Yesterday I had a conversation about weight. I remembered those years when I was living in the US, pushing size 18, I was depressed, obsessed with the way I looked and miserable. I think back at that time with sadness.
When I see overweight people I know what they are going through. I remember the battle I was fighting every day and nothing seemed to work or make a difference. I felt lesser, defeated, ugly and unable to win this seemingly easy thing. I talked about it to all my girlfriends and kept calling myself fat. I think it was my way of trying to get those who are close to me not judge me because I judged myself. I was so embarrassed to go home where they hadn't seen me carry 5 extra pounds on each hip and any comments really hurt. I was trapped in self- hatred.
I am not sure when and what exactly changed when I started losing that weight. For years I lost and gained and lost and gained again. I know I started exercising. I know I had a shift in my mindset, instead of obsessing about losing the weight, I started thinking of how to get healthier. With that approach, I didn't beat myself up if I didn't lose right away, I just focused on what is good for this body today. I started learning more about eating healthy. That was the problem from the very beginning, I didn't know what it meant to eat healthy. Before, I didn't bat an eyelid of eating a box of cookies for dinner if I craved something sweet. I heard somewhere that our body naturally knows when it's full and if we listen we'd actually do pretty well. I have tried to follow that principle. Before I eat something outside the meal time, I ask myself - am I hungry?
I remember a prayer I prayed at one point, I talked to God and told him how defeated I feel. I knew that it's not how it was meant to be and I knew that something is wrong in the picture. I asked him to help me with my weight so that all the energy and attention I had given to my weight problems and looks, I could give to him.
Now, almost 10 years later, I am free of those self-hating thoughts. I don't obsess with my body image anymore. I don't feel lesser. I don't feel like I have to prove or explain anything to anyone. The last leg in this battle has been watching less tv, where perfect bodies are adored and subconsciously we are fed the idea that everyone needs to look perfect and if you don't, then you are not as good. I am size 10 now, which, according to world standards is still not good but I know it's my healthy weight. I know I can maintain it and I feel healthy in it.
I have learned to love my body. My thighs, my belly, my arms, my bottom. I don't hate my body parts anymore, I don't take them for granted. I am thankful that my God created me perfectly in my mothers womb. I am beautiful the way I was created. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb." PS 139:13