Sunday, August 9, 2015
Fat Bottomed Girls: My Journey With Body Insecurity and Learning To Overcome
For as long as I can remember, I have been chubby. I look down at my stomach, and it protrudes further out than my breasts. My thighs constantly rub together and I have what I have been told is a "shelf butt" (My back is flat, but then my butt sticks out like a shelf). My weight tends to fluctuate between 175-210 pounds depending on my eating habits. People ask if I'm pregnant or tell me to go "get checked" when I tell them I'm not, particularly after I've had a lot of food. And for the longest time, I hated my body.
Not even kidding. I look at old pictures of me (and sometimes recent pictures of me) and I just think "wow, I don't look as good as everyone else." And maybe I'm being a bit hard on myself since all of my friends are basically gods, goddesses, and deities as far as looks are concerned, but I always felt like I was the odd sheep out, like that my body wasn't nice, so I would have to win people over with my smarts and non-existent sense of humor (which got me into trouble more times than not... timing and knowing your audience is key, my friends.)
Anyway, I wore a ton of baggy clothes until I was 14 when my mother and I went shopping (at my request, mind you, my mother never tried to force gender norms on me) for some tighter, possibly more flattering clothes. I stopped wearing most of them when random strangers on the street starting asking my age and telling me that they "won't bite." My mother never kept scales in house because she didn't want my sisters and I constantly checking (and thus worrying about) our weight, so I made do with the scale at the local YMCA before and after I went swimming. If I didn't hit a specific mark (which, to be fair, I was barely trying) I would get disappointed. Like, that I had failed in my life-long quest to become pretty.
My main problems were with my stomach and breasts. I really, really didn't want plastic surgery, so I had figured if I could make my stomach smaller, my breasts would look bigger by comparison and then I would achieve attractiveness. This reached a pinnacle my sophomore year of college when I began to watch what I ate. I didn't full out starve myself, like I still made sure I ate some, but my portions became smaller and I would constantly go to bed hungry. I constantly checked my weight on my dormmates' scales. I remember getting down to 158 pounds and feeling so upset that I couldn't get smaller. "If I can just get down to 120, then I'll look good." To this day, it's hard for me to eat full portions and to know whether or not I am full (though I've always had a sensitive stomach, so that doesn't help either).
I wish I could say I've fully recovered and that there was a turning point, but there really hasn't been. I mean, it definitely helped that my current boyfriend went to great lengths to make sure I knew that he loved my body as is and no matter the size, unlike previous lovers, but its mostly just been me trying to eat until I feel full, not being afraid to save food for later if I do get full, and understanding that this is a symptom of my greater anxiety and self-esteem issues, especially in regards into how other people view me and think of me. I don't think any of you understand how much I want to be liked and, while logically I know it shouldn't matter, emotionally it matters a lot to me. But the first step to being liked by other is liking yourself and putting yourself out there. So below are some spoken word videos that have helped me through this process. And know that I am still on this journey. I will fall, I will falter, I will fail, but dammit if I'm not still going to try and love myself.