Growing up, I was always self conscious about my body image. Primarily because family members would comment on my body. I either looked like a “fat cow” or was labeled “anorexic” even though I was in the middle of the chart. Regardless of my weight, I was over sexualized and received uncomfortable comments about my body. It has caused quite the issue that has contributed to a body image turmoil.
Food to Hide vs. Losing to Be Seen
At some point, food became my only comfort. I tried eating to hide even though I knew it wouldn’t make me feel any better. I ate to no longer be called anorexic or be made fun of for being a healthy weight. So, I ended up gaining 77lbs in one and a half years; ending up at 220lbs by the beginning of my freshman year of college. And yet, my efforts weren’t enough for certain family members. My body image was then taunted with disgust.
That has led to a point in my life where I unhealthily lost weight. I lost about 60lbs in 6 months due to depression, an unhealthy eating habit, and taking weight loss supplements. I felt shame in my weight loss journey while also feeling better about my body image.
It took me a while to lose weight in a healthy manner. I told myself that I had to do it for myself and in a healthy way. It has led me to research how to healthily lose weight. This resulted in me trying intermittent fasting; tailored to my active times while incorporating balanced meals. Outside of my body changes, I noticed that my brain functioned a lot better when I was fasting. I was able to do homework during the day instead of only at night. My overall mood, energy and sleep was better.
In those moments, I began to understand what I put into my body matters, not my weight. I’m only healthy by engaging in healthy things. My body is beautiful regardless how it looks because my soul is beautiful.
Navigating My Body Image Today
Although I had that breakthrough, I still struggle with my body image. In response, I try to engage in healthy activity at least 5 times a week. First, I started with a goal of stretching everyday. Then, I set a goal of doing at least 20 sit ups a day. Which is where I’m at in my journey. Setting a smaller goal actually motivates me to do more. This is what I have been doing (depending on my mood):
- Jumping Jacks for 1 or 2 songs
- 15 to 20 Push-Ups
- Air Punches for Half a Song
- SpongeBob Dance
- Arm Curls
- Glute Raises
There are days where I do all of the workouts on the list! There are days where I would do just one workout. I can say that all of this has been making me want to start jogging. My next goal is to start jogging at least once a week! When I do, I may give you all an update!
– Dez 🙂