Oh where do I start with this post. Ok, let’s rewind a few years and start from the beginning. When I was 10 years old I used to think I was fat; yes 10 years old do I hear you gasp. Now here’s the strange thing, when I was 10 social media wasn’t around, I didn’t read fashion magazines, and I didn’t understand the whole photoshop thing. It goes to show that blaming social media for weight issues isn’t always the case, sometimes influence is just around us and I completely reckon that it is down to our own mental health. For me the reason why I lost a considerable amount of weight was due to my grade 5 teacher. She never called me fat, not once, but she did make a point on how ‘skinny’ I was… ‘you need to put on more meat‘ she used to heckle. Sure some people may see this as a compliment, but for me, it stressed me the hell out. She used to humiliate me in front of the whole class and it just drew my whole attention to my size. I started to look at myself in the mirror and I used to think ‘how can this women think I’m too skinny, I am actually fat‘. Her victimisation did the complete opposite, I started to scrutinise the tiniest creases and I began to lose self confidence. I was heading towards self destruction, and looking back on the 10 year old me is just frightful.
When I was younger I was a keen ballet dancer, you would always catch me practicing my bar work on a kitchen chair. Ballet was my life. During one class, I remember a new teaching coming over to me to fix up my pink ribbon that used be tied around our leotards. I was that self conscious of anyone coming near my stomach that I would suck it in so hard that it would make me look like a skeleton. ‘Do you even eat‘ the teacher sarcastically asked. Looking back I cannot believe that not even one adult paid attention to my behaviour, when someone feels the need to suck in their stomach so hard, you know that there must be some sort of problem. It got that bad that I used to give away my lunch, throw away food, and even hit my stomach in hope that it would shrink. The scary thing is that I would do most of these things in private, away in my own space where no one would even notice.
You may be wondering, did I have Anorexia? Bulimia? The answer to this is fortunately no (but I fully believe I was heading towards an adolescence of anorexia). I only really had an issue eating at school and not at home, so I guess if I had a problem at eating home as well, I would’ve of probably fallen very ill. So with the stress from school and amongst other things, I started to get severe panic attacks. Not only was I skinny, weak, and started to develop dark bags around my eyes, I literally thought that I was going to die (and you will know what I mean if you have ever experienced a panic attack for the first time). Originally people thought I was going diabetic; the lack of energy and a constant thirsty mouth. But the real truth was that I was fighting a lonely mental health battle. Fortunately my mum took me to the doctors where I had no choice but just to spill the beans, everything came out amongst a sea of tears. I was pretty much bed bound for 2 weeks and the road to recovery began.
The teacher did get into a lot of trouble but did she stop, no. Instead I remember being pulled into her classroom one lunch time where she pretty much told me off for ‘snitching’. I remember sitting there in tears, I just didn’t understand why this woman had it in for me. Fortunately at the time I was just about to move into grade 6 which meant a new teacher. It was here when I started to get a lot better and soon I had no issue with eating food in school. Of course I was monitored carefully by other teachers and my parents, but I am so glad that it didn’t get worse. I learnt a valuable lesson at a young age, the day you label yourself as fat is the day you start to lose self confidence. Sure people may be overweight, but addressing it in healthy measures will also facilitate a healthy mind.
I would be lying if I didn’t say that I currently have body issues. I do not think I am fat but I definitely suffer with a small case of body dysmorphia. Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a ‘mental disorder which is an obsessive preoccupation that some aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed‘. Now I wouldn’t say that I was an extreme case but I definitely suffer with a sub type called ‘Muscle Dysmorphia’. Now when I look at the below picture I see tone, but if you were to stick a mirror in front of me, I wouldn’t be able to see a thing. But I understand that this is the case and it is something that I am working on. I am going to go into more detail about Body Dysmorphia in a future post, but I am currently so happy with my figure. I mean I don’t leave food, I don’t calorie count, and I seriously enjoy a GBK now and again. I am pleased to say that I am happy in the body that I am in.
See, even fitness enthusiasts like us can have a shady past, but hey that’s ok, at least I know never to go back to that terrifying place. Just remember that telling someone that ‘they are too skinny‘ can still have the same effects as telling someone ‘that they are too fat‘. Not long ago I wrote a post titled ‘Strong Not Skinny’ and in that post I addressed all of my motivations for working out. In a nutshell, I don’t workout now to lose weight, but instead to get strong and generally just to feel good about myself. It is definitely a good read so go and check it out by clicking here.
Have you ever thought that you were fat before?
Eltoria- South West Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger and South West YouTuber
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