This a post I have been very nervous to write about in all honesty. I am going to be discussing my body, and my changes and lets say “body issues”. This is quite a hard topic for me to talk about honestly and I hope that this may help someone reading this, and makes you feel not so alone and hard on yourself.
What I want to discuss is my changing relationship with my body over the last 5-6 years. All my life growing up and in my teens and even in my 20’s my weight was never really an issue for me, I am not saying that in a “look at how skinny I was” kind of way. But I was always the smallest size in the shop and sometimes things in the shop were too big for me that my Mama would have to be my personal tailor on a regular basis to make sure things would fit.
But over the last few years my body shape and size started to change so drastically that I really did not know how to feel. I was gaining weight no matter what I ate, how much I worked out. I would almost starve myself and there I was getting bigger and not fitting into my clothes the same way. People around me were telling me it was in my head but I noticed it happening. Slowly but surely it was happening. Then would be the comments, my parents would make comments. Not in a mean way, but in jest. My mother is still very skinny and when she would say things it would cut deep because it was an insecurity I had started to develop. When I would travel back to Sri Lanka (people over there are rude) and people would come up to me and say, “oh my, you have put on some weight!” Please feel free to take a moment to pick up your mouth off the floor. It would and still gets to me when they would say this. One of my best friends would say to me, do not worry you are not big. It is in your head, and I would retaliate and say shut up I know I am getting bigger.
Now there is nothing wrong with your body changing, this is something I have discovered that along the way. I am not 16 anymore, my metabolism is not the same and maybe I am not active enough but at the time this all started I felt very out of control when I could not understand what was happening. I was practically starving myself, and working out like I was getting paid to do so. Surviving on coffee because of the stress of my job, going through heart break and then add this to the mix and I was going absolutely insane. Then add my parents, saying out of love to be careful of my weight because of my family history of heart problems, weight trouble and more issues than Grey’s Anatomy could list. I had no idea on what to do. I went to my GP and I got the oh so famous line of “you are stressed, you need to take it easy and lay off the coffee.”
I felt like I was spiralling into a weird vortex of being horrible to my self, restricting myself and having such a negative outlook. I would speak to myself in a manner that I would never talk to anyone else like that. I would analyse my body and pick it a part and wonder what I was doing wrong. I would skip meals, I would try diets. I became vegan, for a short time and nothing worked and it seem to not only affect my appearance but also my mental health. I was irritable, mean, pessimistic and just moody to be honest, I was not a ray of sunshine. I was like the London weather, temperamental. I was never like that at all, sure I would have my moods, but I would be able to get out of them and get on with things. I would constantly be miserable, and I was also always ill too. I got so ill once I was admitted to the hospital, and everyone once again mentioned the S-word, stress. I also thought I was run down because of work and I was running on empty so I did take some time off but I never ever got better. I was in a cycle of gaining weight, getting ill, feeling constantly exhausted and just walking around with a gloomy cloud over my head.
One day I was at home with my ex-boyfriend(who is a doctor FYI) when he asked me if I had gotten my thyroid checked, and honestly I flipped out at him so badly. I basically thought that he was insinuating that I was an obese whale (which I know was not the case)and I lost my mind, I think I may have asked him to leave because I was so mad. I am not particularly proud of this at all. Then a few months went by and one of my grand uncles (who is also a doctor) asked me very gently, “have you had your thyroid checked? Because you neck is swollen and it looks like you have put on a little weight and its not a bad thing but it is not like you .” Now I did not flip out you would be proud to know, but it made me stop and think for a little bit. I instantly sent a text to my ex and apologised and told him what my grand uncle said. He was like look just go have a look, its a simple blood test and it all be fine. Now blood tests are not a “simple” thing for me, I become an absolute baby – but anyway I marched my self to the doctors and went to a specialist and bloods were taken, like dracula’s den and then I had a scan of my neck.
Basically my thyroid had gone into hibernation and was not working at all. Now I can imagine a lot of people rolling their eyes when they hear the words under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) but honestly the doctor was shocked that it had not been diagnosed all this time. He said that without being under control I had all the symptoms that my previous doctors had missed. I was ill all the time, I was moody AF, I was gaining weight despite starving myself and more. The doctor told me with my new medication and also exercise and diet a lot of things will sort it self out, but it is a life long condition. That means it needs to be regulated and I need to be in charge of that.
It made me get a little mad at my body for letting me down, but at the same time it marvelled me that due to one part of this well oil machine was not working that my body was just not doing well. It made me care more about it in a weird way.
My thoughts on body positivity:
Over the last few years since my diagnosis I have had ups and downs with my body and my weight and it got me thinking about what I had learnt about how I felt about myself. Sure when someone makes a comment about my weight now to my face I laugh it off and I’ve a bunch of excuses and go home and have a cry or I speak to myself in the most horrible way it scares me.
They do not know the struggle I have had with my weight and sure it fluctuates because of my medication. Please I am not making excuses, I also eat pizza, and cake when I want and I enjoy life. But my weight is something I struggle with. So I do go to the gym, and eat healthy but I also enjoy food too.
What I have learned over the last few years is that we talk to ourselves in such a horrendous way, in a way that we would never dream of speaking to someone in that way or tone. Or even use world like, “fat” “ugly” “god look at that roll” “look at your legs and thighs” or in my case where is that “thigh gap” is horrible. After my diagnosis I have come to realise that I have this condition and I need to take care of it the best way I can. Plus accept the fact that my body will change from time to time based on my hormones or in my case the lack there of.
Happiness is not based on your dress size, its based on your confidence, and honestly I am more confident now in my own skin than I was when I was stick thin. I am not just saying that, I realised that people after a while look past the exterior and all that really matters at the end of the day is that you are not a dick and you are a nice human. Plus in my case you better like dogs, because you have be a horrible human not to! I have also come to accept that I am never going to be that skinny mini again. I am 29 with boobs and child bearing hips and that is okay! We are all different shapes and sizes and as along as we are taking care of ourselves and eating properly and keeping active that is all we can do. It is just so sad that the only time people comment on how good someone looks is based on their make up or clothes, or that they look skinny. But unfortunately that is reality, so I have made the decision to try and work on my confidence and work out and be as healthy as possible and also not to be so hard on my self. Because we only have one life so I might as well roll around in it (see what I did there?).
What is beautiful to you? How do you deal with your body issues if you have any? What gets you through those days?