As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, I decided that I wanted a couple of people to guest post on my blog regarding their experiences with mental health. The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is that of body image which is incredibly important.
On my blog today I have Alanna from Life Like A Galaxy Girl who kindly wrote a guest post discussing her experience with body image whilst growing up. You should definitely check out her blog post (once you’ve finished reading this of course!) Now, let’s get into Alanna’s guest post!
Body Image and Me
Ever since I was fourteen, I hated my body. My face was getting fatter and fatter, my thighs were beginning to touch each other and I knew I was eating more than the average. I went through something at that age that crushed me, I was so vulnerable. This is the reason I ate more than I should have, the reason I was on a “see food” diet (you see food and eat it).
I was the ugly friend at school, the one guys hated because my boobs weren’t big, my ass was flat but the rest of me was whale size. I went through stages of not eating because then everyone around me would be kind and supportive. I also went through the stage of being bulimic. Eating disorders are not fun, not cute and the way they were portrayed to what they’re actually like makes me wish I was brave enough to speak out.
I remember one day I faked being ill so I didn’t have to go to school and see the pretty girls, the ones everyone liked. I felt so alone and lost that I even felt as though my family had turned against me. My mental health rapidly declined, the less I ate, the bigger I was becoming and I couldn’t work out why. The more I made myself sick, the feeling of happiness was getting less and less. I was in a hole and I couldn’t see a way of escaping, a way that I could fit in with the in crowd. I would sit in a classroom and lie to the teachers and tell them that I had some extra work to do so I could hide from the smell of the greasy foods everyone was consuming.
I truly believed everyone hated me because of my weight I believed it so much I had pushed everyone around me away and I was left with no friends. I turned into the fat lonely kid. To make things worse, no-one ever called me fat. No one ever told I was ugly. I was so wrapped up with comparing myself to other people, to wanting to look like those heavily photoshopped girls in glossy magazines.
I know why I suddenly changed the way I felt about myself after years of looking in the mirror and seeing imaginary words such as pig, fatty, whale circulate around me. It was my mum who changed the way I thought about myself, she would always ask if she looked okay, or if she looked fat in a dress. It hit me hard. My mum, the woman who in my eyes is perfect, felt like she wasn’t good enough in her own skin. She too looked at her wonky boobs that she used to breastfeed five children, her slightly large arms which she used to carry each one of us, her thighs that kept us from feeling alone while sitting on her lap and her saggy belly that carried five children and just saw the imperfections in them.
I would always question her and ask her why she cared about what people think of her, she asked me the same question and that’s when I realised, I don’t know why I care. I don’t need them to validate me, to give me their approval. After that, I began listing all the things I liked about myself while still working out and finally eating a healthy diet. I looked at my boobs and realised they’re actually still growing, I looked at my arms and thought about all those times I held someone tightly in them, my thighs saving my phones from disappearing down the loo, my ass which finally popping and looking incredible and my stomach which was not fat, not overweight but just a little extra padding when I played football and the ball would always fly towards me. I wasn’t perfect like those girls in the magazines but I was real, I was someone who wasn’t perfect but I was good enough for myself.
I now post my body on my Instagram (username is Lifelikeagalaxygirlblog) and share my achievements and loses when it comes to my weight. I like to be brutally honest about my struggles, mistakes, failures and I love to celebrate when I am proud of my hard work.
Looking back now, I wish I had someone to talk to when I was feeling like this, someone who could point out that not everyone is meant to look the same. I still have days when I feel super fat because I’ve bloated and I will not look myself in the mirror, but I also will not compare my size to anyone else for we all have a reason to love our imperfections. I found writing in a journal really helped put things into perspective for me, that and not ever looking at the numbers. My journey is far from over but looking at myself now, I know that I’ll reach the end.
My advice to you is to speak up if you’re not happy, if you’re really concerned to consult a GP and they can point you in the right direction, do not compare yourself to anyone, not even old images of yourself because you are constantly changing and most importantly, know that you are not alone.
About the author
Alanna is a twenty year old blogger who writes about a variety of topics including lifestyle, beauty, reviews and so on! Check out her blog and social media links below: