As a young kid who already weighed 120 lbs in fourth grade, I had been the center of attention of fat-shaming individuals in our community. For instance, my classmates’ monicker was Ms. Piggy, considering I was short and had a pinkish skin. Whenever the P.E. teacher asked us to run around the field, the students would act like the world’s shaking during my turn. But even at family gatherings, some aunts would say, “Being chubby is cute for now. But if you don’t wish to be an old maid, you need to lose weight soon.”
What I Did To Lose Some Weight
Because of such experiences, I grew up thinking that my fatness was unacceptable and that I should do everything to get rid of it. So, whenever my parents were not home, and they would give me money to order pizza or whatever I wanted, I would keep the money and not eat at all. Of course, I felt hungry, but I endured my tummy aches because I genuinely wanted to lose weight. Sometimes, even at school, I would not eat lunch no matter how much my friends tried to drag me to the cafeteria. My parents only found out when they found me in the nurse’s clinic one morning, doubled up in pain. A series of tests in the hospital later, the doctor said I developed an ulcer. Needless to say, skipping meals not only failed to slim me down but also gave me a health condition.
The second thing I tried when I was in sixth grade was to join the girls’ volleyball team. My choices were softball, football, and volleyball, but I favored the latter because I saw how much the players were running and jumping up to hit the ball. I did not realize that the coach refused to accept potential players at the first meeting – she wanted the applicants to train with the team for a week before picking some of us. I took the challenge, assuming that little girls could not practice so much. But then, I was proven wrong when the coach made us do circuit training on the field for an hour every day. After the fourth day, I gave up on my dream of becoming a volleyball player.
I did not try to lose weight again until I was in college, but it did not mean that I made peace with my chubbiness in the year before that. I merely waited until I was 18 years old so that I could buy slimming pills and teas that promised to help me shed pounds without much effort. So, I bought them as soon as my parents left me in the dorm.
I must say that the slimming tea worked well by making me go to the bathroom 30 minutes after drinking it every time. The pills also curbed my appetite, so I did not feel hungry for more extended periods. After a month of using the said products, my shirts and jeans felt a little loose around my body. I thought, “Hmm, this is it!” I went on to shed 10 pounds in two months, thanks to them, and my parents and friends all believed that it happened because I started going to the gym. (No, I did not do that.)
However, during the summer break, I had to stop taking the pills and drinking the tea because I spent it in my parents’ home. They had been against such methods of losing weight and made me promise that I wouldn’t ever try them, but I just felt the need to try anyway. So, in the few weeks that I was there, I gained all the pounds that I lost and then some.
Doing The Unthinkable For My Mental Health
Mom caught me crying about my weight gain a day before going back to the dorm, and I had no choice but to confess everything I did to shed pounds. Mom could only hug me out of pity and apologized for not being able to protect me from the fat-shamers all my life. Her words, however, acted as a trigger for me to realize that there was no reason for me to go from size 12 to size 0 as long as I was happy with my body.
So, when I returned to the dorm, I flushed the pills and teas in the toilet. I threw away all the books that I got to inspire me to lose weight, too. Then, I began to wear clothes that would show off my thick legs, arms, and overall curvaceousness. Little did I know, men found it hot, while women said it was empowering.
I would not have learned to love myself and embrace my body if the slimming products and other weight-loss techniques did not fail to deliver. But would I try another weight-loss method anytime in the future? No, thanks! I already took that rode that many people traveled, and it only ate away at my mental health. Now, I would make it my life’s work to show other fat-shamed girls like me that it’s okay to have more meat under the skin, that other people were wrong for forcing their standard of beauty on others.