My relationship with my body has finally changed; I no longer dislike how I look. I’m the largest that I’ve been but I’m not being unkind to myself because of it; I’m not beating myself up; I’m not making up stories in my head about being stared at by strangers because of my size and I’m graciously accepting every compliment. This state of mind was not easy to achieve.
My weight-consciousness began when I was 8 years old. Prior to that, I do not remember thinking about my body type. I was aware of it, but it did not seem abnormal or different from any other person’s body. I definitely did not refer to it as fat, skinny, or any other descriptive word. That quickly changed. I remember being called fat for the first time in the 3rd grade. I even still remember that kid’s name (but he’s irrelevant at this point). From that point on, my body was something I was ashamed of.
Throughout high school and college I learned to cover up my self-consciousness by being stylish. With clothing, a fresh haircut and a little makeup I was able to present a polished façade to the world while internally I struggled with liking my body. Without my armor (fashion) my self-consciousness was heightened. I would even call myself the “fat friend.” Though I said it in jest, it was harmful and untrue. Also, my friends hated when I referred to myself as such; they had never and have never said anything about my weight and they wanted no part in my self-loathing.
The adage, “youth is wasted on the young” is absolutely accurate. Looking back, I can now see that I wasted so much time not liking my body. My body has always been beautiful. It was my thoughts that were ugly. So now, 20 days before my 35th birthday, I’m deciding to rebuild my relationship with myself and my body; starting with kindness and love. I firmly believe that I cannot become healthier or more fit without loving myself first. Hating myself will never make me a better person and any changes made under the guise of self-loathing will not be sustainable. Furthermore, I will no longer apologize for my body type; no more shrinking; no more being bashful. Now, with my new armor: therapy, prayer, scheduled solitude, creativity and trust in myself, I can finally just be me; I can let the world see all of my many facets. I implore you to do the same. Take the time to reflect on your past or perhaps your self-consciousness and make changes where they are necessary and commit to them. That’s called a revision