A Guest Blogger's Experience With Body Image and Body Positivity
As I look back at pictures from my childhood, I was never a fat kid, but from my experiences as a kid; I thought I was fat. I grew up in a family with three older brothers that I always tried to keep up with a mother and father who struggled with their own body image. I was always the tallest in my class and had a bigger body frame. I processed that in my mind to mean that I was fat because I was bigger than most of the other girls and always had to be in the back row for pictures or the back of the line because of my height. I slouched because I hated being tall and felt like I stood out. I didn’t like being seen. I wanted to be invisible because I hated how I felt about myself. I found myself always comparing myself to others and felt like I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t feel like I fit in and thought I was different because of my bigger body frame.
Are you hearing the core issue here? I didn’t feel good about myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t fit in, it wasn’t that others didn’t like me; it was because I didn’t like myself or feel good about me. So here is where the belief started and I carried it throughout my teen years. When I graduated high school, I had a little extra weight so I joined weight watchers and lost about fifteen pounds. I looked great. I kept that weight from when I graduated high school into my twenties and part of my thirties. Through those years I still didn’t feel good about myself and always tortured myself that I needed to be thinner. I was always obsessing about my weight, trying different diets, and comparing myself to others.
It wasn’t until my early to mid-thirties that I just gave up on trying to be thinner. At that time I was in a relationship with a man who loved me for who I was and the way he showed love was by doing stuff for me, such as cooking. He would cook the most fabulous meals with foods I loved and at that point I would just eat because he wasn’t telling me to stop or telling me I was fat. I don’t think he understood how much I used food to mask the negative feelings I felt for myself. In addition to the negative feelings and insecurities I felt for myself, he had his own negative feelings and insecurities about himself. Our negative beliefs and feelings about ourselves just got in the way of having a healthy relationship. We brought out the worst in each other and the love we felt for each other was not enough.
It was also overwhelming to have him focus his loving energy on me because I didn’t see what he saw, I didn’t feel good about me, and I hated myself. I gained about 65 pounds and it wasn’t until then that I knew what being fat meant for me. I remember walking up the stairs of our apartment. I was out of breath and I said to myself “this is what fat feels like.” I used food to mask my feelings of self-hatred and fill my feelings of emptiness and loneliness. I remember as a child coming home after school to an empty house because both my parents worked and my brothers were off doing their own thing. I would come home and find whatever I could to eat and just stuff my face just so I wouldn’t have to feel lonely.
I reached a point in my life where all my issues of how I felt about myself were in my face. I was using food as a way to punish myself and deal with my negative feelings. I spent years in psychotherapy understanding my childhood, my relationship with my family, and working on life issues, but we never touched on understanding my belief system. It was when I began working on myself with Janice of Miylana LLC that I really started to see my thought patterns, belief system, and truly began to uncover the beautiful being under all those negative thoughts I was carrying around about myself. I was afraid to leave my relationship for the thought of being alone was scary and I didn’t want to feel like a failure, but I needed more than ever to begin a relationship with myself. Janice gave me the encouragement by showing me that ending my unhealthy relationship was not a failure, but a learning lesson. She taught me that there are no mistakes in life and that the experiences we encounter are merely there to help us to be better. In our sessions, I learned how I thrive on taking care of others more than myself. I learned how other’s energy affected me and that all of the emotions I was feeling were not always from me. Janice taught me to read others’ energy.
She also taught me to be more accepting of myself and so I began to gain self-confidence and see that I am not my weight. I began to see that there is a beautiful being inside of me and that my weight does not label who I am. I was learning to accept me, fat and all. For the first time I was able to begin to say and accept that I was a good person, beautiful inside and out.
There are many things I would love to share about my journey because I have learned so much through the years of diet, weight loss, weight gain, and self-discovery through uncovering my limiting beliefs. So, for now I will end with sharing with you all that diets do not work. Diets set us up to fail because the minute we stop following the plan and gain a few pounds, we instantly feel like a failure, which make us feel bad about ourselves.
For me it has been about learning about my relationship with food and how I used it to deal with my negative feelings. Learning that every single person has a different body type and we are not all the same. I learned that I will never be a size 2 and to love and accept my body for the size it is. Getting up every day and being thankful that I had arms, legs, and a body that was healthy was helpful. But the most beneficial contributor in my journey was learning about my beliefs that were getting in my way of loving myself and feeling good about me, the spirit I was meant to come here and be.
Nancy was born and raised in Connecticut and now resides in New York City. She has started her own side business offering weight loss programs and supplements. Nancy is currently working on becoming a certified weight management coach and is excited to share all of her learning experiences in diet, weight loss, and self-discovery. She is a home chef and can guide you through recipe and menu building to create quick, easy, and clean meals. Join Nancy in her mission of NOT DIETING. and instead promote eating simple foods and nutrients to create healthy nourishment and optimize your well-being. Follow Nancy on Instagram @utilizenan or feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org