Friday, March 9, 2018

The Invisible Battle (My Journey to Self love and Acceptance)

Old photos are supposed to make you reminisce memories, but what if the old photos of you make you want to cry?

I guess I am not alone on this boat, specially for women who have been struggling with self-love and acceptance of their bodies. To be honest, this was a topic I am always passionate writing and talking about because I have so much strong feels about it. But why is it something that I feel so strongly about?

You see, I am really on the heavy side.Though I know I don't have to explain myself further, I know there are also other women like me, who gain weight easily (in as much as there are women who can eat heartily without gaining a single pound). In fact, this has been my issue for so many years since I was a teen ager.  In a world where they judge you by your looks and by the pounds you seem to gain, how do we face the world confidently and avoid all those comments about your weight?

There seems to be no escape, really. In the Philippines, "ang taba mo na" seems to be a way of saying "hello or hi." While I am done shedding tears for hearing such comments most of the time, I can't help but also feel for those girls who are going through the same thing. Girls who find it hard to love their self, their body, and all their flaws. Girls who try to starve themselves and to exercise extremely to lose weight. While I know that there are innumerable health benefits of having the ideal weight, I think it does not have to reach the point when someone has to be crazy just to reach that ideal number on the scale. You never know the pains that the woman has gone through- how she let go of her favorite snack and painstakingly sacrificed her leisure time and spend it working out or exercising. At the end of the day, it boils down to her wanting to feel confidently beautiful with her body, and people still making remarks with her weight are adding to the burden and are not helping at all.

Perhaps, we can easily be blindsided and unaware of what another person is going through and it is easy for us to utter words without thinking of the implications for the person. How do I go about this then? As for me, I have been crying for this for years and God knows, but it is a gradual process of acceptance. I have to accept that this is me and my body. This is God's gift to me. I should cherish and care for it, because it is a wondrous blessing. And, no matter what happens, through thick or thin thighs, believe that God always love you for who you are and there are still people who will accept you for who are you are even with all the cellulites and fats.

If I can just make an appeal and plea to the world, it is this: let us teach girls to love themselves and their bodies instead of just conforming to the crazy ideal standards of the world. Every girl is beautiful in her own way, and let us help one another believe in her own beauty, instead of unknowingly putting them down.  Besides, being skinny does not equate to being happy, just as being chubby/overweight/ fat does not mean you are ugly. Can we just be genuine and heartfelt with our hi and hello, instead of starting our conversation with "ang taba mo na?" ( Hey, you have gained weight.) And if ever they really do, don't you think they are unaware? Words can either make a break a person, so it is a gentle reminder to be wary of cautious of what we say, and the gravity of its effects, all the time.

And so the other day, I looked at my old photos and reminisce. I can't help but laugh at how skinny I was (maybe I was back then) years back. I wondered where did all the sexiness and confidence go? And while maybe I can still bring them back, or maybe if they never will, there is something that can never be taken away-the wisdom and maturity I have gained over the years. I think, more than being sexy and fit (according to society's standards), this is what matters. Beauty and sexiness  will eventually fade, but a good and sincere heart, and a strong mind, will forever remain.

I may be pounds heavier. So what? I choose to be happy. And I owe it to myself to enjoy life and not to please anyone's eyes.

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