I have always been what they say; a bouncing baby girl. Literally. From the time I was born until the time I was writing this.
I never had self confidence or at least before adulthood hit me. I stopped obsessing about the cottage cheese that camped in my thighs and rolls on my tummy.
In a culture where being fat seems like a crime, it was very hard to love one self and the flaws that come with it.
Our people seemed to base beauty in the Photoshopped glory of the magazines I have grown to love for its useful tips and then the ones that made me loath my body’s inability to become size zero no matter which diet I try and no matter how much sports I do.
I was nearly 225 pounds when body consciousness hit me. I was freshly out of the University and I know that I needed to do something about it. My jeans keep on ripping and my mom kept on telling me how horrible I look like with my almost exploding cheeks and thunder thighs. I never really cared about it because I know I have something between my ears and when I was in school, it was more important.
Losing weight got a lot easier when I moved away from home where I needed to work all day and cooking all the time seemed a heavy task. I was independent since a very young age but since it was just school I needed to do and to look after my two brothers, I never bothered. My parents were away to earn a living for us to be able to afford really nice universities to acquire quality education.
My brothers kept telling me I am beautiful. I believed them so I matched their eating and drinking skills until I didn’t notice obesity has already taken over me. I never cared. All I cared for was the fun I used to have. I got hooked to experimenting in the kitchen and the more that I got hooked to binge eating. I have learned to laugh at myself, make people laugh, fake confidence and look good too. I focused instead on how to look good even if I was obese. I never cared about snide comments.
I was once young.
It became a different story when I started living alone and far from my family who always enjoyed cooking and eating together. I lost some weight and got addicted to losing more. I counted calories and almost got scared of eating though I was running and dancing everyday to break a sweat. There were days I will just black out for a moment. I was rushed to the hospital few times for low blood sugar and pressure. I wasn’t eating enough and I know it but I wasn’t ready to do anything about it. I ate lesser and lesser and did more workouts though everyone kept telling me that I already lost so much weight and that I shouldn’t be worrying too much about it. My hair stopped growing. I would easily get bruised and would stay for days. I still refused to eat. I was in denial that it hit me bad in the head. I got scared to eat thinking I would return to 225 pounds.
I was often rushed to the hospital for almost fainting. I would run without eating and will refuse to eat even few hours passed. Nobody was convincing enough for me to believe that I have lost tons of weight and I should not fear food anymore. Even the doctor told me that my bones are really big so I will not really be stick thin. I still refused to believe and continued what I called healthy lifestyle but in fact, it was really hardcore dieting. I even began to secretly judge people who weighed like I used to as if I wasn’t obese before. I was conceited and proud of the lost I had. I shopped for more and more outfits that will make me look good after all those pounds I shed. I lost weight but mostly, I lost brain. I stopped eating carbs and it is the brain’s food. No wonder I started acting like an airhead. Well, more of like a douche-bag. This didn’t change even after I moved to Malaysia. I maintained a very active lifestyle and secretly judged all the others and swore I will never be fatter again.
I was twenty nine when my life lost meaning. Or maybe I should say, it lacked the texture I wanted it to have. I am not just born to count calories, pay bills then die right?
I found myself in Germany to lick the wounds I have been hiding from everyone. I started emotional eating and was just saying that I love sausages and beer and cheese but in reality, it is the only thing that gave me comfort. I couldn’t understand what I am going through and I didn’t have sufficient words to express what I want and how I feel. Maybe my family wanted to understand me to give me the support that I need but I resorted to silence. I started regaining the weight that I have worked so hard for losing. With the weight that I have regained came profound education and new purpose in life that I have found. I stopped caring too much about how I look or how much I pounds I gained as long as I feel good about myself. So harsh comments from felow Filipinos like “Maganda ka sana eh. Ang taba mo lang.” (you’re pretty but you’re fat) doesn’t bother me anymore.
Adulthood came with more freedom like expressing and loving myself. I no longer seek validation and if someone demands explanation and drains my energy, I’d just walk away in silence and spend time in solitude, read books and meditate. There are just so much to learn to waste time hanging out with people who can’t seem to get rid of their blinders. I’m beautiful! Deal with it!