*********** TRIGGER WARNING ***********
This post discusses weight and body image which may be sensitive to some. If you don’t feel comfortable reading, please know that I understand. Your mental health is more important to me than how many views this post gets. Stay healthy. xo
My aunt asked me “why are you gaining so much weight? You’re starting to look big.”
Four co-workers asked me “are you pregnant” within a month.
My good pair of work pants are too tight to comfortably wear anymore.
Two pairs of jeans won’t zip if I put them on.
The nurse at my doctors office weighed me and said “are you trying to gain weight? You’re up three pounds.”
You see, last summer I was at the lowest weight I could be to still be considered healthy. The summer before last I was five pounds underweight. Currently, I’m right in the middle of what is considered healthy for my height and weight. I’m healthy. So why do I hate looking in the mirror?
I stopped taking my anti-depressant because it was making me gain weight. My brains a mess but at least I’m “skinny” and skinny equals “beautiful” right?
Healthy equals beautiful.
Confident equals beautiful.
Smart equals beautiful.
The problem is, when someone comments on a persons weight or appearance, it sticks in their head. I did 100 sit-ups the second time a co-worker asked me if I’m pregnant. I didn’t eat for an entire day the third time a co-worker asked me if I’m pregnant. The fourth time a co-worker asked me if I’m pregnant, I told her “no, I’m not” and she looked at me, looked down at my stomach and then looked back at me… I cried in the bathroom for ten minutes, trying to cover my nose and mouth so no one could hear me.
I tried using an Ace Bandage to wrap around my stomach, I wanted to see if I could contain my stomach. It didn’t work, it just compressed my ribs and made it hard to breathe, sit or walk. I went for a run on an empty stomach and got sick, I started chugging water when I felt hungry rather than eating, I looked-up diet supplements (which I am adamantly against and know don’t work but I was desperate).
I’m still not okay, I’m still very self-conscious. I walk with my hands covering my stomach, I wear baggie clothes and I cry a lot. So I urge you, the reader, if you ever feel like commenting on someone’s weight or appearance: don’t. If you ever want to ask someone if they’re pregnant: don’t. If you aren’t that individuals doctor, their weight is none of your business.
The lasting effects of commenting on a persons weight are awful. People don’t deserve to have their happiness ripped away because a stranger or relative isn’t capable of thinking with compassion before they speak.
Thankfully I have great mental health professionals in my life who reminded me its okay to be healthy; even if my definition of what healthy looks like doesn’t match someone else’s.
What isn’t okay, is taking away someone’s ability to feel comfortable and happy in their own skin. Please. Think before you speak.