In two months I lost 12lbs the unhealthy way, and despite dropping almost a stone, I felt like shit. I was tired and cold and weak and sad. I’d surf pro-ana sites all the time, looking for tips on how to stop my stomach rumbling in class, or how to burn extra calories without changing much. How to conceal it from everyone I knew. But it turns out concealing it was easy. It bothered me that no one noticed. My mum once asked if I was eating enough and I said I was fine, or made bullshit excuses, and she brushed it off. No one cared. No one realised the misery I was going through to try to be pretty. All I wanted was a hand on my shoulder saying, “Are you okay?”
But that didn’t happen, so for two months I would cringe at cereal boxes (“175 calories? God I’m so fat I don’t even need that many”) and strive to make an apple last all day. I pushed my dinner around every night, strategically eating vegetables first and avoiding potato and bread and carbs. I counted calories to two decimal places. I decided on New Years Eve that this was it, I’d be beautiful by the summer time, and I’d do the ABC diet. It starts with a fast, and you increase your intake by 50 calories every day until you reach 800, and cycle back down to zero again. I was excited. Maybe someone would finally want me once I finished.
It took my best friend that I’d never met before to make me see the insanity of what I was doing to myself. It’s because of him I realised that I’m the most fucking beautiful when I’m fucking healthy, and if people give me shit for not being ‘acceptably’ thin it’s due to their own insecurity rather than any fault of my own. I’ve realised that being a certain weight won’t make me happy and it never will. I’ve realised that accepting your body and loving it is the biggest fuck you you can ever give to the world, and all the people that ever put you down for being too fat or too thin.
From then to now I’ve lost another 23lbs the healthy way, and I’ve settled at about 135lbs. I’m still working on upping my activity levels, cooking healthier meals, and generally getting fitter, but I’ve finally accepted that my weight doesn’t define me. I won’t let a scale decide my happiness, I won’t let food control my life, and I won’t let my body image hold me back from the things I want.
I will proudly wear a bikini without having a thigh gap.
I’ll adorn my skin with tattoos and show them off whenever I can.
Because I was beautiful at 170lbs and I’m beautiful at 135lbs, and if that confuses your own feelings of self esteem then this post has done what it was meant to.