I have always being a chubby child having grown up in a family of fat people but that had never bothered me. I was always almost found either with sweets in my pocket or biscuit, even the neighbours knew me as a biscuit freak. I loved eating, I was fat, I was a child, I was happy. Then I entered secondary school and everything changed. It was in secondary school I had my first boyfriend believing myself to be in love at that time. Looking back and remembering somethings I did back then, I feel quite stupid and embarrassed of the teenager I had been. I remember forcing myself to learn the “catholic prayers” because my boyfriend was catholic and I wanted to please him plus he subtly suggested I learn them. It seems so funny remembering it now. I felt so lucky to have been chosen by him. He had been one of the popular boys in school. Juniors loved him, my mates wanted him and seniors lusted after him whereas I had been a tomboy with pleasant features at best and simply loathed by my seniors. I felt inferior, I couldn’t see what he saw in me and that made me eager to please him at all times and my eagerness caused me to compromise a lot. I had my own morals and beliefs but I often threw it away just so I could see him look at me with smiles.
The fact that I was “plus-sized” didn’t help my inferiority complex one bit. I was plagued with a constant case of “slightly fat” in school and “fat” at home. It was a vicious cycle I couldn’t break away from. I would get to school and lose weight and come back home just to accumulate all the weight I had lost and more. I began to dread going home and the inevitable cycle that would continue but try as much as I could, I was already too far gone with my love for sweets that I couldn’t even help myself if I tried. My family members were all fat, most of them having had the fatness creep up on them and they were happy that my school makes me lose weight. They were happy I would be slim since plus sized was apparently not in vogue but the more they tried to preach it, the more inferior I felt. They were not doing anything wrong, far from it, they actually thought they were helping me but it only made me constantly aware of the very thing I hated about myself. The very thing I kept pushing to the back of my mind hopelessly trying to forget.
Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and I learnt a new technique. I wasn’t bulimic or anorexic, God forbid!!! I loved myself and food too much to punish myself that way. Rather I started the “fasting weight loss program”. I would fast for an entire week eating only on Sundays so as not to raise too much suspicion. This continued for a while since I found out doing that would make me lose at least 5pound. Then my mum caught onto what I was doing. She hadn’t been satisfied with the “I have already eaten” chant which had become my mantra and tried to get me to stop whatever it was I was doing. She preached like only a mum will do about me being perfect the way I was and all that and I bought it. I stopped for a while and then resumed but the fact that I was always feeling tired plus I had to run all errands at home being the last child and all, finally got me to stop.
I am presently in University, a final year law student yet the feelings of inferiority and insecurity have not yet left me, at least not totally. I have attended a lot of conferences where it has been preached that “we should love ourselves, forget about the past” and all those but then it never is really easy to put in practice. I have amazing friends and family who are always there for me but I am not really the kind of person to open up about my “insecurities”. Due to my complex issues, I masquerade myself as a “die-hard”, serious, non-emotional person so nobody but myself really feels the brunt of the emotional pains or insecurity I have where it concerns my weight.
A friend of mine would always comment whenever we come back from break that I have added weight and though it is just a simple comment, it resurrects the feelings I try to keep buried inside. I tried resuming the whole “fasting weight loss program” but it gave me an annoying case of rashes that left me itching for a long time and I finally decided it wasn’t worth the stress. It is not like I am extremely fat or shapeless but the insecurity is just there, lying a little beneath the façade I present, waiting to rear its head at the most inopportune of times and moments.
However, I am learning to love myself the way I am. Instead of fasting and starving myself, I am learning the art of eating healthy and balanced meals. I have friends and family who I know love me for who I am and will always support me no matter what. I know I have not embarked on an easy journey but I believe the process is all part and parcel of the journey. I believe I will eventually be able to look at myself in a mirror without wincing rather looking beyond the facial features to see the perfection that “The Father” has created.