There are many different kinds of people in the world. Thank god for that, because the world would be a whole different place without it. As we grow physically, we change, like trees going through the seasons. So many times we try to look or act different, but why? We all do it. So many people don’t realize the physical and emotional weight that comes with losing weight. See for yourself in the stories below.
Summer season: this season is when your starting out. You’re just getting to know your surroundings, you’re not looking at your appearance as much.
Person 1: When you’re young, you don’t think about how you look. You are more focused on exploring and discovering things about the outside world. My problem started at this age, but I didn’t really understand what it meant until later on. I was aware that I was thin and tall for my age, but I didn’t realize it was that important. They always told me to eat more, that it wasn’t healthy to skip meals. But why should I eat if I’m not hungry? Apparently, not everyone thinks the same way I do. Even so, it did not bother me at the time.
Person 2: Up to 7th grade, I never thought about my appearance as something to worry about. My main focus was on discovering who I was as a person first. I noticed that everyone around me was a lot skinnier than I was, but I didn’t really care at the time. I weighed about as much as a middle school to high school student and I was fine with it. Whenever I saw something that looked good no matter if it was high in calories or sugar, I would eat it.
Person 3: When I was younger, I did not care so much about my weight. I ate whenever I saw something that looked good to eat. I started putting on weight and always ate too much. I, of course, was too busy fantasizing about the outside world to care about anything else.
When did you start caring about your appearance?
Fall season: you’re changing and you know it. You start focusing on yourself and your physical appearance.
Person 1: As you get older, you notice more about yourself. Which can be good or bad. I started caring about how I looked, even though it wasn’t that bad. I noticed how thin I was and I heard my mom talking about it. I remember hearing about how unhealthy I was. Then my parents started to make me eat more. I felt like my plate was overflowing with food. I was so overwhelmed that I stopped eating altogether.
Person 2: As I got older, I realized that everyone around me was smaller and more beautiful than I was. I wanted to be just like them. I would go on “diets” but I wouldn’t continue them. I would hear people calling me ugly and chubby sometimes and I started taking their words to heart. My sisters were smaller than I was and I was a lot younger than them. I would get hand-me-down clothes from them and they would be too small. I was sick of comparing myself to all the skinny people that we around me all the time, whether I was at the store or just at home.
Person 3: When I was about ten years old, I began to notice how big I was. My siblings are all older than me, and I couldn’t wear their clothes without stretching them out which irritated me. My sister’s metabolism was quite a bit higher than mine, so I felt huge compared to them.
If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
Winter season: winter is cold and desolate, just like how you feel. If your like us, then you know, around this time, you are dying to change at least one thing about yourself.
Person 1: Once I was old enough to understand my weight problem, it was very bad. The doctor told me that I wouldn’t be able to go through puberty, because I didn’t have enough body fat. She showed me a chart of weights for my age group. In the middle of the chart was healthy, above that was overweight and underneath that was underweight. When she told me that I didn’t even make it onto the chart, I could see the anxiety on my mom’s face. That’s when she put me on protein shakes. After that, every time a person would call me skinny, it really hurt. But, what hurt even more was when they said they wanted to be this thin. Like my life wasn’t hard because I was skinny. Like it was impossible to have weight problems when you’re thin. They had no idea what I had to go through because of how thin I was.
Person 2: Once I noticed how overweight I was, I couldn’t stop obsessing over it. It got to the point where I would look at myself in the mirror and break down crying. I would see girls on magazines and on commercials and want to be as skinny and pretty as they were. I would cry myself to sleep just wishing that I could be exactly like them. I decided that I wanted to change my appearance so I did something about it. I started eating healthier, but eating less. I was getting only about 1,000 calories a day. I lost fifteen pounds in a week and a half. My parents, family, and friends were noticing how skinny I got and I was so happy to finally weigh less than my older sisters. My mom would try to get me to eat more but I refused because I didn’t want to gain any weight.
Person 3: My weight eventually bothered me so much I could barely stand to look at myself in the mirror. The other “popular” girls were skinny, and I was the chubby one nobody would hang out with. People told me I wasn’t fat but I didn’t believe them. I couldn’t. I felt so huge, I hated everything about myself. Even the doctor was saying that I wasn’t fat. Still, I wouldn’t listen. Until I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to do something about it.
Have you ever not wanted to be seen in public because of your looks?
Spring season: prosperity and happiness. That is what most people think when they look at a blossoming tree. Once you reach this point, even though you still struggle, you learn to be happy with yourself.
Person 1: Eventually I got onto the chart that the doctor had showed me and my mom was overjoyed. I remember the feeling of accomplishment when she said it. I still have to deal with people’s comments, but I feel better knowing that I am healthy. So it doesn’t matter what everyone thinks.
Person 2: I realized that it was unhealthy and I wasn’t doing myself any good by eating less so I changed my diet. Now, I am the smallest I have been for a while and I am happy with myself. People are noticing that I have lost weight. I still struggle with accepting myself as I am now from time to time but I know that I shouldn’t care about what people think of me.
Person 3: I decided to do a diet and I now fit into a medium instead of a large. I plan to continue till I get to a small and I am very excited for the outcome.
To learn more about self-confidence watch the video below:
‘People often say that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.’ -Salma Hayek
You may encounter many obstacles, but what matters is how you overcome them. Although you may be struggling with your appearance, find a healthy way to overcome it. Never forget, you are more valuable when you are yourself.
What have you done to overcome your struggle with appearance? Share your story.