Post inspired by Primal Kitchen’s The Magic Number.
As a pre-adolescent (around the age of 12), I distinctly remember not giving a crap about how my body looked. I had always been thin and was completely non-judgmental about my shape in comparison to others. The first time I really remember being judged for my body was by a teacher in middle school, when rumors went around that she was making a list of girls in my grade that she thought had eating disorders. I was on that list. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure that rumor was completely made up by a student who had their own body image issues and was projecting their issues on others to try and deal with it. I remember feeling really angry that someone would assume I was starving myself to be just how I was. I ate plenty!
After that, puberty was encroaching and hormones really did a number on my overall psyche. I’m sure there are/were many factors that play into it, but I believe the majority of my emotional problems stemmed from hormonal imbalances, since my depression started after/with puberty. I have never had my levels tested, and it might be pointless to do it now, since I feel so much better than I used to. I would still like to know for sure if my hormones are in a reasonable range, just to know.
As a result of my depression, my personal body image suffered greatly. I didn’t worry too much about myself at first, but over the years, as I felt worse and worse about myself as a person, it spread to how I looked. At an average of 115lbs at 5’6” for most of high school, there’s no doubting I was thin, but without much muscle mass, I perceived myself as squishy and misshapen. What a horrible thing to think about yourself!
Changing the way I eat had a wonderful effect on my body, and as a result, on my self esteem! Not only are my emotions more balanced (as a result of more balanced hormones?), I lost the excess weight I had gained after graduating college, and I believe I am now at what is my natural weight, which is fairly slim. My body is not exactly how I’d like it to be, but I know how to change it: exercise! My goals have changed over the past year of dedicated self-improvement (through nutrition, supplementation, exercise, and therapy), from getting to my graduating weight (118 lbs ) to becoming fit (and I don’t care what weight that is, I just want to be able to do functional and sporadic physical activities comfortably and relatively easily). I’m not 100% comfortable with my body or being scantily clad, but I try to push my personal boundaries whenever possible and that’s been working pretty well for me for the past year.
A look at changes that have happened to me. I don’t think most people would notice the differences all that much, but I do, and I’m really proud of them!