The other day I found myself at the store. I had set out to buy a new bathing suit to wear when we go camping this weekend.
I tried on 3 different ones. Different colours, different styles, different everything. With every single one, I found myself standing in front of the mirror, picking apart everything that I deemed to be wrong with me.
Every scar I saw in the reflection was screaming at me. Every stretch mark was telling me how disgusting I was. I stood there staring at myself in complete dismay.
I hated every single bathing suit on me. When they were on the hanger, they were beautiful. On me, that was a completely different story.
I was crying at this point, and called my husband. I was a mess. I had decided that it was going to be another year for shirts and shorts for me at the beach.
I had failed another year of getting my body `bathing suit ready`.
My husband was calming and helped me get through my tears and then asked me, `What is it that you don`t like about the bathing suit?`
`I look chubby.` I told him.
His response hit me right in the heart. He said `You look beautiful, but even if you think you look chubby, why is chubby a bad thing?`
I remember being quiet for a minute. I was completely thrown off guard. He was right.
In my mind, the word chubby was not one I wanted to be used to describe me, but why was it such a bad word? Why was I so afraid of it? What made it so scary?
I`ve never been comfortable in a bathing suit. I`ve never worn a tank without something on top, and only in the last year have I worn shorts, and still really, just a handful of times.
Even when I was at my smallest I still had such a distorted view of my body and preconceived notions of what it was supposed to look like.
I have never felt comfortable with my body. I have spent 20 years hating it actually. Every single part of it.
I have always struggled, and therefore I struggle in my relationship with food.
Every emotion I feel, has a food that it is associated with. It`s how I manage to get through things.
I`ve tried to trick myself into believing that I love my body, but really… deep down… I always knew I didn`t. I never have.
I grew up in the presence of a person who often spoke about the weight they felt they needed to lose. I found that I would often look at their body, and compare it to my own. As a little girl, I would think, if THEY needed to lose weight, then I definitely did too.
I heard things about not being thin enough to wear a bikini. A lot of what I know now, to be negative remarks relaying to body image.
I am in no way blaming, I am simply exploring where my unrealistic views of what my body should look like may come from.
I grew up in an atmosphere where fit and thin women were the ones who should wear the beautiful bathing suits, and bigger women just shouldn`t.
I think it was just the way the world was. The way that it thought and projected it`s ideas onto very impressionable children.
So, for 20 years I`ve hated my body, and the number the scale told me. This number represented my worth. I constantly have thought, I will be happy when I lose 10 pounds. But, even when/if I lost those 10 pounds, I still wasn`t happy. I wanted 10 more.
No matter what size, my body was never small enough. Small meant beauty to me. So, the smaller I could get, the more beautiful I would be.
It makes me so sad to think that these minor things might have played such a lasting part in my relationship with my body and food.
As I would get smaller, I would be praised, like as if I was doing something better than what I was doing before. I was becoming more beautiful because I was smaller.
But the dark part, the part that nobody was able to see, was that I wouldn`t allow myself to eat. If I didn`t eat, then in my head, I had a larger chance of being smaller. Health, and getting vitamins and nutrients for my body, just didn`t matter to me. All that mattered was the number on my pant tag.
I sought validation like this. The smaller I got, the more I was celebrated, so to me, the more beautiful I was.
I still get so sad when I think of this. I still struggle so much with food and my body. It is a journey I constantly embark on.
I ended up buying a bathing suit, and I am determined to wear it.
I am determined to change my relationship with my body and with food.
I hope one day I succeed.
Love Always, N
Don`t forget to stop by my post about scars and what I think they mean. I`d also love if you clicked follow on my blog!