My Shitty Relationship with Body Weight

By Yvonne;

Over the last three years, I have become very avoidant in having full body photos taken. I hate looking at myself in the mirror, and purposefully do not own a full length mirror. For a long time, the image of my body disgusted me. At times, it still does.

As a teen, I struggled with my body image and weight. Looking back on photos of high school me, I cognitively understand that I would be perceived as “tiny” by most of my peers. I stood 5’4″ and 115 pounds, but I was miserable. I came from a family and ethnic background where the women weighed in at 100 pounds until their mid or late 20s. Family members always had something to say about a girl’s body, especially mine. I was taller, built a bit more muscular, heavier, and still growing. The people I was surrounded with and media were really not helping me form healthy viewpoints of my body. I already had a lot of internalized self loathing at a young age.

Once I reached university, my mental health began to slip. As one life-changing event happened after another, my relationship with food and my body began to morph. I found that I could easily gain a sense of control by controlling whether or not I would eat food. Skipping meals and calorie counting was an obsession I kept under wraps. Finally, at the end of university, I hit an all-time low… and an all-time high for my weight.

I was in a co-dependent relationship with a person that did not particularly care for his health. Meals were “important” to him and he loved to indulge in food that I wasn’t used to eating much of. Paired with a generally sedentary lifestyle, both he and I gained weight. It wasn’t until I made the decision to take some time to work in Korea, was I able to work on my health, both physical and mental.

I was brought backwards when I started this blog at the beginning of my mental health journey. Overeating and overindulging became my way to cope with negative emotions. Depression symptoms were so exhausting that I couldn’t find it in me to get any exercise. This leads to more self-hate and less motivation to do anything about it.

I’m currently still on a journey with my body weight and the way I look. I have learned a lot about accepting my body the way it is but also encouraging myself to maintain healthy habits and work toward fitness. There are days where I still can’t look at photos of myself, but the motivation’s there. I am committed to being happy and healthy in my skin.

Some things that I have learned to do:

  • Be less concerned about the numbers. Whether it be on the scales or how much you can lift.
  • Focus on how you feel. It’s not worth it if you’re dieting and exercising but your body feels like it’s about to break down.
  • Remember: You are beautiful no matter what shape you’re in. Embrace the body you have now and care for it. With time, it will become the body you need it to be.

26 Oct, 2021

Changwon, South Korea.

Author: Workers' Archive

Covering sensitivity at work and beyond on my website:

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