You’re soooo fat! Why are you wearing manang clothes?
Those were just some of the snide remarks I used to get when I was a kid. Actually, I didn’t mind it at first as long as I get to eat my favorite snacks (hello Cheetos, ice cream, chocolate chips, pizza, and soda!). However, it hit me really hard when a stranger (an assistant photographer) told me that I was a very big kid (and no, not vertically) and that I needed to go on a diet… fast, quick, pronto, ASAP!
Such statement from a total stranger made me think, “Wait a minute, am I out of control? Am I really that fat?”
Okay fine, I was a bit overweight then but I never considered myself as a rolly polly olly. But moving schools, entering high school, and seeing girls my age wear pretty clothes I just could not wear (simply because I will look ridiculous in them) made me want to lose weight… a lot of weight.
I was not really into exercising and as a kid and the only exercise I knew then was to run around when playing with my younger sister and chew food (well, mostly chewing).
I felt disgusted with myself. I began to reject “me”.
Since I do not have the motivation to lose weight the right way, I thought that starving myself would be the easiest way to lose weight fast.
My parents were not aware of what I was doing to myself. I wake up super early to drink water and pretend to have breakfast (well I did if only air is considered edible). I’d go to school with an empty stomach and will only eat one pack of crackers and a glass of iced tea. For dinner? I’d tell the helper that I already ate before going home. I saved a lot actually since I spent less than PHP20 a day for months.
My parents started to worry when they noticed that I was starting to become stick thin. But I told them that I was growing and that the fat was being distributed (okay, it doesn’t sound so convincing now than it was before).
I admit; I was pretty happy with the results. I lost about 25 pounds and I could finally fit into the clothes most teens wore then. I felt better about myself. I felt more confident.
But this phase didn’t last long. The happiness and confidence I felt was replaced by pain, agony, and fear.
A few more months later, I had to be rushed to the hospital because I had a severe stomach ache to the point that I kept on throwing up. The doctor said that I was hyper acidic and that I had to take some medicines for a few months to help my stomach recover.
The medicines were extremely bitter. There was one that was of liquid form and it was something I do not plan to take again. There was even one that made me burp all the time.
I then saw myself in a different light. I saw a thin, unhealthy, and unhappy girl. I became sickly and could not enjoy the food I used to love not because I do not want to but because I was not allowed to since my stomach was not yet ready for it.
It made me realize how shallow I was. I wanted to be slimmer because of what? To fit into those fancy clothes? To feel I belong? I can’t believe it that I allowed peer pressure to get the best of me. I became sick because of it. My parents got worried because of it. And most importantly, I hated myself because of it.
I promised myself that I will never ever starve myself again. Thus here I am now, sharing how wonderful food can be.