Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I am beautiful: my weight battles along the years

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


Inside My Shell said...

You spoke from my heart! This is more or less what my journey with body image issues and weight has been like. I'm still working on the living healthier part but I've learned to love my body, too.
Thank you for posting this!

yellowgirl said...

this is a great post!

Felicia said...

If only all the women could adopt this attitude... man, it would be such a much happier world, I am telling you. Ohhh...and regarding my own issues with body image and stuff, I don't even want to get started... it's Pandora's box:) Great post, by the way.

kristaliukas said...

Nice post, Agnese! I know exactly what you mean here. I think as females, we all go through this rollercoaster of self-image obsession forgetting that the most important part is to love ourselves and appreciate the fact that we are lucky enough to have every single part of our body. There are too many less fortunate ones who due to birth defects or accidents or diseases would gladly take a few extra pounds of fat just to get back a body part that they’ve lost.

Melody said...

Excellent post.

As a heavy set person with an impossibly thin family I've always struggled with my weight - and hated how much energy I put into making myself "acceptable"...and how much energy I feel have to put forth to prove that I'm still valuable even though I'm not thin.

Still working on that, but your post was very encouraging.