I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.
Whether we like it or not, society is partially to blame for this. What we see on social media and television becomes what we expect. The Victoria Secret models waltzing across the stage become our own version of perfection and what we desire. As someone with curves, who is also slightly overweight for her height, it has become clear to me that it is just a dream that will never come true. But reality is often painful. We all want a perfect body and to just feel good about ourselves, but that seems so hard sometimes.
Recently, I have started doing personal training. Although one of the main reasons I have started was to lose some quarantine fat, I figured there was an underlying larger reason to me, overall. I didn't just want to lose weight. After being in a state of quarantine for such a long time, I wanted to renovate myself. Maybe in a good way, maybe in a painstaking way, given my stubborn attitude towards life. I was sick of being such a couch potato all the time during the quarantine and wanted to do something that was worth it. Little did I know that my reason for doing personal training would soon evolve.
I realized that besides losing fat, I wanted to be able to feel good about myself.
I was able to figure out that this is probably what I lacked when I had anorexia in my early teenage years. Besides not eating, I could never feel good, or even satisfied with myself. I was way skinnier that time than I was now, but for some reason, I don't think I was any bit happier about the way I looked, despite the fact that I was diagnosed with anorexia at that time. Something about myself felt unwanted.
There are days every so often when I would wonder how I would feel if I was that skinny again. I wonder if I would ever be happy in that body now. Would I be able to walk out of my home and feel like I don't have to be someone else who is prettier or skinnier or would I be satisfied with myself when I felt the sun on my face as I opened the door to leave?
Self-esteem and body image seem to be rooted in our expectations and disappointed by our reality.
As someone who has been afraid to step on the weight scale for years, I can assure you that it takes courage to be able to see that number on the weight scale and realize that our expectations were proven false yet again.
This is also why I have stopped weighing myself. It seemed like numbers were a tarot card providing me a certain part of reality that I didn't really need to swallow down every single time. I am a firm believer that numbers are not everything and no one should ever have to put their emotions hung onto the numbers on a weight scale. I realized that this was unhealthy — I think back on this sometimes when I wonder If I am progressing or not with my personal training. Would it have helped me if I looked at my weight every time I start my personal training sessions or work out on my own? Or would that just be a negative add-on that is preventing me from progressing my well-being?
If I ever had the power to change anything in the world, I think I would choose poor body image and self-esteem in a heartbeat. Feeling good about yourself is a huge part of enjoying life and the world around us. If we can't even feel good about ourselves how would we expect to feel good about what is around us? I hope people can wake up one day and realize that they don't have to be any prettier or skinnier to feel comfortable when they leave their house.
I pray that one day anyone can realize that their self-esteem and positivity is enough for them to feel beautiful.