To my eating disorder by Karina
At 7, I looked down frustrated at my thighs. Frustrated because they weren’t slender like Barbie’s. At such a tender age, I had internalised an unhealthy body image mindset because Aunties, Cartoons and MTV had told my impressionable mind what a woman ‘should look like’. I admired my mum and older sister - their hips, their curves, their femininity, their but somehow, I could not see myself that way.
By 14, my battle with bulimia had begun. My gauge of how well I was doing would be the adoring comments from fellow church every Sunday. ‘You look so good - keep it up!’ Unbeknown to them, these comments were the fuel my eating disorder fire needed to thrive. My jaw was constantly swollen and I coughed up blood every so often. My period had stopped for 8 months - but I looked good. Several times a week, I would kneel to the porcelain god in an effort to keep the weight off. 19, I developed an unhealthy obsession with the gym. Ironic, isn’t it? Coupled my carefully hidden purging habit I lost a tremendous amount of weight and proudly kept it off.
Now in my 20s, I’m free from bulimia. I’ve gained all the weight back and then some. I’ve nicknamed myself Thiccrina because I’ve taken back my story. Week by week, I’m falling more in love with my thighs, my jiggly belly and natural ‘unsnatched’ waistline. I’m enjoying the journey of figuring out my style and wearing what I feel most confident in. I’m relearning the beauty of working out - for strength, for stamina, for my mental health.
I read a tweet which said ‘To cultivate a healthy relationship with yourself is a ritual that needs repetition and reinforcement. We fall in and out of love. Our acceptance of and relationship with self is like any other... it needs nurturing.’ I couldn’t agree more. Not every day is a body positive day but every day is one of progress. Every day is a practice of remembering that my features and stature go far beyond me. I am a part of a beautiful family of women who have unabashedly taken up space for years. A lineage. Why would I want to shrink those years of family history and culture?