Growing up there was this one constant that followed me through every single day. A simple phrase, a body image paradox that was in the back of my mind on a constant loop repeating itself and shaping every decision I made. The constant of being FAT.
For as long as I can remember, I never once liked the way I looked.
No matter if I was 10, 16, or 22 I genuinely hated my body and this isn’t some profound confession about how I suddenly became happy with my body. No, I still hate it dearly but there is this ridiculous paradox I came to realize.
The statement “I’m fat” was on my mind forever.
For years now I’ve witnessed a body image paradox when I stare at photos of my own younger self and think: wow I wasn’t actually fat- now I’m really fat.
But looking back I clearly remember thinking I was the fattest I ever was at the moment the photo was taken.
Let me demonstrate.
These here are photos of me at 16 years old.
Clearly, I wasn’t fat at all. Deadly pale for sure as I was trying diet after diet to not be fat anymore. I hated my body very much and I was crying myself to sleep almost every night. These were the thought times I fell to some of my lowest points and began with self-harm.
When I say I didn’t like my body at all I’m not exaggerating or just saying it for attention.
I was literally cutting up my big fat tights with a razor to feel something and to gain some sick control over my body. I was failing to control the levels of fat I had no matter the starvation, diets, laxatives, or throwing up I did. Adding scars to my already fat and ugly body just made sense at the time.
More on that subject in this article HERE.
Let’s move to a couple of years later.
Here I am at 18. By all means, I look hot.
By my own standards, I’m fat and no one will ever love me.
Dating was always difficult for me cuz there was this voice in my head saying that he doesn’t really like me. How could he when I’m this fat?
Sabotaging every relationship ever was second nature to me. I was making excuses to avoid meeting my friends or dates cuz I hated the way I looked and feared they would make fun of me for being that fat.
This fear of constantly being judged led to a severe panic disorder and I closed up even more.
Moving up 2 years.
Again I’m thinking I’m the fattest I ever was. All those years before I wasn’t really fat, I just thought I was. Like every single time before. But now I truly am.
This constant personal judgment was making my life miserable. I’m 20 here and I’ve never once been happy or even satisfied with my body image. And I’m about to hit the real bottom here.
This is the time I fell into a real bad depression.
There is so much to say about that so there are individual pieces on that:
I ended up withdrawing from everyone and everything. Not being able to eat at all was met with praise from my closest ones for finally losing some weight. This ridiculous joy from my visible suffering sends me into a deeper hell.
Getting better was accompanied by pills and weight gain.
My family was not happy about that. I don’t want to paint my family as the bad guys here. They did the best they could at the time and I assume they truly believed their daughter needed to be thin to be likable. I’m sure they wanted me to be happy and they just couldn’t imagine someone liking me if I’m fat. My own worst fear so I get it.
Appearances over anything else.
Right now I’m thinking the same thing I always thought.
I’m fat. I’m the fattest I ever was.
But speaking from experiences I’m gonna look back at my right now photos and think what I always thought. The body image paradox of “I wasn’t fat back then, right now I’m truly fat”.
What a dumb rollercoaster this is.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to look in a mirror or at a photograph of your current self and like what you see. Self-love isn’t easy and I can wow for that.
I just wish that in the years to come I wouldn’t be so worried about my current, previous, or future weight.