My Changing Body

Trigger warning: weight, eating disorders mentioned (not mine but they are mentioned), body image

So last year was interesting, am I right?

I spent most of it indoors as did most people. Now typically during the summer I gain weight and during the winter I lose weight. Even saying I gain weight is a bit of a stretch, I’m mostly an eight (UK size.. all sizes mentioned will be UK size). So when I lose weight I become a six (and once when I got the flu, like the real flu, lower).

Now since I was a teenager and even some point before that I’ve had issues with body image. Being skinny was the ideal in the world at that time but girls can be mean and I got teased a lot because I was skinny.

I find that sad, you get teased if you’re too small and bullied if you’re too big.  I mean, can we just mind our own business and not worry about other people’s weights?

And yes, I know that those who are big have more to deal with from society and I’m not trying to take away from that or anything. I’m just sharing my thoughts about myself.

So yes, I was teased a lot and my mother thought I was anorexic even though I ate in front of her every day and never showed signs of having an eating disorder. It irritated me so much to be monitored when I hadn’t done anything to warrant the surveillance. It’s a pet peeve of mine to be accused with no evidence. So I grew to hate eating in front of others.

But it wasn’t just my mom, even my friends and other family members found they had something to say. I grew very defensive about my body. Omd even teachers would snide jokes and it’d be like, “You good? You’re picking on a child.”

And whenever I’d go the doctor about chest pains they’d dismiss it as heart burn and then spend the rest of the time talking about my BMI, like dude, fix the problem I came to you with!

Also did it not occur to them that perhaps I was naturally like that? A lot of Rwandese people are naturally skinny especially as children and teenagers so… know your patient!

Anyway, then I was like, when I overeat I don’t gain weight… should I just eat a ton of junk food? But my mom is very much about healthy eating and a healthy balanced diet so I decided I’d just do that and follow that.

All in all I have issues with the way I see myself. I never saw myself as pretty and was always trying to be curvy like others or seeking to be validated by others.

Because I’m black and not overly curvy so I felt that no one would find me attractive and when you’re a teenager looking for love, that’s important.

In recent years in the winter I tended to lose a lot of weight due to just being down. So I expected it to happen in the winter of 2020 as well. In fact I was convinced it had happened.

Even though I actually gained weight in the summer I really thought I lost it all in two weeks of winter starting.

But then strange things started to happen. My clothes were tight and the clothes I would order in my size would not fit properly.

Because I was shopping online I blamed Amazon and sent the clothing back. And for the tight clothes I assumed it was because I was killing my squats.

However, my stomach was more visible than usual which was odd to me because, that’s the last place I gain weight. It’s always my butt, my thighs, my legs, then my chest and that’s where it’s always stopped.

But this time it was different but I dismissed it.

Then my mom noticed I’d gained weight and was like, “If I didn’t know you never left the house I’d think you were pregnant”. So then I was like, *gasp* “You see it too.”

Then some weeks passed and we moved house and the topic came up again. I dislike body shaming or fat shaming or any of that and every time my body weight is brought up I make that clear. But this time I was like, “But I’m smaller than you, why are you so concerned?” And she was like, “Bet?”

So she gave me her jeans to try on and I did and *gasp* they fit and they were a fourteen.

So I measured myself and I found that I am now a size twelve.

So many things suddenly made sense, the trousers that didn’t fit that I sent back and my stomach and how sometimes my legs do look different.

But the thing that is the strangest for me is that my body didn’t look different. I thought I was getting smaller and was getting so stressed about it because I didn’t want to lose weight. It just baffled me how my mind wasn’t seeing my body the way it was.

It took my stomach for me to actually see myself clearly. I was upset about my stomach but then I was like, love it (after seeing body positive people online).

Has this ever happened to anyone?

I mean my wish came true, I gained weight and I didn’t lose it. My teenage wish came true in my late twenties and I didn’t even notice.

It’s funny to me how now I’m being told to not add more weight when, when I was a child I was begged to gain weight.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I love my body and I refuse to be stressed about it and that people best mind their own business when it comes to me and my body.

Because telling someone they’re fat doesn’t make them lose weight, it makes them stressed and unhappy and in some case makes them gain more weight from stress eating. Telling someone they’re too skinny, that they’re just skin and bones, and saying they should eat more when they do eat and don’t have an eating disorder also doesn’t help. You shouldn’t assume someone has an eating disorder if you’re not a professional.

Telling someone they’re ugly is awful and accomplishes nothing. Objectifying someone for their beauty also isn’t good.

We’re so obsessed with image it’s horrible.

If we focused on true body positivity like what Lizzo practises, if that was the norm that the world practised then this world would be a better place.

Anyway I figure because I’m slightly tall perhaps that’s why I didn’t notice. Because I’m within my BMI. I did think perhaps I have body dysmorphia but one shouldn’t diagnosis oneself so I’m going to go with the tall thing.

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