I look at the scale between my feet and cringe at the sight of the scale as it calculates my weight. My nerves already panicked to see the number that will blink before my eyes. In the mere seconds I have before the number flashes I examine my stomach. “Is it bigger than it was yesterday?” The number flashes. Somedays I dissolve within it, and some days I allow it to empower me. The danger in this is the fact that I KNOW I am beyond a number, and yet, my mind is addicted to the cycle of this game.
It’s been 13 years since this cycle made its imprint on my life, and although I am recovering, the mental cycle is present. Some days are harder than others, like holidays, potlucks, anytime I eat at a buffet, or during weeks of stress or moments full of grief. These all enable the cycle for me. In fact, that was how it all began. When I felt out of control of my life, I began to control the one thing I could – my weight. You too? Unfortunately, it isn’t as uncommon as we would like it to be. But, if I could go back, this is what I would tell the little girl who 13 years ago needed to hear this,
- Your life is going to get extremely difficult. The challenges you will face are going to be very different than those of some of your closest friends. You can’t control them, but you can conquer them. You can conquer them without weighing 115 lbs. In fact, you are going to need to bulk up, because you will need mental muscle, heart muscle, courage muscles, and bravery. So, build the muscle, lose the scale, and know that you are already stronger than you know.
- The urge you feel to lose weight is going to cause your body a lot of damage when you are older. Do you want to have children? Don’t starve yourself. Do you want to be an organ donor? Stop taking the diet pills. Do you want to be a role model for your sister or cousins? Stop talking about your weight. What you say influences a lot of people around you. If you think you are fat, others will begin thinking they are too. Be a trailblazer, girl. Change the world for the better, not like this.
- You are enough. Despite what people say, or what you think they are saying. Despite how you feel about your family. Despite all of the crap, you are enough, and you are loved to the core of who you are. Losing this weight won’t change how loved you truly are. So, if you won’t make yourself healthy for yourself, do it for us. Your mentors, your coaches, your friends who are worried about you, your future children who want you to be their mother, your future in-laws who want to see their son marry your beautiful self. Do it for you, and then do it for us. We love you.
And in 13 years, remember to thank the woman who wrote this letter, because had she not told you, you might not be able to have the family you do right now.
The Recovering Girl Who Tried to “Fit” In