How does one love themselves when they’ve been told their whole lives they’re “too” much? Too much height. Too much weight. Too much (many) brains. Too much (many) issues.
I’ve been above average height my whole life. I currently stand 6′ (183cm) tall. I don’t like to stand out but, physically, I can’t help it. Add to that I have the bone structure of my father (a few differences obviously) and let’s just call it what it is – fat. You can’t miss me.
Over the years I have shrunk myself. Remained quiet, tried to blend. I’ve always been smart but not in an “I’m better than you way”. It was never “cool” to be smart, as an adult it surprisingly is valued but as a kid/teen not so much.
Physically I have tried to shrink myself too at times. I’d lose weight, people would notice and compliment me, and that would be enough to want to eat all the crap food I could find. I didn’t want to stand out, yet I did the smaller I got. It was a double edge sword, you get compliments for losing weight, people telling you how “good you look” – it’s such a materialistic world we live in. I’ve never wanted to be complimented on my looks, compliment me on my brain! Not my face and not my body.
That is something that reminds me of childhood, when all the other girls would get complimented on their bodies etc, I’d get the obligatory “you have a nice face” – as in not a nice body. Or when I was at a birthday party and we were playing games, I distinctly remember my friends’ father and his mate were blindfolding us and holding up a plank of wood for us to walk along whilst they wobbled it (I’m not sure what this game was?) and my friends’ father saying something along the lines of “look out, this ones a heavy one” – this “one” was me. That was over 20 years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.
Or when I naively became an adult and had men who would make me somehow believe I was “beautiful” and get what they wanted then wouldn’t talk to me again – as if they were embarrassed.
As a kid I had a pretty traditional family. We sat down at the table for dinner – and you ate all that was on your plate even if it took you all night. We were served big meals. As an adult I am a super fast eater, I don’t know if this was a result of growing up with that strictness, but I do know I eat like it’s going to be my last meal and I eat everything on my plate otherwise I feel guilty. A plate with food left on it doesn’t “look” right.
So I battle against this over/fast eating and the guilt I guess of knowing my body is going to expand. I’m not lazy in the sense that I don’t like exercise, it’s like all things, I have a hard time “sticking” to it. I have long legs so I walk fast and can walk far, it’s the encountering people thing and wondering what they think about me when they see me thing that keeps me inside.
Some days I’m confident! *This* is my body and who cares what others think! And I feel on top of the world – judge away! But that never lasts long, the taunts etc replay in my mind and grind me back down to reality.
I am actually healthy. I’ve never had a problem with cholesterol or high blood pressure. I eat reasonably well, although I do have my bad days. There’s no fast food outlet where I live so that helps.
One day I hope I can accept the compliments, that the compliments will stick in my mind and replay on the bad days, and that the taunts aren’t so loud. That I can love myself just the way I am in a society that is constantly bombarding me with images of why I don’t fit the ideal mould. It’s hard enough knowing mentally I don’t fit the ideal mould to be honest. One day!