Monday, March 23, 2009

Weighty Issues, Part 1: Introduction.

For as long as I can remember, I have had body-related self-esteem issues. Don't get me wrong - I know this is not uncommon in girls. Women. Females. Whatever. But if my body is a temple, I don't regard it as such.

I was a cute kid. Round face. Blue eyes. Nice smile. But among some of my earliest memories of elementary school are glimpses of feeling... different. Because beginning around that time, I was no longer thin.

And I would remain overweight for nearly a decade (that seems weird to say now - a decade!), gradually gaining weight throughout the remainder of elementary school and then packing on the pounds like crazy throughout my middle school years. This came as a result of several factors: unhappiness; a poor diet; and good, old-fashioned genetics.

Most people at my high school of three years don't know that I lost a monumental amount of weight after my decision to switch schools. It was a blessing that came as a result of healthy eating and more luck than work. I ended up as a sophomore who, while not exactly svelt, didn't feel as if I would stand out as "that one." For once.

Since then it's been an up-and-down ride of fluctuating weights and corresponding fluctuating emotions... I think most people would be surprised to learn that I curse my body almost daily, what with the effort I put into dressing it. Although it seems paradoxical given the context of the entry, I'm a firm believer that everybody and every body is beautiful and everyone can be happy with their bodies so long as they accept them and, hey, dressing them well doesn't hurt either. That's what clothes are to me: a shield. If I'm dressed nicely, you won't notice my size.

But lately I've been feeling less than content with my body - and clothes aren't fixing it, when I can no longer fit into the things I own. And no, this isn't some fish-for-compliments type of post... If there's one thing I've learned from being overweight it's that once you've been there, you're kind of stuck there. Does that make sense? I still consider my body to be imperfect and I still critique myself as if I am still unhealthy - a passtime that is more harmful than helpful.

But it's hard, even with the amazing support system of family and friends and Boyfriend who compliment me when I'm feelin' good or comfort me when I'm feelin' bad. And guys, I will say this: it's not worth it to be overly critical of your bodies. As my mom, who's stuggled in the same ways that I have, has told me, "It's truly a waste of a life" to focus on that kind of thing. I guess the main thing is, a person can't place his or her worth in his or her physical appearance. Ever.

So I'm trying.


Kandace said...

college will kill you. even if you aren't living in the dorms, it is a different routine than you're used to and it takes its toll on your body. i've fluctuated a lot these past two years. i'm hoping i'll fluctuate down again!

but girl, every time i look at you i think - man, that girl is SMOKIN'. seriously.

Grace said...

haha, Kandace, I finally JUST saw this comment!
You're so cute and so sweet, too - thanks so much.

<3 Grace.