From the time I was 5 years old I felt fat. I remember in kindergarten, not wanting to sit in circle time on my knees because I thought my legs were too big.
I wasn’t even a big child either. But somehow the thought of being perfect was embedded into my brain. From birth? From the verbal abuse I was enduring? I’ve done enough counseling to understand it has to do with coping and control.
I’ve been obsessed with my body my entire life. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, and nothing ive ever tried to do has ever helped me. To the outside world, if someone like me expresses these feelings, than I am vain and seeking attention. Judge me, I dont care because I’ve thought worse about myself than you. It’s a real disorder and a real sickness. It’s not about attention. It’s something so deep that’s so incredibly hard to understand or explain.
People think just because someone is thin, that they’re happy. If someone is large, they’re lazy. Both are untrue. No one can win, so why try?
I stare at other women who are all sizes and admire their confidence. Women are beautiful. And at times I do feel beautiful! Its been a 30 year journey to begin to love what i see in the mirror. It’s taken years of practice telling myself that what I think of my body is not really real. I see a big woman. But I know that’s not really true. I’ve been afraid of going public about this out of fear of judgement. I’m public about being an alcoholic so why not about this? Maybe it will hold me accountable to keep trying to heal.
The only thing I can say is that I’ve started praying about it. It’s the only thing I hadn’t done all these years to try and overcome it. I thought, prayer has helped my sobriety so why haven’t I prayed about this? So simple its stupid lol.
Perhaps its working? because nearly 4 months after having my 3rd son, I can look in the mirror and actually say that I’m happy with how I look for just having a baby. For someone like me, that’s huge! Sure, there are days where I count the dimples in my thighs, and I’m 2 inches bigger all around than I was a year ago. But, if I shut the negative talk down long enough, I start to see the real me staring back.
Why do we self hate? Is it easier and safer than having others hate us? Is it learned behaviour from abuse? These all might be true. But all I can do is talk myself down, out of the negative thoughts. If I can slowly change how I think, maybe the reflection will be clearer.
A short poem I wrote:
“I dont see what other see
When I look in the mirror,
I don’t see me.
I see a woman who’s larger in size
But my clothes say different,
So my brain is telling lies.
I was 5 years old when I felt this way
Not a moment went by,
That I felt okay.
I’m 35 now, so 30 yrs too long
But I realize it now,
That my minds been wrong.
I can pick myself apart
From my nose to my thighs,
And no one hears my silent cries.
I’ve been my own worst enemy
But I’m learning to love,
The person inside and the reflection that’s me.”
– Amanda Loewen