We live in an age of plastic surgery, Botox and fad diets. Few seem happy with the body they were given and somehow want to change it. There are many advertisements in the media and on the news to show you how to get “a new you.”
I got lucky. I never wanted to change my body, until I became an adult.
As a little girl I could eat anything I wanted and never gain a pound. It seemed the more I ate cookies the more hyper I got and the more weight I lost. I stayed in the 110-pound range through high school and a few years after until I was introduced to weight-gaining tablets and prescription pills.
At first, as the weight put on, I didn’t see myself as any different as the skinny Hollywood types. I’d even laugh at the occasional “fat” joke, not understanding why my friend snickered my way. As if, why do I have the nerve to laugh? It took many more instances for me to get it, to look in the mirror and see something other than the skinny girl I used to be.
The last instance included someone I thought was a best friend and her boyfriend. The friend and I went shopping at J.C. Penny where we encountered someone who apparently had a question for me. But I didn’t know anything about it until I went home to what I thought was my safe parental house. My friend told me over the phone that the woman with the wig at J.C. Penny wondered how far along I was in my pregnancy.
I’m not really sure why Jessica (that’s what we’ll call her) felt the need to tell me such terrible news. I found out later she just wanted to hurt me. Her boyfriend didn’t like me and he wanted to get revenge for some careless thing I said about his weight, since he weighed more than 250 pounds.
My self-esteem slowly went to hell as they decided to leave mean voice mails. I didn’t want to change my phone number so I just waited for it to pass while not giving them the time of day.
But I came from this experience with a real understanding of my body. I no longer denied I was 80 pounds overweight.
I tried every diet humanly imaginable. Some would make me lose. Some would make me gain. But most of all I still hated me and my body. I lost 40 pounds but couldn’t manage to lose any more and keep it off.
I started to forget about my body after I graduated college. I started to become active in volunteering politically and within the community. I even started therapy where I learned there was nothing wrong with being me.
It took me awhile but, at about 30 pounds more than I wanted to be, I learned to love and accept my body the way it was. The mean comments went right through me and didn’t pierce the heart.
I had so many qualities that seemed to melt the fat away. I ignored the pounds I carried and let the kind people that surrounded me tell me I was beautiful and make me feel so. I didn’t need plastic surgery or fad diets. I just needed to accept me.