“You are beautiful no matter what size you are in.” This is what I tell myself everyday. For so many years, I have grown to be the person who loves and accepts their body. To let no one make me insecure. Believe me, it was quite a process. I have always been the fat kid.. I can’t even think of a day I wasn’t. Loving the body I have is one thing, keeping that confidence is another story.
Being a Filipina, I was told that I am bigger for my race, and I have accepted that. That was until I migrated to Canada and gained tons of weight. Just when I thought that I couldn’t get any bigger, I gained 60 lbs. Filipinos, no matter how I love being one, has always been superficial when it comes to physical appearance. When you lost weight, they will let you know and when you gain.. even just a little.. they will definitely exert more effort in letting you know. Don’t get me wrong, I was once guilty of this as well. But now that I realized how it can make an impact to a person, I eventually stopped this filthy habit. Before I used to think I was lucky I gained weight when we migrated. For I now live in a country where pointing out weight gain is the rudest thing you can say to a person. But I was wrong! Since I spent most of my life in the Philippines, and almost all the people I know are Filipinos, I was not able to escape body shaming. I used to wake up with messages like “Uy bakit ang taba mo? (Why are you so fat?) or “Taba mo na ah! (You’re fat!)” What would someone feel reading those messages first thing in the morning when you are still half asleep? Of course, it ruined my day. Then, there’s those family gatherings when relatives will point out how much you gain weight and ironically will make you eat a lot. Friends and readers, this is how you get to lose one’s appetite. Even the most confident woman in the world will lose their confidence when they have to deal with this kind of comments. From being confident, I turned on hating myself. I was at the point of missing home to deciding not to go home anymore, fearing to be body shamed over and over again.
I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), which is basically the major reason of my drastic weight gain. Since I found out about this, I tried to change my lifestyle. I started losing pounds (at this point I have already lost 16lbs) but still, it’s not enough. For a lot of people I still gained weight. But at this point, I do not care anymore. Why? Because I have changed my perspective. At this point, I know I have been eating healthy and I have been going to the gym. I am more active than most people who are doing unhealthy diets to get skinny. I may even live a healthier lifestyle than those people who are telling me I gained weight. Not because you’re fat does not mean you are not healthy and this go both ways as well.
I was back to square one and I have started to love myself again. I always look up to my favourite plus size models and bloggers for motivation. I am blessed with a husband who has been very accepting no matter my size is. I have a few friends who I often talk to about healthy weight loss and has been my support group ever since I started this journey. I started to feel confident again, little by little, I have learned to accept my body again.
So maybe this is what it truly feels when you love and accept your body. You struggle and you WILL struggle, but you never give up. You show love to your body by treating it as a sacred temple. You accept your size by taking care of your size. I can never say that I am not insecure anymore, cause that’s going to be a lie. I’m only human and I am very soft hearted, of course I still get hurt by people’s comments. However, I can never change human nature, I can only change how I perceive things. People can give their two cents all they want while I take baby steps towards a healthier life.
If you are someone who is battling their insecurities in life, I know saying “you are enough” or “you are beautiful” can’t really make it go away. But still I will never get tired of saying this because the world needs more affirmations rather than insults. Loving ones body is easy but keeping that love is going to be an uphill battle.Do not be afraid to struggle, do be not afraid to reach rock bottom and most of all do not be afraid to get back on track.
**Photos courtesy of Ishani Vashisht of Ishani Vashisht Photography