It's easy to let what others say get to you. So easy to let others define what beauty should mean to you but beauty is what YOU make it.
At least once a day, I ask myself why my mother believes I’m incompetent. At first, I thought she still just saw me as a little girl but now I realize that she genuinely believes that I am useless. It hurts that she doesn’t think I am capable of doing anything.
Despite the fact that I do plenty on my own. For as long as I can remember, I am always trying to please her but nothing is ever good enough. My grades are not good enough though they are always 90 and above. My weight is not good enough though I personally don’t think I’m overweight. One day, she scolded me for eating a snicker bar because according to her, I was obese.
She always has something to complain about. Something she has to point out to me that I am doing wrong. If it’s not my clothes then it’s my behavior or my friends. When I was younger, I honestly thought something was wrong with me.
I tried so hard, yet, I never seemed to please her. I began to believe that problem really was with me. It had to be because she never picked on my other siblings like that. I began to starve myself. I could go a week without eating anything.
Every time I heard a negative comment about my body, I would not eat anything for the whole day. I began to lose my self-confidence. Everything began to affect me. Every negative comment. Every brush off. I really started to believe that I was not good enough.
When I began starving myself, I just wanted to be skinny enough for her approval. I just wanted to feel beautiful again but I also hoped it would be a punishment to my mother. She would see how thin I was and regret making me lose weight, then she would beg me to gain some weight and finally just love me the way I was.
About two months into starving myself, I realized that my mother was not going to complain about my rapid weight loss. In fact, she seemed to like it. She finally had a daughter she was proud to show off. Every time I looked into the mirror, I hated the reflection of the person I was seeing, it wasn’t me.
I had lost 73lbs and was now half the weight I used to be. I looked so skinny and sick. I realized that this was what my mom wanted. She wanted a child that she didn’t have- because whoever this person in the mirror was, it definitely wasn’t my mother’s daughter.
Then I got angry. Why did I have to change to be loved? Why couldn’t I be loved the way I was? I decided that starving the pain away was not going to work. So, I began eating the pain away. It took a while for my stomach to calmly accept food without churning and giving me stomach cramps but it finally settled down.
I started eating. Never healthy food, just any snack I could find. Every time I felt down or felt myself slipping into depression, I would grab a tub of ice-cream. I would eat to the point where I felt like throwing up but that wouldn’t stop me because in that moment- that moment when I was stuffing my face, I felt content. I felt loved and good enough.
Being around my mother made it worse. Once she was done stomping on what was left of my self-esteem, I would grab a bag of chips. I would just eat. Even when I wasn’t hungry. I would just eat to fill the ache. Food became my best friend. Before I knew it, I had gained my weight back and some.
At this point, my mother was furious. Always shouting about the amount of food I was consuming and complaining that I was obese. When she called me obese, I laughed instead of crying because at least this time it was true, unlike the last time she called me obese. I was 250lbs with a height of 5’2. After every argument, I would eat some more. I just kept on eating. I would eat, climb the scale, check my weight and be disgusted with myself. Then, I would eat some more. The change came when I moved away from home.
I had been at the grocery store deciding on what flavor of syrup to get- the chocolate or caramel, when my cart rolled from under my arm into a guy standing about six feet away from me. I had started to apologize but he had stopped me, telling me that my number would be apology enough. He called me the next day and asked me out for coffee.
We hit it off. I had never had a boyfriend before but he never made me feel for one second that I was not good enough. He was a professional trainer but he never complained about my weight. He ate really healthy food and whenever I was around him, I felt the need to do what he was doing. I started eating healthy food instead of my usual junk and began exercising with him. The smiles he gave me when I joined him at the gym were so rewarding, I found myself looking forward to the next session.
He never pushed me past my limit and always made me feel like I was the most beautiful girl on earth. For the first time in forever, I felt like I was good enough. I didn’t need food to make me feel loved. After our second month together, I had lost 50lbs. I started to feel in control of my body. I started gaining my confidence back.
I realized that people only had the power to hurt me, if I gave them that power. As much as I loved my mother, she was detrimental to my health. I needed to stop letting her have so much power over me. That power I had given her, the power to destroy me, I needed to get it back. On our sixth month together, I had lost a total of 120lbs. I felt confident and ready to take the world. I loved my body- for the first time ever.
It wasn’t about the weight loss, it was about getting comfortable in my own skin. Realizing that I was beautiful, no matter what anyone says.
Understanding that no one can make me feel inferior unless I let them. Gaining control of my life and my emotions. Now I love myself. I am loved by my fiancé and I am finally off that emotional roller coaster. It felt good. I felt free.
© 2020 Yvonne