From Obese to Zero and Back: How Losing Weight Made Me More Miserable
We live in a world that is obsessed and infatuated with weight loss. Stepping on the scale in the morning becomes more than just a habit; it somehow alarmingly sets our mood for the day. Our self-worth is now entirely dependent on our measurements, our waistlines and our pants size. Whether we choose to be believe it or not, our weight holds us back. It gets in our way, compromises our self-esteem and ruins our self-image. If you don’t relate to any of what I’m saying then I salute you, for you haven’t fallen victim to this unhealthy trend. This is not your average weight loss transformation story, it is my battle with self love; it’s a solid cry for help.
I’ve been overweight as a kid, continued to be as a teen, and well into my college years. Needless to say, I was bullied all through middle school. It got worse in high school and it peaked in my freshmen year. Like so many of you, the body shaming didn’t stop at school. It went on at home, at family gatherings and every other day. It got so bad that I stopped eating in public altogether, I started binge-eating in my room alone. I stuffed myself until I was no longer comfortable. I got even fatter, isolated myself and went into severe depression. All my academic achievements weren’t remarkable anymore, all what people saw was a fat girl ill-equipped to make it through life. That was my turning point; food became the enemy and I vowed to myself that I would lose weight and become good enough in the eyes of everyone who doubted me.
I starved myself, survived days on nothing but coffee and spent hours at the gym. Little did I know that it would be the start of my life-long self destructive obsession with weight loss. I challenged myself every single day, abstained from all kinds of “bad” food and cried myself to sleep. I started losing weight, I became what people would call a regular size, but it wasn’t good enough; I wanted more. I kept losing more weight until there was nothing to lose. People, somehow ironically, started telling me to put some weight on, that I looked sickly. It hit me then that I would never be good enough for them, but that isn’t the scary part, truth is I wasn’t good enough for me. At my lowest weight, when a size 0 was too loose on my body, I still saw myself as a fat person. I was still ashamed of my appearance. I started purging all the food I ate until I was okay with how I looked, not satisfied, just okay. I then realized that it wasn’t my weight that troubled me so much, it was allowing people to dictate how I should look.
I kept the weight off for a couple of years, it remained a continuous struggle of counting calories and staying below the weight I perceived as ideal. It was exhausting and I was more depressed than I ever were. I wanted to live fully, to eat without worrying about love handles, to go swimming without feeling self conscious about my body. I looked back on my obese days and God was I happier then. I didn’t hate my self reflection in the mirror, I didn’t care if a dress made me look curvy, I didn’t stick to a religious food journal. I was alive. It was on a regular Tuesday afternoon that I decided it was okay to eat. It will be alright if I put on some weight. A thigh gap will not improve my self confidence, it sure didn’t.
WE SAID THIS: Please stop this madness from going on any further. Stop body shaming people. All it takes is one word from you to turn a perfectly content human being into someone with an eating disorder. If you’re a weight obsessed person like myself, I encourage you to let go. It’s not your weight that’s holding you back, it’s your hunger for approval. It’s the part of you that wants to fit in, I say screw that and celebrate your individuality. You’re good enough, I promise.