There’s a lot of pressure from society to look a certain way. Being slim and toned is the definition of beauty according to the media, but most of us don’t look like the models on the front page of magazines, and that’s okay. I used to think that if I lost a ton of weight, I would feel much happier with the way I look. I was wrong.
It didn’t improve my body image.
The thing about body image is that it’s rarely controlled by physical changes — it’s more about applying mental changes. I used to think that if I lost the desired weight to reach my goal that I would finally feel happier with my overall appearance, but it doesn’t work like that. When you change one thing about yourself, you’ll often find that you start fixating on other things that you would also like to change. A lot of us will never be fully satisfied with the way that we look until we change our perspective and try to learn to accept ourselves. That’s something that I’m still working on.
The comments that I received didn’t help.
When the people around me started to realize my sudden weight loss, I received a mix of comments. Some of them showed concern and others gave me a lot of praise. I was told by one of the neighbors that I looked far better now that I was much slimmer, and to be honest, I found that really offensive. Why do people feel the need to comment on other people’s weight? It’s none of their business.
My health wasn’t great.
At the time of my weight loss, I had some health issues that were under investigation. So even though losing weight was always the end goal, I couldn’t fully appreciate it or celebrate it because I was dealing with other things going on inside my body.
It created new problems.
When you eliminate one problem, it causes another, and that’s what happened to me. I got to a point where I was worried that I might be losing too much weight and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to control it. It seemed like no matter how much I ate, I just couldn’t put on any pounds. It was quite a scary time for me.
My relationship with food changed.
I started to see food as the enemy and the reason for my current health issues. At the time I experienced frequent bloating, stomach cramps, and a whole list of other digestive complaints. I started to restrict my diet to avoid ‘trigger’ foods and I only ate ‘safe’ foods to monitor any changes in my health. I became obsessed with reading the packaging on every food product. Anything with gluten, dairy, or sugar had to be avoided at all costs. It certainly felt like it was out of control and my weight loss continued.
As I started to get better, I went back to eating normally.
Eventually, I started to see improvements in my overall health so I gradually put foods back into my diet, one by one. I was so miserable because I’d been restricting my calorie intake and I hadn’t allowed myself any sugar for months. I wanted to feel normal, so I went back to my old way of eating and I started to feel more like myself again. Being able to go out to eat again was also something that made me feel a lot better.
I started feeling scared about putting on weight.
Even though I was eating normally again, it didn’t eliminate all of my worries. I started to feel concerned that I was putting on too much weight. Every time I stepped on the scale and saw the number go up, I wanted to cut out all of the foods that I loved. The thought of being at my heaviest weight again was terrifying and I was prepared to do anything to avoid that.
I still skip meals sometimes.
Honestly, I do skip lunch some days, especially if I feel I’ve consumed a lot of calories the day before. I don’t like the idea of putting on much more weight, but I would feel okay if I continued to maintain the weight that I am now.
I’m still not happy with the way that I look.
Sure, I may have lost a lot of weight, but it hasn’t greatly improved my body image. I still hate the way my thighs jiggle and I get really self-conscious when I wear a top that clings to me and makes my belly stick out. Sometimes, I even feel disgusted when I look at myself. I always wish that I was more toned and that I made more time to exercise, but I should remember to be a little bit easier on myself as well.
Losing weight isn’t the secret to a happy life.
I realize now that losing weight doesn’t mean anything. It might really boost someone else’s confidence, but for me, it didn’t make a whole of difference. I still focus on the things that I don’t like about myself but I want to get to a point where I can love and accept myself the way that it is – even the belly rolls. There are so many women who look the way that I do and they’re beautiful, so why can’t I see myself as beautiful too? I think I need to start being kinder to myself.
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