For many people, this time of year offers a chance to change. It is just as a shift in a new calendar year carries a gravitational load, which encourages us to treat this simple passage of time as a catalytic event that will inspire us to change our lives. But this January, I am greeting the new year in a different way than before. I will not make a resolution that is around losing weight. Instead, how I want to change to see my body and the desire to change it.
When I was in second grade, I asked my parents to buy me a Slimfast bar. I watched advertisements on TV all the time; Just eat these bars or drink this creamy looking shake, and you too will be thin, pungent. For some reason, my parents agreed to let me try them.
That Saturday, when my dad and I went to the grocery store to get food for the upcoming week, I was given permission to take out a box of meal replacement bars from the vast selection in the fluorescent-little Isle. I chose an apple cinnamon flavor. According to the instructions on the box, my lunch consisted of a bar and a fruit.
On that Monday, I packed my Slimfast bar and a pear in my lunch box, and by the time it rolled around lunch, the pears were so banging that most of the delicate skin was punctured, the interior of the bag now a sticky, Disgusting was messed up.
I can recall a sharp pain of self-pity as I launched a scratch and bleeding pear into the trash and attempted to wipe it inside my lunch bag, with holographic butterflies covering the outer wings with their tiny Turned the arms around. Inner lining insulated. I open the rest of my lunch. Slimfast Bar tasted nothing as I expected. I never buy or consume meal replacement bars again.
This does not mean that I tried to change my way of seeing. I have always been “chubby”, a fact that many people in the world were entitled to point out at various moments in my life. Once in middle school, I told myself that I would eat Jell-O from that very moment only to lose weight. On the first day, I almost went out at lunch.
As a teenager, I was essentially rejected by mass-market clothing manufacturers when many stores chose mine-like neglected bodies through their limited size. I still remember the first of the stretch marks that adorn my body – wrapping the thighs in pink ribbons – and feeling deeply distressed at the new sign of this abnormality.
I am telling you this now because I am tired. I am tired of a lifetime living in a world around my body. I am tired of feeling that I need to make up for it. I am tired of carrying the weight of inner shame and self-loathing. If only I. Did not care? It is mere physicality, it is flesh on my bones, how have we allowed it to be more representative of the aspects of a person?
I am not only tired but angry. I am angry that we live in a world that has convinced us that we lack, always one step away from being the best version, like a sculpture that needs constant revision and adjustment. I am angry that there are amazing women in my life, men whom I inspire and attract every day, yet look in the mirror with eyes that are assessing their flaws and taking a list of areas that miracles Improvement is needed rather than taking stock of it.
We are lucky to witness. I am angry that one of the most special people in my life – a 12-year-old girl I have known for years, who has the most brilliant minds and the brightest future – came home from school one-day last year and told a colleague. Called fat.
I think of the reasons why I have probably carried “extra” weight for most of my life. I accept deeply rooted personal issues that link emotions to food. Desire to control. Scrambling to fill a perceived deficit in any way I can. Seeking comfort in a world that often produces restlessness. Our bodies are so much more than we reluctantly make them out to be. They are a product of many elements – the relationship between heart and mind, which we often neglect in discussions about weight loss.
Losing weight is not as easy as buying a box of Slimfast bars. I have issues that manifest themselves in many ways, one of which is to be physical. If I can work to heal myself, keeping the mind and health in mind, maybe it will motivate my body to go through some kind of change, but it is only a by-product of these efforts Is not the goal. For now, I am trying to place more importance on these internal changes than physical ones and not the other way around.