Media Never Made Me Hate Myself
It’s 2017 and girls are still hating themselves for the way they’ve always been. I open magazines and although the majority of the models are blonde-haired blue-eyes, skinny women every so often I will be a Black woman with her afro out, or a “plus-sized” model just loving herself. Even Barbies now embrace nearly every body-type. If I was a young girl in 2017 absolutely nothing would be different about the way I felt about myself, because the media didn’t affect me like it affected others, I had no issues with comparison, I always knew that I was me and they were them. The group of individuals responsible for making me feel the way I do are doctors.
Going to the doctor is something that happens at least once a year. Ever since I can remember the only topic that was ever discussed in visits was my weight. They’d ask my mom what I ate, how much I ate, when I ate. They’d tell her what I should not to eat, and how much I should eat. At a certain point I started to hate going to the doctors not because of the fact that I an scared of needles, but because I knew what they would say, and I knew that nothing had changed from last year. They’d do blood work and everything would always be fine. Out of my two other siblings who had healthy weights, I was the healthiest. Being so young I didn’t understand what the problem was. I didn’t understand how everyone around me ate the exact same thing and yet I was the one with the problem. I would go and see nutritionist and they’d ask the same question and make they same suggestions the doctors did. I really started to internalize everything they said about me, cause they never spoke to me just around me to my mother. I really got to a point where I truly didn’t want to eat anything, I still ate cause I’m not one to starve, but eating didn’t feel good to me, I always felt really bad about myself afterwards even though, it was normal and everyone ate what I ate.
I never got bullied because of my weight I actually had a good amount of friends and was cool with everyone. But I had this fear of getting made fun of, or of being pointed out because I couldn’t run fast. I would walk into room and count how many bigger people there were to see if it was just me. I became very aware of progressions in my body whether it be “good ones” or “bad ones.” I was very aware of where and how many stretch marks I had and of how round my belly was. I truly believed that there was something wrong with me. I didn’t see myself was attractive, and I’d become so good at just casting myself out that I missed a lot of cool things I wish I could’ve done. I was afraid of putting myself out there or being the center of attention.
Now it’s 2017 and four days ago I had my physical. My doctor told me I was obese. I’ve been trying very hard to forget about it, I was finally getting to a place within myself where I accepted where I am, and then I start to feel like my younger self again. At even the thought or mention of food I think “obese.” I don’t enjoy eating, I do it because I have to and because I don’t like to feel hungry, and I feel really bad afterwards. I know that I weigh more than my normal overweight self should, and I’ve been trying.
I wish that doctor would scientifically explain to me what I am doing wrong. I tell them I workout, I eat right and they are always baffled when I say that I am doing everything I am supposed to do. They check my hormones, thyroid, and everything is fine. I am healthy but obese. Before this incident I was content, not happy but I was ok with what I was. I just turned 25 my age finally caught up to my womanly body, and I was ok. I don’t feel like my 25 year old self should, I feel like my 12 year old self did.
I have a boyfriend, he is away right now, won’t be cohabiting with him for another year and a half. I’m afraid that he won’t feel the same way about me when he comes home. He sees me often but always fully clothed. He tells me I’m beautiful and that he likes the way I look; but I just wonder how could he think any of those things.
I don’t want to create another obsessive relationship with the gym, although going to the gym 2–3 times a day worked it wasn’t sustainable which is why we are back at square one. I don’t want to be skinny, I don’t want a flat stomach, I just want to be happy with myself for once. I don’t want to believe that there is something wrong with me.
I am going to try to be nice to myself, and not shy away from mirrors. I am going to do my best to rebuild the relationship I was previously cultivating with myself and put those words behind me. I’m not saying my doctor was wrong for warning me, but I really do wish they’d be more fucking helpful about it.