I decided to write about something that hits close to home for many of us girls... Self Esteem.
This is really more of a letter to everyone out there than an actual post/how-to guide to lose weight. I was inspired to write this a few weeks back, but never had the time to. Then coincidentally, a dear friend Roseanne also posted her take on this very same issue on her blog recently as well.. so I thought there's no better time than now.
I was never one of those girls with the perfect body type. When I was young, I was always made fun for being short (till today, I am very often placed in the first row whenever the event of a group photo arises). Not that it bothered me much though, because it was just one thing.
However, as I grew up, I realized I was being made fun of for many many more things. I had words like "flat-chested", "short-legged", "weirdly proportioned" all thrown at me (do note that I am only naming a few, there's actually a much longer list). It did not help that my mother was constantly trying to get me to bust-enhancing treatments or shoving papaya milk down my mouth... but what made everything about a million times worse was hearing it from people who did not know me at all.
I had an ex-boyfriend (I use this term loosely because I was 14 at that time, so who was I kidding?) who came from a reputable all-boys school in Singapore. He was the sweetest guy ever... but his friends.... not so much. He was in one of those jock teams, so you can pretty much guess for yourselves. Over about 9 months of dating, I had insults flung at me for being so "beneath him", that he deserved someone so much better, so on so forth. There was even an incident where everyone laughed to death because one of my ex-boyfriend's friends, god forbid, thought I was pretty.
I suppose you can already guess what that does to one's ego...... It may seem petty that I can remember all this, but I'm not mentioning it for anyone to hate on him (please don't, he's truly the nicest guy). I just wanted to make a point that there ARE some things that are very hard to let go of.
Fortunately, after a few therapy sessions, self-help books (yes I went there), and a whole load of makeup trials later, I stand as someone much more confident today. I know many of you are probably going, "What? That's called fortunate?" But I just think that it is! I clawed myself out of a very dark place and I am proud of myself for it. I am also extremely thankful that I had friends, family, and my very loving boyfriend who stood by me during that period of time, and got me to who I am today!
I know many people who did not have the privilege I had.. who resorted cutting, crazy dieting, taking drugs, etc. instead of trying to work out their inner issues. I know many people who, till today, cannot see just how amazing they are, how far they've come, how beautiful they actually look to the people who care.
Many of you may shrug this off, thinking that your issues affect you yourself and no one else should care, but you're wrong. You might be affecting people without even knowing it. My brother just had his seven year old niece break his heart because she said she was getting too fat and wanted to diet, or was already on a diet. He has loved her since she was a baby, and could not understand why someone so young and innocent could already have such thoughts. To him, she was already perfect the way she was.
That was when it hit me that maybe her friend heard it from probably an older sister or friend, and then translated that thought over to this very sweet little girl... We never really quite know who we are influencing isn't it?
I know that refusing to eat or vomiting your food out may seem like the fastest solution but please don't ever think that way. Exercise and dieting (PROPER dieting with fruits, vegetables, water) is what is truly important. The effects may not be as quick, but they last much longer I promise you!
Do not let the media or the words of passerbys define who you should be or what you should look like!
To everyone, I say that you should open your eyes: not to the magazines with photoshopped models and television shows with unrealistic standards of beauty, but to your achievements and yourself. You should open your ears: not to the criticism of people who just want to judge you, but who really care. You should open your heart: not to the men who always seem way out of your league, but to the friends who've always said sincere things about who you are, and to your family who loves you regardless.
P/S: Not promoting anything unrealistic here because I know there are people who are just way too lazy to exercise and just binge-eat all the time and blame society for everything (been there done that). There is a certain amount of effort to be placed into everything and we should not take that for granted.
All my love,