Looking in the mirror

Published in Featured - 3 mins to read

I’ve been overweight my whole life, bar a few months here and there when my eating habits were less than advisable. Healthy eating was never a focus during my childhood, but now it’s my own responsibility to not only make good choices with regards to food, but also re-evaluate my relationship with food, my weight and how I look.

I am allegedly obese, according to my BMI (30.3) although my body fat % is within the acceptable range (22.4%) - my point being, I’m not a fitness model, but I’m not exactly huge either. I’m not entirely sure what would qualify me for the adjective “fat”, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Over the years I’ve really hated the way I look, and by extension, hated myself. It’s hard to pin down why really, but it started during secondary school (we all know children are cruel) and reinforced by society’s collective feeling that being overweight is unattractive and unacceptable. I recently lost a significant amount of weight as part of a prop bet, and found myself not feeling any happier about the way I looked, or even really thinking I looked different at all. I had naively hoped that, 10kg down, I would feel confident and attractive, comfortable in my own skin, but I wasn’t. It still affects my overall self esteem a lot. Still, on the rare occasions I put myself out there enough to get rejected by a girl, my first thought is “would she be interested if I was thinner?”

I know it’s a pretty dumb thought, doubly so when I see it typed out in front of me. There could be a myriad of reasons not to be interested in me, the most likely that I don’t think I’d be interested in myself, and that must show to a lot of girls. But I still find myself blaming it on my weight, which is something of an insult to both myself and anybody I flirt with. I think it’s likely because it’s easy, it let’s me think “if I wanted to, I could lose weight and get plenty of female attention” but for anyone who has ever tried to have a conversation with me, this clearly isn’t true. I’m awkward and nervous talking to my best friends, let alone an attractive stranger.

So what now? I am scared I will never like the way I look, even if I lose more weight, I will want more definition, bigger muscles etc, as if I have some very mild form of dysmorphia that doesn’t motivate me enough to do anything about it. Socialising and dating aren’t priorities for me right now, but they likely will be in the future, and feeling physically attractive (or at least not physically unattractive) is going to be a key component of being confident. I am planning on trying to lower my body fat percentage in the next few months, but more for health/fitness reasons than because I want to get laid more. I really love food, especially carb heavy snacks, so I’m going to have to examine my eating habits from an emotional as well as nutritional standpoint, and make better decisions. I’m going to try to learn to love the way I look, starting now, before I lose anymore weight. I’m not really sure how I’m going to do it, but I’ll probably write more about it in the future. Wish me luck?