Note: I wrote this post after a frustrating doctor’s appointment. Storytime: I went to my primary care physician hoping to get a detailed thyroid test. It did not go well. She was rude, and I got so angry I walked out. Taking out my phone, I wrote this post just to get it out of my head. Then I went and grabbed a burger which eventually made me sick (and that’s on emotionally eating gluten!). While I’m in a better place, I want to share this post because the journey to body acceptance is a rough one. Hiding these feelings, in my opinion, is lying.
Most importantly, this post deals with aspects of disordered eating. If you’re triggered, please skip this post. I care about you more than I care about pageviews. Love you, mean it. – C
I remember making my first weight-loss shake at 8. My mom had Slim-Fast in the cupboard and after seeing the commercials I thought, “Why not try it out?” Plus it was chocolate so it had to be good, right?
In 6th grade, I stopped eating. I was going through a lot and was lonely a lot, so snacking was something I just did. Then a comment from the sperm donor’s mother about me not eating made me do just that, so I did.
Summers in middle school I dreamt of finally losing enough weight to be the “bombshell” I saw in movies. I’d strut down the hallways with everyone turning heads. People would be SO proud of me instead of harassing and whispering behind my back.
The high school proceeded the same not eating act, but I also discovered laxatives. I didn’t realize taking one like aspirin every four hours was a bad idea until it was a bad idea. We’ll leave it at that.
Senior year I somewhat succeeded. I worked out almost every day that summer, including drill team camp, and lost a lot of weight. Probably the “smallest” I’d been since birth. For prom, I did two-a-days, skipped breakfast, and ate a cup of bagged salad, 1/2 cup of ramen without seasoning, and water for lunch. Every now and then I allowed myself a treat like Diet Coke.
Then I discovered low carb, so when my friends and I went out to eat I’d order chicken nuggets and remove the skin (?????) and a side salad with Italian dressing only.
I have a thing from Italian dressings I guess.
In the summer, I was told by a guy I liked we couldn’t be together because (basically) I didn’t look like an Abercrombie model. Laugh now, but back then it was a big deal to look like one.
College didn’t get easier. With all the food and not eating like a weird bird, I gained 20lbs. Being super self-conscious is an understatement, but I played it off by trying to be funny so people would forget I wasn’t skinny I guess.
But the self-esteem worsened. Not only did I hate my body, but so much of my childhood trauma was also flooding back.
I dedicated myself more than I can count to lose the weight. It didn’t happen of course, and thus I barely have photos of my time in college (I have the debt though).
Adulthood got worse. I went back and forth with every diet known to me. I was excited to develop an intolerance to gluten because I could finally be skinny. After discovering gluten-free brownies, however, all hope was lost.
I did a low-calorie diet followed by injecting myself with shots every morning and lost 40 lbs. Of course, I gained it back because now we’re here. While I know the quick weight loss wasn’t healthy, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I don’t think about going back to it.
The body positivity movement is a great evolution of inclusivity. If you’re a 90s kid, you know this is a welcome movement to help undo the brainwashing we learned about the perfect body.
And I can’t connect with it.
Truth be told, I hate my body. Looking at it, walking, and being in it makes me depressed. It’s selfish because I am an able-bodied person who has privilege over others. I know this, and yet…
Hoping to have a medical team listen to me as I describe my symptoms; that a doctor will trust me and not view me as a Black woman in a bigger body who doesn’t any better.
At times I don’t trust myself. What if the doctors are right? Maybe I am lazy and undisciplined?
I look forward to the day that I have answers and solutions…
And my body will no longer be my enemy.