A few months ago, I stared at myself in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw.
Growing up, my weight has never been a problem. All through high school and college, I was size 2 despite the fact that I stuff my face with junk food and carbs every chance I get. I never really noticed how much weight I was gaining until that moment when I tried on my last summer’s shorts and realized I can’t even get them past my thighs. Suddenly, I felt fat.
I never thought I would have these thoughts… ever. There was this overwhelming insecurity crawling all over me every time I see the little bulge across my tummy or the slight double chin I sported in photos. The feeling of not wanting to be in my own body took over me, and at times, I couldn’t think of anything else. Every time I saw someone else’s slim body, I suddenly wanted to be them. The constant struggle of wanting to eat but also wanting to lose the weight I gained made me depressed. I berated myself every time I had one more piece of chocolate or that extra serving of pasta. The words fat and ugly spiraled into my head like a never-ending tornado tearing away all my confidence and leaving no shred of acceptance of my own self.
Then today, I was sitting across two Australian tourists in Starbucks who were talking about the exact problem I was struggling with. (Of course I was eavesdropping… Because you tend to do that when you’re chilling in a coffee shop.) One girl said that feeling fat was just a smokescreen, and that there is an underlying problem behind that. My first thought was insecurity but that didn’t make sense because feeling fat led to insecurity…
Thinking about it more, I realized that maybe the reason I was feeling fat and ugly was because I’m guilty about the fact that I don’t take care of myself anymore like I used to. Is this “fat feeling” just a manifestation of my guilt and laziness?
A few years ago, I would religiously go to the gym at least thrice a week. I practiced yoga. I went out with friends to the park trying to catch up with their bikes in my kick scooter. I was a fairly active person despite my aversion to sports. Sadly, now, my only activity consists of walking to and from school. My mom bought me new running sneakers a few months back and it had only been introduced to the pavement thrice.
Coming to these realizations, I can say that… No, I’m not fat but I’m not healthy either. The next question then is, what am I going to do about it? I haven’t really made any concrete plans on overcoming this obstacle (I’ll give you guys an update soon) but for now, I listed down five things I can start right away.
- Stop comparing myself to other people. Bodies and metabolism are different for everyone!
- If given a choice between stairs or the elevator/escalator, take the stairs.
- Drink more water and less coffee, tea or soda! I write this as I sadly take a sip of my last venti caramel macchiato for the week. 😦
- Go outside (besides school) at least once a week, even if it’s just a walk in the park.
- Deliberately reject any negative notions about my body.
For those who are struggling like me, I hope you know that you are not alone with these thoughts. Everyone will have them at least once in their lives. But like me, think about the underlying problem and what you can do to overcome it instead of giving yourself a beat down with these “fat and ugly” thoughts.
For me, I’m focusing my thoughts on making my self healthier rather than losing the weight. I believe that once I discovered the real issue behind the “I’m fat” feeling and started creating the first steps to rectifying it, the negativity started to slowly disappear. Even as I’m writing this post, I’m feeling happier about myself. In time and with patient consistent action, I know that I will lead myself back to a more confident lifestyle.
Sometimes, all we need to get back on track is a little bit of guidance from the titas of Australia… and self-reflection.
P.S. Titas of Australia is a play on a popular phenomenon in Manila. Read about it here.