06, 06, 2012

Body Image: Learning To Love You

As human beings it’s only normally to have insecurities, since being exposed everyday to images of perfectly air-brushed models and celebrities can be discouraging. I want to tell my thoughts and experiences since I have always been called “chubby” or “fat” growing up. I always had my cheeks pinched until they turned red, and teased for being a bit heavier than most kids. My mom always cooked for me, so I ate the same way my family did, and I did almost the same activities as them, yet they were all much slimmer than I was.

It wasn’t until high school when I started to lose some weight. I joined the school cheerleading team (but I honestly slacked off when it came to our workout routines at practice). In my late freshman year to my sophomore year, I was a size 6 which is the smallest I’ve ever been. But it wasn’t just joining a sports team that made me lose weight. As a teenager, I usually skipped breakfast because eating in the morning made me feel sick for some reason. And at lunch time, sometimes I didn’t even eat lunch and just waited until I got home from school to eat. I really didn’t do it on purpose though. I spent most of my lunch breaks circling around the entire school with my friends, chatting, and sipping on only a juice box. I was getting exercise without realizing it, but at the same time I wasn’t healthy since I wasn’t eating.

Once I graduated and entered college I started to gain some weight again. I got teased here and there so I tried out many attempts to lose it. I went on all the diets you can think of which didn’t last more than 3 weeks. I also went on a paid diet plan program, and even became a vegetarian for 2 years to lose weight (but I gave in to a hamburger that tempted me one day). My college years were probably the hardest I’ve been on my body image though. I was constantly being reminded that my body wasn’t up to par with the other girls. Also the fact that Asians are “suppose to be” thin and slender didn’t help.  In the past I’ve been told that if I were to loose just 10 pounds or so, I would be more “dateable”. If this ever happens to you, don’t even bother with what this person has to say. Just block it out entirely. People with comments like that aren’t even worth your time.

I can honestly say I didn’t think my weight was that big of an issue. But when the people around me pointed it out, I started to see it as an issue. I probably wouldn’t have went on crazy diets if people didn’t grab my belly or if the people around me didn’t think they themselves needed to lose weight either. When your friends think there is something wrong with the way they look (but they look perfectly fine!), you start to wonder if there’s something wrong with you too. But you need to figure out what is right for you based on how you feel about yourself, not what your friend thinks of themselves. I try my best to put those comments behind me and continue on being my happy and confident self no matter what. I’m telling you now: being slimmer is not the answer to getting more men/women flocking your way.  It is your confidence and the way you carry yourself that attracts them. And if that’s your only main reason to losing weight, you need to reevaluate. Sure, being slimmer can score you more attention, but who really wants to be with someone who only likes them based on their appearance? At my heaviest weight (158lbs at 5’3), I still went out, had fun, flirted, and even got a boyfriend. I wasn’t pleased with that weight, but I didn’t let it stop me from living my life the way I wanted to live it. My weight had nothing to do with it and I didn’t make it a big deal either. If you don’t love yourself first, how will others love you back? Most of the time, what you think are imperfections are actually what makes you interesting and sexy.

There is nothing wrong with self-improvements when you aren’t happy with something, I’m totally for it. But I believe we forget to love ourselves first before anything. Sure, we can get as fit as we want to, but it only masks our inner with ourselves. Don’t let the things you don’t like about yourself rule your life. They aren’t flaws, but are what gives you character, and even makes you stand out from others. Taking those negatives and changing them into positives will give you a whole new perspective. If others see how much pride you take, they will notice how wonderful you are too. If we are happier, have a positive attitude, learn to appreciate what we have over what we don’t, and just be one with ourselves, we will naturally exude beauty, confidence, and health.

As I’m getting older, I decided I want to become healthier for my own future benefits. I cannot let what others think corrupt how I feel about myself, nor should you. What matters most is what you think about yourself. I love myself, but sometimes I forget what I truly need for my own happiness. We hate to admit it but others or even our loved ones influence our thoughts, and if they have doubts we have them too. If it’s something that is really affecting your thinking or life, it is something you should address to their attention. They could be saying it without knowing how it hurts you. But overall, when it comes down to it – if you want to change something, do it for yourself, not because someone told you that you should. If it makes YOU happy, that’s what counts. And most importantly, just love every inch of you while you’re at it!

Mirror image via fat2fitradio.com, tummy heart image via healing.about.com, self hug image via epicself.com.

3 responses to “Body Image: Learning To Love You”

  1. TBE: I hear what you’re saying. Three of my patients and two of my coworkers asked me if I was pregnant. (I’m not). I got irritated and replied “Nope, I’m just fat” and let them squirm it out.

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