During my early teen years, I was a twig; a 90-pound body with a giant head. I looked a lot like a bobblehead doll, but this is just my body dysmorphia exaggerating the scenario. Nonetheless, I hated my body.
At 14, I had gone through a spinal fusion, which left me with just skin and bones and the 24 titanium rods that were infused into my spine. Not to mention, a scary scar from the top of my neck all the way down my back; a scar I hated for years, which now, quite frankly, I think makes me quite the badass.
My “self-love” journey has not been easy. There are a lot of ups and downs. Over the years, I struggled to get my weight up. I know, I probably sound crazy to you. So many people struggle to get a skinny figure, and there I was, a stick figure trying to put some meat on my bones.
When I first stepped foot in a gym, I was roughly 108 pounds. That was a long time ago, but I didn’t know what to do, I was super self-conscious and I felt like people were staring at me. I had a negative mindset and a horrible diet. I thought that the more fast-food I ate, the more weight I would gain.
Right? Just eat a damn cheeseburger! Or so I thought.
I never put on weight. I was a fake skinny girl. I had a skeleton body with a high-fat percentage. I was extremely unhealthy.
After a few years of disappointment, I looked for a coach and then I started seeing results, not significant ones, but it was a good start. After a while, I decided to quit training with the coach because he wanted to train me for a slim bikini physique and that was the opposite of what I wanted.
I didn’t quite know what I wanted to be honest, I just knew I needed to change.
Once again, I was disappointed and dropped out of the gym. I kept loading myself with mass-gainers and unnecessary supplements. I did some workouts here and there and somehow managed to increase my weight. I would go on Instagram and compare my body to all the fit models and I would sink deeper into my self-hatred.
How can they look so perfect? What was I doing wrong?
I was comparing myself to a false reality.
I can honestly say the biggest change for me happened during the quarantine. I was reborn. During all that time spent with myself, my options were limited. They say that when you reach rock bottom, the only direction to go is up. So, there I was, slowly trying to disconnect myself and crawl out from all the years of being mean to myself and my body.
I unfollowed all the “fake reality” from Instagram. I stopped feeding my body excessive junk and processed foods. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat whatever I feel like. I’m not perfect, nor do I want to be perfect, but I do simply want to be myself.
I now work out with a different mindset and goal. Before, I used to try to work out to look like someone else. Now, I work out for myself; a healthier version of myself, at that.
I can’t say I have this self-love thing down. I still have days when I feel like the old me, but that’s when I take a moment to realize all the progress that I made with my body, my mind, and my overall health.
One thing that helps me when I find myself in a negative mindset is replacing each negative thought with a positive thought. I know it sounds cliché, but it works. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m proud of myself. It has not been an easy journey.
Don’t let your mind trick you into comparing yourself to anyone else, especially in this social media era, where everything seems perfect on a screen. In reality, we are all facing a battle that no one else knows about.