obese, and that this was a bad thing in the eyes of others.
I was chubby, awkward, really nerdy, had a unibrow, glasses, and braces. I wasn’t looking too hot (not that all of those things make you ugly, just my personal reflection on myself).
I would always think that people were talking about me, or my body, etc. Just overall, really self-conscious
Because of my looks, I fell into a deep pit of self-destruction and all that. Basically, I hated everything about myself.
I hated my body, and everything about myself, to the point that I would fantasize about getting a knife and just cutting the fat off my body. Looking back, I would say I had Body Dysmorphic Disorder to an extent.
In my opinion, I think that my body image was the underlying culprit of my confidence issues. It made me avoid being in the spotlight. I didn’t want to present any projects or assemblies, I didn’t want to go on field trips or parties. It basically stopped me from being me.
Anyway, middle school ended, and the joy that is high school started. Yay. Most of freshman year, I dealt with the same self-image issues as I did the previous year. That was until January.
That was when my weight loss journey started. I started to lose weight at an insane rate. People were beginning to notice, and treat me slightly differently.
I began to see myself differently. Instead of always being hyper-aware of how I look, I turned that attention over to my work and relationships with people.
It was like a weight had been lifted off of me (no pun interned).
I began to shop for clothes with my friends, I could take my jacket off at school, I could present in front of large groups of people without wanting to cry and jump out a window.
I just carried myself differently.
With that whole weight loss situation, I just kind of changed. I began to carry myself in a way that didn’t scream ‘I think I’m inferior to you?’
I also got my eyebrows done, learned how to do my makeup (well), dress decently, and just… I don’t know… Take care of myself.
With that being said, I want to end this by saying two things:
- I’m still not the most confident person out there. I still get nervous when meeting new people, and I still have those days when I’m not the most comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know if anyone can achieve that level of acceptance with themselves, but I’m going to keep aiming for that.
- Losing weight by no means is the only way to feel better about yourself. I envy the people who are on the extreme ends of the weight spectrum and still love themselves. I, personally, don’t think I could have achieved that level of love for myself at that weight.
Change if you want to change. Change to make yourself happy, not others.