Body image struggles are a pain. As a child I was often chided by family and peers about my weight. As a fifth grader I weighed 125lbs. I was also 5’3″ – taller than all of my classmates (with the exception of a few boys here and there) – with boobs and menstruating monthly. What can I say, I was an early bloomer.
As at 10 year old being told you’re fat and needed to lay off the chocolate by people you thought loved and cared for you was disheartening. I wasn’t a sloth either. I took dance classes every other day until I was 15 or so. I was on the school basketball team, a national juniors’ basketball team, and a city league basketball team. Practices were on the days I didn’t have dance class with probably 2-3 games every weekend. I was pretty active. But I was still not a size 2.
HOWEVER, imagine to your dismay that the first thing family members noticed wasn’t your knack for dance, basketball, music, or singing, but your weight… Years and years ago, some of my mom’s family members arrived for the first time from the Philippines. I was excited. I hadn’t seen them since I was 6 years old and to me family means automatic friends-for-life. But that interaction has tainted my overall perception of family. When they arrived from the airport to my aunt’s house, I was blankly told, “Oh, you’re fat.” Well, hello and hi to you, too.
Over the years, I learned to ignore the fat comments (and ignore the fat commentators). I thought I looked pretty. Curvy. Had a great personality to match. Wonderful smile. Hella smart. I wasn’t going to let anyone ruin my sparkle.
And that was how it went for about 6 years.
Until I turned 24 and my aunt suffered a hemorrhagic stroke. She was only 39. I took a look in the mirror and decided to work at getting to that nefarious Size 2.
I only got to mediocre Size 6.
And sometimes, I’m a Size 8. Some days I weigh 150. Some days I weigh 145. And if I work out and eat clean, some days I’m weigh 140. To be honest, I’m okay with that.
Sure, I’m probably still labeled “fat”. Magazines, social media, television, movies, they all point to what “normal” and “acceptable” should be. But to have that expectation is unreal. I’m not a Size 2 AND the majority of women in America are not a Size 2. Though there has been a shift by having plus-sized women in all forms of media – I’d love to see more AND a wider variety of sizes. What about those that are a size 10? Size 12? Size 8? Because, let’s face it!!! There are WAY more sizes in this world than just 2 and 16.
‘Til the next time.