*TRIGGER WARNING* this blog will discuss subjects around body image, dieting and touches on eating disorders. If this is something that you yourself struggle with https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/ is a great resource for you to find support.
Your body is a friend
As a child I never thought of my body as anything other than a vehicle or tool for me to live through, it allowed me to walk and talk and experience life. This lasted a long time, there were people of all shapes and sizes around me and I didn’t question it once as I just thought that’s how people are.
The media is unrealistic
It wasn’t until I started being exposed to more media surrounding ideas of beauty and sexuality through school or social media that I began to think differently. All of the movies I watched and pictures I saw included ‘skinny’ good looking people and anyone with anything less than a ‘perfect’ body was wither a villain or used for comedic effect.
It is not all your fault
Growing up I was heavier than most of the other people around me, this was for many different reasons though. My parents both struggled with their weight meaning that biologically I am more likely to be heavier, my family is somewhat low income meaning that we didn’t always have the healthiest food options and my dad works full time and my mother is disabled meaning as a young child it wasn’t easy to find opportunities to exercise.
We have to acknowledge that our health is not purely a product of things out of our control, I definitely could have been a more active child, taking walks outside or doing simple at home workouts, but some people are purely just going to be heavier and there is nothing wrong with that.
We all struggle
I won’t go into this in too much detail, but as a result of being bombarded with unrealistic beauty standards, I did suffer with anorexia and bulimia during secondary school, I lost a lot of weight very very quickly in a very unhealthy way, this was devastating for my body but the worst thing was that I loved the way I looked. The stereotype that boys don’t struggle with eating disorders is completely false, our society is full of images of stick thin models that sell everything to us and this just needs to change.
Recovery and self love is possible!
I am jumping far into the future, but after a lot of therapy, struggle and hard work, I am in a place where I am beginning to go back to seeing my body as a friend that I should be treating as well as possible and that there is more to life than what our bodies look like. Transparently I still do struggle, everyone has bad days, but I want to be an example to everyone reading this that it is possible for you to live a healthy life not obsessing over the way you look and thereby loving yourself for exactly who you are!