I have dealt with body image issues my entire life. Not once did I ever feel comfortable in my own skin. Not when I was overweight; not when I was underweight. My body has been through a lot, but it never failed to keep me alive. Every second of everyday, my heart keeps on pumping blood through my veins; my legs allow me to walk from one place to another; I can see and do so many amazing things thanks to my body. But I failed to see this the whole time.
I’ve blamed society for creating unrealistic expectations for adolescence today. I’ve blamed the people around me for pointing out my size when I was a kid as if it’s a bad thing. I’ve blamed myself for letting all of this happen. But now I know that if it weren’t for all those things, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t be able to rejoice on the fact that I feel the most confident I ever have in my body right now. The best part is that I’m not even what society deems as ‘perfect’. I’ve learnt that I will always be dissatisfied with myself no matter what if I continue to seek approval from external sources. I’ve learnt that what other people think has no value to me. They’re probably too busy thinking about themselves anyway.
I could go on about how brainwashed we all are when it comes to body shaming. How we allow whoever it is to tell us that thin=good and fat=bad. How bigger people are immediately assumed to be lazy, indulgent and greedy people. How we look down on them like they’re somehow less worthy than others just because of their size. I remember when I was 10, I told my friend that I’ve never spoken to this other girl in our class. She asked ‘Why? Is it because she’s fat?’. I remember thinking how I need to lose weight when I was 5, in kindergarten. I remember how every single adult that met me for the first time would say my baby fat would go away once I get older. I remember pinching on my belly fat, wishing I could cut it off with a knife. These things haunt you for life.
My point is, I wish we could stop obsessing over external appearances and start realising that there is so much more to life. The moment I stopped worrying about my weight was the moment I started living again. I wish dieticians would stop saying harsh things to patients when most of them have been thin their whole life and have no idea what it’s like to live as a bigger person in a world that glorifies thinness. I wish doctors would actually treat an obese person’s disease instead of telling them they need to lose weight. Most importantly, I wish people would stop putting labels on people based on their appearance.
Everyone has their own struggles. This is mine.
A few days ago, on January 1st, I decided to delete all social media apps off my phone. I found myself spending way too much time scrolling aimlessly, comparing myself to people on Instagram, wishing I had their life. Basically I was going against my words and doing everything that I tell people not to. It had been negatively impacting my mental health for a while now and I knew it all along, but something about it is just so darn addictive. It’s like that bad habit that you know you should change but don’t exactly want to. Honestly though, it’s such a waste of time. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather spend those several hours doing something productive or spending time with my friends and family instead of getting sucked into my phone.
So how does it feel? It is freaking amazing. It is incredibly freeing. I honestly haven’t felt more at ease in long time – both physically and mentally. I struggle with self confidence big time, and social media was one of the main contributors. Sure, I miss seeing what my friends are up to. I even caught myself taking my phone out to post something on my story, only to realise the app was gone. As much as I love social media as a way of connecting with people around the world, I refuse to sacrifice my sanity for vanity.
I have no idea how long I’ll keep up with this – maybe a month or two, maybe forever? Who knows. I encourage you to try a little social media detox as well, even if it’s just for several days. Put your phone away and enjoy living in the moment. I think we all need some of that nowadays. Oh and if you’re like me and still want to post photos every now and then just because you’re proud of them, there are ways to post from your computer. Just don’t start scrolling through your feed while you’re at it. Trust me, it’s incredibly tempting (coming from personal experience).
There’s only three weeks left of 2017, and I’m sure many of you are beginning to think of your New Years Resolutions. I’m just going to take a wild guess and say that the majority of people are planning on going on a diet or losing weight. Before you go ahead and do that, I’d like to share with you a story I call ‘The 3 Years of My Life I Lost Trying to be Thin’. Continue reading “Why You Shouldn’t Go on Another Diet this New Year”
The other day, my friend told me I was really brave for putting up my raw and honest thoughts in one of my previous posts. I found it funny because I have no issue whatsoever with spilling my heart out on the internet, yet it’s difficult for me to open up in real life. So I guess this is my outlet. This is where I go through the painful process of ripping off the plaster and letting my wounds come to light. This is where I put pen to paper and let my words roam free. This is the messy, imperfect, unfiltered version of me – the side that people don’t often show on social media. Continue reading “The Bright Side of Darkness.”
Life is not a competition. You don’t always have to win. The beauty of communication is the ability to share ideas and deepen each other’s understanding. There will always be someone who disagrees with you. As the well-known Dita Von Teese quote states: ‘you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.’
Continue reading “It’s Not About Winning.”