Portrait by Andrea Forgacs
My mother has had me on a diet since I was 8. The South Beach Diet specifically (because what else helps little girls maintain their figures), and many crash diets to follow that. I never quite understood what it meant to be in my own skin. I was always fantasizing about “fixing” myself because somehow fat meant broken. I went so far as to get a gastric bypass, thinking that thin would fix everything.
I was always fantasizing about “fixing” myself because somehow fat meant broken.
Since I had always been on a yo-yo diet and seeking comfort in food, when I was 20, I toyed with the idea of getting a bypass but decided against it at the time. Once I was 22, my weight had gone up to three-hundred pounds. It felt unmanageable. I felt so lost and horrible in my own skin. With "support" from my family, I decided to get the surgery. Under the assumption that skinner would be healthier. It was rough; it wasn’t the bandaid I had hoped for. Never had I been more miserable, not only from the crushing reality that being thin didn’t fix jack shit, but having to realize I didn’t like ME. Not that “me” was terrible, but so many layers of trauma and B.S. had laid waste to my idea of Self.
My eating disorder and body dysmorphia reared its ugly head. The bypass made it so much easier to purge. It was never a good feeling, but all the complements made it worthwhile. My thin body was being continuously celebrated. I looked so "healthy" at one of the most unhealthy moments of my life.
Currently, I am thankful, yet not thankful for the bypass. Because without, I don't know if I would not have had the opportunity to fall in love with myself.
My body is not defined by how others see it. For the first time, it is my own. Not that it is perfect love; it is quite messy and confusing at times. Even so, this is my journey passed self-doubt, and understanding weight does not define health or beauty. I just drink my water and keep it movin'.
I’ve been working really hard to get out of that cycle of self-loathing. Every day gets a little bit better, and I am so thankful for both my capable mind and body. My ingenuity and kindness are what make me a good human. It is a plus that I have a body that has been so patient with me, always giving me what I need. Even though I have progressed on my journey of self-acceptance, there is still work to be done. Instead of being trapped in those dark places of self-doubt, I get to shine a light.
Thank you so much @sauceystassi for sharing your story
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