Ever since high school I have struggled with loving my body. I remember never thinking about my weight or how I compared to others when I was in middle school, but once I joined the world of being a teenager it was all I could think about. After my sophomore year of high school I started to realize, I had a problem. It sounds kind of selfish when you think about it, doesn’t it? Your teenagers years are a time when you’re suppose to love your body. You’re young, beautiful, and you should be proud of it. Trust me, I wish I could have felt that way as a high school student and I still feel that way as a 20 year old woman. But, sadly, it’s a long battle that has no easy shortcuts.

They Didn’t (and still don’t) Understand.

In high school I started a diet. And when I say diet I mean I tried to stop eating all together. I’d pack a lunch so I wouldn’t raise any suspicion, but when lunch time came around I’d take a few bites and end up throwing the rest of it away. Only a few friends noticed and some of them thought I was only doing it for attention. They’d tell me “You’re so skinny!” or “You know you’re not fat so stop saying you are.” They thought I did these things and said certain things about my weight because I wanted attention. They didn’t know that I wasn’t saying these things for attention or so I could have their pity. I felt fat. I felt ugly. The sad thing is, it’s been seven years and people still say the same thing to me. They’ll tell me I’m beautiful, skinny, a perfect weight. They think I’m doing all of this for attention. They advise me to stop worrying. Easier said than done, right? They don’t know that their comments do nothing to help me. I can’t just stop.

It’s Tiring.

Hating your body is tiring. You feel trapped because all you can think about is how ugly you look, or how overweight or too thin you are. Even looking at other women is difficult because I can’t help but compare myself to them. Shopping is a struggle. My mom has always joked about how I don’t like shopping, but she doesn’t know that part of it’s because I loathe what I look like in almost every outfit I try on. There have been times where I would end up crying and leaving the mall because I couldn’t stand seeing myself in clothes that I felt fat in. That tight dress I could wear out with my girlfriends? Not a chance. Why should I buy a dress like that when a skinnier, prettier girl could wear it better than I ever could? I’ll stick to my sweatpants and oversized sweatshirt, thank you very much.

It’s an Obsession.

One of the worst things about not loving your body is that it becomes an obsession. It becomes your entire life, whether you like it or not. If I go out for ice cream, in the moment I won’t think about it too much, but later that night I’ll think about all the weight I’m going to gain and how long I’ll need to work out to shed it all off. I also try to avoid the mirror as much as possible, and look up the acceptable weight for my height weekly.

Comparing yourself to others is another part of the obsession. Everywhere you look there’s a skinnier and prettier girl. Who would choose me when there are prettier, blonder, and skinnier options out there? What if I looked like her? Was she born with good genes or does she actually work out to look like that? These are the thought that consume the obsessed mind.

The Choice

People who hate their body struggled everyday. They know there is no easy cure. They aren’t going to magically feel better about themselves when someone tells them that they are beautiful. I want people to understand that we’re not doing this for attention. I want people to realize that hating your body isn’t glamorous; it’s a serious problem. This isn’t a choice.

However, wanting to get better, is a choice. I’ve been struggling with my body for almost 8 years now, but the difference between high school me and present me, is that I want to love my body. I want to be able to look in a mirror and like what I see. I know that it’s not easy and that this is something I am going to struggle with for my entire life, but I am willing to fight. I am ready to finally love myself.

Published by Megan Wong