I'm Tired Of Hating My Body
I'm over it. I'm done. I'm tired of hating my body. How it looks with and without clothes. How it feels when I sit down or am dancing. How I take a second glance when I look at the mirror. It has all become too much for me. I think I've been carrying around this non-literal weight on my shoulders for too long and it's finally time to let it go because I'm ready to be happy.
I've always fluctuated with my weight, ever since I can remember. I never thought about what it meant to be heavier or thinner. It was around my high school years where I became self-conscious of how I physically took up space. I ate like shit, hated myself for it and relied on that young metabolism to take away my self-pitying. All I knew is that I wanted to have the washboard abs, the perfect perky boobs, and the toned ass and legs that most people seemed to have effortlessly. I was at my tiniest then and hated every inch of who I was, aesthetically. Me and my sister would lay in our beds at night and just talked about how we were "born with the worst genes" and go on hour long rants about how ugly our bodies were; I was 14 and she was 10. The way we egged each other on, to who could hate themselves the most, was terrifying. We didn't know that then and it's scary to admit now. We just wanted to be like the girls on TV and in the magazines. So unrealistic, but we were sold on the dream.
Please note: I was rocking a solid size 03 skinny jeans and XS tees and complained that I was too big to wear a bikini. If I could look back and shake myself, I WOULD because it doesn't matter what size you are - just wear the fucking bikini.
Fast forward to college: this is where it all came to life. This is where I was able to reflect on how toxic those high school thoughts were. When you go to college they tell you that you're going to "gain the freshman 15," do you know what that sounded like to me? Something like this: "YOU'RE GOING TO GAIN SO MUCH WEIGHT AND HATE YOURSELF. NO ONE IS GOING TO LOVE YOU. YOU'RE GOING TO BE THIS DISGUSTING HUMAN BEING." My mission turned into losing weight before any of that could happen. However, my ignorant brain thought that I could drink a lot, eat the breaded dorm room food, and not work out. I gained weight towards the end of that year and spent that summer buying new clothes. It goes downhill from here.
Sophomore year rolled around and I hit such an all-time low. I was struggling with the concept of dropping out of college and really HATING my body. So I ate...a lot. I just let it all go. Binged on everything and anything. Didn't go to classes. Slept through the days. I somehow knew how to turn that negative energy off when friends were around, but my girlfriend at the time knew what was happening and it was starting to affect the relationship. I didn't care. I'd gone through "funks" like this before but this was the first time I was letting my body take the brunt of it all. I went home for the holidays and my mom was shocked when she looked at me. I hid in sweaters and sweatpants that holiday season and feared summer. I don't know what changed around the spring, but it did and I got back into school and stopped treating my body like a dumpster. I loved learning and I loved slowly feeling like my body wasn't an issue anymore. It seemed like everything was looking up, but it wasn't.
The summer leading up to junior year, I lost a lot of weight. I became strict about how I wanted to look and feel. I ran at least 5-7 miles every single day, made sure that I was burning 500-900 calories a night, stopped eating after 8 p.m. and did something along the lines of "circuit training" on my Wii for 6 out of 7 days. I lost so much weight in 2 months that my parents were didn't know how to react. I loved myself and then hated myself because I felt like I hadn't done enough. Here is the problem: at my tiniest in high school I hated myself, at my biggest in sophomore year of college I hated myself, now back to almost my tiniest point again...hating myself, again. The brain is a beautifully scary thing.
Let's skip all of senior year because it was like a broken record, only no one really knew that this was a constant conversation I was having with myself. I graduated, got a job right out of college, and stopped thinking about my body. Adult life took over and I finally was at a weight that didn't make me feel completely terrible. I even felt like I was comfortable in my skin for the first time since I could even remember. I got used to this feeling and thought all those toxic thoughts were out the door.
The past two years have really fucked with me in a very different way. As a woman who echoes messages about "loving yourself" to her friends, I feel like I've been lying to myself. My body image takes over my thoughts for weeks at a time. It has been an ongoing struggle of how to get over my internal battle of what is beautiful. I feel empowered by so many people I know who are so confident across varying elements of their life and I just want to feed off that energy.
If you know anything about me, well then you'd know I'm more of a listener than a talker when it comes to the real, the serious, the deep shit. I'm not one to lay my business out there and even when I'm talking to the closest people in my life, I'm not trying to make it the "Ymijan Show". But there's one thing that I've learned since my life has turned upside down it's that I am finally becoming in tune with who I am. I've been reflecting. I've been crying. I've been laughing. I've been panicking. I've been creating. I've been doing. At the center of it all, the focus has been me. Last month I caught myself waking up and the first thought was, "I don't want to get dressed. I'm too fat and gross." Do you know how sad that is? To have that be your first thought in the morning? I knew right then and there that I had to stop giving myself such a hard time. So I did. I finally grew up. I finally found my power. Damn, it felt good.
I'm going through the motions of not knowing 99% of the things I'm feeling, but I'm ready to reclaim my happiness. I refuse to be a prisoner in my own body and mind. Not to sound like a self-help book but it gets so much better the moment you let the little shit go. The past couple of weeks have been so refreshing, so when I woke up this morning and had a slight negative feeling about myself I just had to remember that I am so much more than what I look like. I'm taking it day by day and loving who I am. I'm growing. Whether I'm hardcore working out or eating my family-sized bag of flaming hot cheetos, all that matters is that I'm happy with who I am. So right now I'm trying to find the balance of nutrition, physical activity and self-care. I'm trying to be the best version of myself and it's a daily process. I just needed to let these old thoughts/memories go. I've been keeping them in for so long. I'm making space for things that matter. Now when I talk to people, they even notice a slight change in how I carry myself. Shit, even I do and it makes me so happy. This is why.
Don't ever let somebody tell you that you need to look a certain way, wear certain things, act like X, Y or Z. Do whatever the fuck you want. This life is your journey. Be in the moment. Be happy. Be in love with yourself. I feel like I can confidently preach this because I, now, am living it.