Name a diet, any diet and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried it out. Weather its fasting, restriction and simply starvation one thing is clear I haven’t mastered any diet long enough to call it a lifestyle change. I’m not an expert dietician or wellness expert at all but I’m defiantly that girl whose put her body through a bunch of concocted, somewhat tested dieting ideas that mainstream media sells out so freely. I’m that girl whose self-image defines her, the girl who thinks all that she is and deserves is within her appearance. There’s so much pressure as a female to look a certain way and it doesn’t help that for a long time the average body was never represented and that the mere thought or mention of the word fat sent people into anaphylactic shock or worse off social suicide. This lack of female representation within our society worldwide is still happening and so is all the body-shaming and hatred towards people who don’t fit a specific mould.
I never looked like anyone in my family and I was often made fun of. Coming from a household that was different racially and ethnically. This concoction of so much difference made it so much harder to find my own identity that wasn’t wrapped up in expectations of others on me. Not fitting in at home or out in the perceived and expected “Normal World” made me feel so much more of an outsider and this feeling of misplacement or lack of placement had pulled me into the world of dieting and restriction.
I think when you have no place to call your own or feel so at a loss in society and within your own personal life, you begin looking for something you can have control of. Something that anchors you somewhere and it feels almost like basic instincts.
There’s this huge desire in all of us to find a tribe we can belong to and fit within. So like every other person a tried to find my place. I thought I had mastered that idea of self-control because I looked like I belonged and sounded like perfection and therefore there wouldn’t be room for any indifference to seep up. I was wrong because my self-control and commitment to fitting in had found its way into my image of food and what I would eat or didn’t eat. I had thought that I finally had the answer to all my problems and that was “change yourself”. Don’t bother trying to figure out who you are because that’s so much harder and takes longer. Like every quick fix diet I started a diet that was proven to get friends, a perfect image and hide away all my self hatred.
The thing about suppressing your own self-identity in order to not stand out or receive criticism is that it never works. I find that many people think that they have this obligation to give you their opinion on how they see you or what they think of you and these unsolicited pieces of information so very often fall into hatred, narcissism or just ignorance. Nobody wants to be an outsider and so they say things that they believe keeps them in favour. It took me realizing that there was no escaping hatred from the outside world in my perfected state to truly see my biggest hater, which was me.
Being super young and bombarded with ideas of beauty and not being able to distinguish the innate difference and impossibilities that faced me and I think a lot of other females when it comes to obtaining the western idolized frame of beauty. Being so far from the idolised girls on magazine covers left me feeling so dissatisfied with myself and all that composed me that I had gotten myself to believe I needed to change. There’s this image that society tells us we should look like and so often this image doesn’t represent all the other ethnicities within the world and girls find themselves attempting to obtain something that’s genetically and physically is impossible.
It’s so easy to fall into that trapped idea of what looks good and what needs fixing. We live in a time period where you can simply point at any physical feature on you that you dislike and get it changed. There’s no need to get yourself to love what’s displeasing you when there are so many solutions. I recently began asses my own ideas of what it meant to love myself and not see my own worth within my body or ideas of others because those two things seemed to be forever changing.
I remember reading a post by Grace Victory on bettering your relationship with your body. Reading the post got me realizing that I had been swept up in so many ideas that had told me to forget about the body I had and instead aim to obtain something that was better. I had actually forgotten just how much the body I had could do. I had forgotten to show my current body all the appreciation it deserved because it had never once let me down. I didn’t just need to constantly look forward towards this goal that I had believed I desired because I couldn’t handle what I had. The blog post had really got me thinking about how so many people forget about themselves on an emotional level. We forget about loving ourselves and appreciating all that we can give. It is so sad to see so many girls/women and myself included struggling to love ourselves again or to be with ourselves in a way that promotes positive thinking.
When you don’t have a place to fit in you try and find a place that you can insert yourself into just as a means of escaping all that you hate. I wish someday had told younger me that food nor looks can change your mental mind-set rather that they are two things that coexist and affect one another in positive or negative ways. I wish I had known that physical appearance doesn’t prompt you to be more active in your life because you deciding to actually part take is all a part of your mind-set. No amount of diet or weight loss is going to change a person’s mind-set alone. I know now that it’s what I see within me that drives me to take action and it’s the self-love I decide to give to myself that feeds that hollow space within me that’s looking for attention.
If I’m not willing to love myself completely there is nobody in the world that is going to give me that love that will fill that hungry empty piece of me and it doesn’t matter what I decided to nourish myself with because nothing will ever be satisfying or good enough.