I have put on weight and I do not accept my body anymore. It is sad because I let myself too much influence by society body standards. Weight gain and body acceptance remain difficult by having these standards of beauty and obsession with image body that we are surrounded by. Instagram is one the social media where unattainable and unrealistic standards of what beauty is, are promoted. The same type of body is promoted, a tonic, slim, muscular, tanned, embodying the perfection to be achieved.
The obsession with body image and the cult of thinness distort our perception of ourselves. “If I lost weight, I’d feel better.” This sentence has already crossed the minds of many of us. We think we are too big, we think we have too many hips or that our belly is not flat enough. Some resign themselves, others end up accepting themselves. And then there are others, like me, who want to become slim again and refuse to put on weight.
Dealing with weight gain for the first time
For a very long time, I was fitting in western society’s body standards. I was tall, thin, athletic. I played sports for 10 years and then one day I quit. My metabolism continued to work until I was 24 years old. Then, I lived in Naples in 2015 for Erasmus, for one year. It was an eye-opening experience for several reasons, due to the sexism, fetishization, and hypersexualization of the black woman, which I explain in one of my articles.
I no longer accept my body and I no longer love
That’ s it. I’ve put on weight. I’ve gained 16 kilos in three years. 16! I have more hips, a bigger butt, and belly, and I don’t recognize myself anymore. I no longer fit into my clothes, while it was still the case when I was in Hamburg. It’s too much change for me and I’m afraid of getting even bigger. I miss breakfast, I do not eat chocolate or snacks anymore. With these habits, I only increase my frustration. Losing weight is my goal, to regain a slimmer, more muscular figure, to find the person I have always been. Many people say to me “No, but look how beautiful you are” or “But come on, you’re exaggerating”. My perception of the “normal and ideal” body is so deeply rooted in my subconscious that I don’t think I’m normal.
I want my body figure back before I turned 25. I go to the gym, I weigh myself and I’m still at the same weight. No weight gain or weight loss. It freaks me out. I pay attention to what I eat, I try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Before it wasn’t like that, I could eat what I wanted and I did not put on weight. However, I didn’t eat enough. I had an eating disorder.
Stress and lack of appetite
I don’t know exactly what I was suffering from, but I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I lived in a family where physical and psychological violence prevailed. My father would hit my mother, insult us, yell at us for no reason. It stressed me and often cut off my appetite. So I ended up eating in small quantities.
Even if I feel a little better psychologically today, I would like to have this eating disorder again, to lose weight. And that’s horrible to say, yes, I know that. I think my body reacts to these years of “deprivation”, because for all these years I didn’t eat enough. Working on my mental health, I am still very much influenced by te cult thinness. And where does cult of thinness come from?
Cult of thinness, where does it come from?
The cult of thinness, the obsession with body image, beauty standards and all that follows, begins when women have more and more access to employment. Feminization of labor market started during 1st and 2nd industrial revolutions. Consequently, the role of women changed, and they no longer only have a role in the family sphere.
Thinness started to become a social norm, which depicts an active, dynamic woman who is comfortable with herself and who controls her life. On the contrary, “overweight” will be associated with laziness, laziness, carelessness, a person who is ill at ease with his or her skin. Surrounded by this cult of thinness and the obsession with body image, it is not easy to accept your body when you start to put on weight, to tell yourself that you are deviating from this “so-called” norm, widely conveyed by the media.
What’s the solution?
The solution is to cut yourself off from social networks, to no longer have a telephone and to take refuge Himalaya mountains. More seriously, there is no escape from this cult of thinness and obsession with body image. How to learn to accept your body better?
Taking care of yourself
Taking care of yourself: That’s the most important thing in my opinion. I have noticed that by taking care of myself, my perception of my appearance gradually changes and gives me back my self-confidence. This can be done through meditation, taking care of your hair, skin, reading, eating healthy. I reserve a day or a few hours in the week to take care of myself exclusively.
Positive self-talk is your best friend
Doing positive self-talk every day: Spending even a few minutes complimenting yourself, for example, can change the perception that you have of you and your body. I did it last year and I saw a clear difference. I didn’t have that anxious relationship with my body that I have now. Bringing positivity does our brains a lot of good and gradually changes our perception of our bodies. The appreciation of our body must be fostered, and it is also by speaking positively to yourself that it works.
Please, stop comparing yourself
Stop comparing yourself: We are all different in terms of our morphology, our metabolism. Instagram leads us in a vicious way to compare ourselves. It is important to limit your consumption of social networks in general because, at some point, we do not remind ourselves that this is a virtual world. It is necessary to identify the moments when we compare ourselves, identify the reasons and focus on our attractive features. That’s what I try to do, for example, when I see a person with a flat stomach. I tell myself that I have beautiful legs and hands and that I should bring them out.
There are no magical formulas
There are no magical formulas, it’s up to you to find the things that will make you accept your body better and regain your self-confidence. Weight gain still has a negative connotation and it is not normalized enough. That’s why it’s important to work on the perception of your body, your self-image because no one will do it for you.