…is between myself and my body.
Ever since the day I remember, I have had a dysfunctional relationship with my body. I think if I was left to my own devices I would have been fine and quite secure in myself. However, throughout my whole life people around me (many of whom were my relatives) passed comments about my body, my weight…and worst of all, compared my body to my other cousins’/friends’ bodies, which made me feel so sh*t about myself. I mean I was only a 10 year old child when I started facing such demeaning comments from some of my extended family members and family friends.
Believe it or not, when I was a teenager my uncles and aunts turned around to me and called me ‘fat’. By the way, I was of, and have always been of a healthy weight and within the normal BMI range. Nonetheless, who in my society ever cared about being ‘healthy’. Everyone just wanted LOOK ‘healthy’. Sadly being healthy, for many, meant looking ‘skinny’. I am not skinny. Never will be and never want to be.
I have come to terms with a few things now. Being skinny does not mean you are necessarily healthy. Eating the correct food and doing moderate exercise, at the least, is what being healthy is all about. My goal has always been to be healthy, and less about looking skinny. Why? Because I have fallen into the trap of crash and restricted diets, which have led to ill health and low mood to say the least.
My metabolism is changing as I am getting older, which is why I have become more aware than ever of what I eat. I try and avoid crappy food, but that does not mean I will not treat myself. I deserve a few guilty pleasures from time to time.
Now what I have experienced is only one end of the spectrum. I know of individuals who are naturally skinnier, and get called out that they need to put on weight. Guess what there are individuals who struggle to put on weight, no matter what or how much they eat. It is not their fault that their bodies are the way they are. Let’s not be giving them a hard time; let’s not put the pressure on them that they have to put on weight.
Ultimately, we need to encourage a culture where healthy lifestyles are so much more important than conforming to body types. I am so grateful to be surrounded by amazing friends who make me feel so beautiful. But I know that there may be individuals in this world who may not have that.
So here is what I wanted to say through this post. F*ck what they all say. If you suffering from body image issues, you are not alone. I am here with you, alongside several thousands across the country. Never stop living a healthy life. Don’t fall into the trap of crash diets. Don’t fall into the trap of extreme workouts. Be healthy. Be safe. Just love your body for what it is, and take care of it. It is seriously that simple.